Jumble Ball ($15.00)
Jumble Balls are soft fabric balls made by Jennifer of Wood Pond Designs. She started making the balls about five years ago after being inspired by a ball that her mother had made. At first, she made them for her own children and for friends having babies. Soon more and more people wanted Jumble Balls, and Jennifer started an Etsy shop.
The balls are lightweight, squashy and easy to grasp. Each square is individually stuffed leaving a hollow center that makes the ball squishable and easy for little hands to hang on to. The balls are made of 100% cotton fabric that is safe and machine washable on the gentle cycle. So, these balls can be chewed on and drooled on and dragged on the floor.
Jennifer describes herself as a "fabric junky". She has lots and lots of colors and fabrics and never makes more than a few balls that are the same. The ribbons and rickrack are a new addition to the balls, and customers can choose to have either a rattle or jingle bells sewn securely inside. Jennifer now offers Bamboo fiberfill, and she will soon have organic cotton fabric available. If you have a specific color scheme in mind, she welcomes custom orders and would be very happy to create a ball using specific colors/fabrics/patterns.
The balls are great for tummy time for tiny ones, and for rolling and tossing as the baby grows older. Jennifer's children are now 4 and 6 and she says "they still love throwing the jumble balls around and they are light enough that I don't worry about things breaking".
I'm sure that Arielle and Linnea would have had fun with the ball, but I wanted to get a real baby reaction. So, we hired a consultant. Our eight-month-old friend Lucy (and her two-year-old big sister Tess) volunteered to help us out. They loved it.
Here's what mom Sarah had to say, "That is the ball! It is so great! Totally squishable so Lucy can tumble on top of it and it smooshes flat, then pops back up. The colors are great, the ribbons are perfect and it jingles just enough to keep the kid interested, not enough to annoy the mama. We seriously love this ball! Tess and Lucy both have so much fun playing with it and it's just as great for playing catch with Tess as it is for tumble time with Lucy."
Thank you Jennifer and thank you Lucy and Tess.