Thursday, August 06, 2009

MomBloggersPlanet Cutest Baby with TOYS Contest

Baby's Name : A'aesyah Marissa Binti Izardy
Baby's D.O.B : 20 August 2008

...seen here with RODY.

This is Sya's current MOST favourite toy at the moment. He's Italian and his name is RODY. Rody is super dupper strong and he's all latex-free vinyl.

Rody is made by an italian company called GYMNIC, their signature fitness product is the GYM BOUNCING BALL (the ones people recommend during labour to ease the pain as well).

Rody can be inflated to various degrees according to the size and age of the children using them.

This actually belonged to Aliya and my parents bought him when she was 3, so basically Rody is 5 going on to 6 years old but he doesn't look a day older right?

My parents were pretty fussy when it comes to buying toys. They need to be sturdy, resistant towards wear and tear, non toxic and educational. So basically the only toy I remembered having when I was a kid was a small rumah pondok-pondok my dad had built in our courtyard when he was serving as a principal in a boarding school and a baby doll that was literally like a baby in size and even when you hold it (because of the soft cushion inside but non latex vinyl outside).

The Rody Horse is free of banned Phthalates. Phthalate acid is a common additive to plastic and there has been concern about Phthalates being an endocrine disrutptor in humans, causing possible allergies, asthma and other health concerns.

Every toy needed to have its purpose. My rumah pondok-pondok and my baby doll taught me of creative play, something I didnt think much of those days but is equally important now that I am a grown up.

When I asked about Rody, mum said physical play develops motor skills and that matters.

Back then I never took a second look at this dude maybe because I never knew what was going on in my parent's head (my mother is a primary school teacher who was an expert at physical ed and my dad was a lecturer in mechanical engineering).

I didn't have the internet back then either to look the product up or what is its function on early childhood development.

But after reading a few literature here and there, in my opinion, RODY is a fantastic toy to improve your toddlers to be or toddlers' physical development. In turn this helps to enhance learning and self-esteem. This is the reason why therapists as well use RODY for vestibular stimulation which is the foundation for developing skills such as language, memory, jumping, and running.

The vestibular system, which contributes to our balance and our sense of spatial orientation, is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about movement and equilibrioception. Together with the cochlea, a part of the auditory system, it constitutes the labyrinth of the inner ear, situated in the vestibulum in the inner ear (Figure 1). As our movements consist of rotations and translations, the vestibular system comprises two components: the semicircular canal system, which indicate rotational movements; and the otoliths, which indicate linear accelerations. The vestibular system sends signals primarily to the neural structures that control our eye movements, and to the muscles that keep us upright. The projections to the former provide the anatomical basis of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, which is required for clear vision; and the projections to the muscles that control our posture are necessary to keep us upright.[photo & info from wikipedia]

Making sense of how their actions affect things in their world is of course one of the primary ways that our children learn.

Most often some parents underestimate the value of motor development during childhood.

We often wonder why our children are loner when they are surrounded by other children at the playground, hangs back when there is involvement in physical activity some which include height and doesn't have the courage at all (especially now that after SPM they have to attend National Service).

In other words - introvert.

The Vestibular System, besides proprioceptive and tactile system are particular important in giving toddlers to be or toddlers information, not only about how their bodies move but how the move impacts their environment.

The Vestibular system, tells toddlers to be or toddlers that :
  1. they are moving - horizontally, vertically or rotationally.
  2. communicates positional changes to the ocular (eye) muscles
  3. recognizes speed and duration of movement
  4. allows children to stand upright
  5. develop postural security against gravity
  6. regulates balance or equilibrium along with our posture, muscle tone and eye-motor control (locking in on or localization of an object)
The experience gain from stimulus to the Vestibular system makes toddlers to be or toddlers feel secure when we carry them or rock them to sleep or when they jump on beds, climb over furniture twirl on swings or hang from a tree.

Working together with other motor system such as proprioceptive, they help in motor planning (organize and carry out new actions) such as crawling under a table without banging his head, crawl through a play tunnel without losing his sense of direction or climb onto a chair and seat himself without falling off.
[Liddle & Yorke, Why motor skills matter.2003;p16]

If that sounds like a lot of tech jumbo, there is a good book out there called "The Why Motor Skills Matter: Improve Your Child's Physical Development to Enhance Learning and Self-Esteem" which discuss in depth on this.

One of the things I love about RODY is the ability to bounce Sya slowly. Although it was for toodlers above the age of 2, with adult supervision I slowly guided Sya on the horse and bounced her slowly. In time, she gain strenght in her calves and feet that allowed her to walk before the age of 11 months.

"Bouncing a baby while singing or chanting is a beat experience. This provides an
opportunity for baby to hear and feel the beat as well as the meter. The ability to keep a steady beat helps in using scissors, bouncing a ball, walking and all later learning "

And especially on days when the haze is so bad and I can't bring Sya to the playground or DH is too busy to take us to Gymboree, then RODY is there to help me mold her into a social butterfly with enough guts to try almost anything.

Besides, no guts no glory right. So in conclusion, regular stimulus from RODY has helped Sya to be a much more confident toddlers to be. We do not mistaken it for hyperactivity but her confidence is a boast as well to us that we are providing more than just FUN in a toy.

But there's more !...he he he

I'm writing this as well since I am entering Sya YET AGAIN for the Cutest Baby Photo Contest.

The theme for the Month of August is “Cutest Baby with TOY(S)”.

Fancy joining yourself? Here's the link - MomBloggersPlanet contest page

Here is what you will need to do :

- find a photo of your baby with his or her favourite toy(s). So that digging or snap happy for one of those kodak moments.

- you will then need to write a post on the contest and give the posting the title MomBloggersPlanet Cutest Baby with TOYS Contest

- besides including the photo(s), mention your child's name and date of birth in the posting as well.

- you will then do a short write up on the toy(s) that are included in the photo(s) and include your opinion about the usage of TOYS in early childhood learning (just like mine above..sharing is caring yes?)

- link back to the contest page and the sponsors (below) in the posting.

- Leave a comment with your posting link at the contest page once all of this is done so they can judge how cute your munchkins are ;)

Left those digital at home and you're at the office or no time to conjure up a great posting to win?

Not to worry. The Cutest Baby Photo Contest will be done monthly starting from the 9 June 2009 and each month will feature a certain "EXCITING" theme.

Winners of each month will then be rounded up and "automatically qualified for the 2009 Cutest Baby of the Planet contest (will be held on January 2010 with more great prizes)"

Of course what is a contest without its goodies.

Sponsors for the The Cutest Baby Photo Contest include (click on photo for the link for more info) :

For rules and regulations, visit the Cutest Baby Photo Contest - August 2009 page.

So John Wayne was right to say "Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway"


  1. Hi, can I know where did your parents buy RODY? I'd like to get one for my daughter too but can't find in Malaysia!

  2. They bought Rody nearly 7 years ago at a shop in Summit Subang Jaya. I'm not really sure if the shop is still there.