The Rib-it-Ball is a patented product originally created for
a little boy born without eyes. The
challenge from the boyâ€™s mother was to create a ball that is light weight,
makes sound but does not require batteries, is easy to grasp and throw, and
will not roll away. The inventor,
Bud Fraze, met that challenge with the Rib-it-Ball. In addition to the auditory stimulation that the crinkle
sound in each of the six ribs offers, the ribs are also designed to prevent the
ball from rolling out of reach so that there is more â€śplay timeâ€ť and less
â€śchase time.â€ť The auditory stimulation allows children with visual impairments to
hear where the ball is being thrown from and track the ball during play.
While attending a CTEVH conference in Burlingame, CA,
founder and inventor Bud Fraze was explaining the Rib-it-Ball design to several
people gathered at the PlayAbility booth.
During his explanation, he was moving the Rib-it-Ball around generating its
â€ścrinkleâ€ť sound. Bud then
spontaneously threw the ball to a little girl that was visually impaired, and
too everyoneâ€™s amazement, she caught the ball just as Bud knew she would; a
moving experience for all, especially for the girl who caught the ball.
As the sensory and easy play features of Rib-it-Ball
generated more interest, its use has expanded to a wide range of special needs
communities including children with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome
and autism spectrum disorders. Rib-it-Ball is even used with the
elderly to enhance fine and gross motor skills. Because of its amazing features, Rib-it-Ball is providing
new experiences and countless hours of fun for so many children with special
The PlayAbility Toys team recognized the positive features
of the â€śRib-it-Ballâ€ť. It was clear
then, that those qualities are beneficial to even the youngest of
toddlers. The Mini Rib-it-Ball
possesses a similar shape to its â€śRib-it-Ballâ€ť predecessor, but is only 7
inches in diameter. The crinkly
ridges on the Mini Rib-it-Ball promote fine and gross motor skills associated
with holding spoons, forks, pencils, and keys. Unlike other sensory balls that let the child hook their
finger through it, the Mini Rib-it-Ball forces them to engage in productive
motor skill development.
The Mini Rib-it-Ball also includes a cleanable teething
ring, that when pulled, causes the ball to lightly vibrate. This provides a â€ścause and effectâ€ť
recognition and promotes exploration for the toddler playing with the
ball. When the ball is moved around,
it provides a light â€śjingleâ€ť sound providing an auditory reward and stimulation. The high contrasting colors provide a
visually stimulating experience for almost all visual acuities.
Bizi-Ball is another take on the original
â€śRib-it-Ballâ€ť. The PlayAbility
Toys team wanted to expand on the â€śexplorationâ€ť concept. Bizi-Ball features similar gross motor
skill qualities like the Mini Rib-it-Ball, but opens up in 4 different
sections. Each section provides a
different tactile and visual stimulation.
Whether itâ€™s the bumps that the child loves to touch, the smooth
surfaces on the black and white panel, or the mirrors that reflect their
smiling faces, Bizi-Ball is so much more than your average ball. Bizi-Ball includes a washable teething
ring and can double as a way to hang the ball from a car seat. The combination
of the sensory features and the motivation to explore creates a powerful
cognitive stimulant and hours of fun!