Pros: great for active children, sturdy, not made in China!
Cons: a little pricey
I remember once reading a profile or watching one on television about Mary Lou Retton. It was said that as a small child, she was so active, bouncing off of all the furniture in the house, that her mom put her in gymnastics classes simply to have some peace and quiet.
I'm not saying that my youngest daughter will ever grow up to become an Olympic gymnast. I'd bet every penny I have in the bank against that ever happening! At the same time, I see the point made in that interview. You see, my daughter loves to climb and bounce. She just turned two and she's already broken her nose three times. She's managed to find a way to climb up on top of the refrigerator. She's constantly jumping on the sofa. She loves trampolines and actually managed to break her Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Zebra by bouncing on it a little too energetically. At her toddler gym class, she's the kid who is already swinging from the monkey bars and running across the balance beams.
When we were browsing in a local specialty toy store, I left her in the children's play area for a few minutes. While there, she discovered the joys of bouncing on a Rody Horse and I knew that my daughter had to get one as a gift for the holidays. The owner of the shop said that kids have been finding the Rody Horse in the play area absolutely irresistible.
A Rody Horse is a child's bouncing toy, sort of like a Hedstrom Hop On Ball. It's constructed of a heavy duty synthetic resin that does not have banned phtalates and it latex free. A Rody Horse is constructed of Type 3 resins/vinyl so when you are done with it, you probably won't be able to put it out at the curb with your other plastic recyclables. However, this toy is sturdy and should be able to be passed down from child to child for quite a few years.
To use a Rody Horse, the child simply climbs aboard, like getting on a ride on toy. Then, the child can simply sit on the Rody Horse, or bounce on the Rody Horse. For bouncing, hold on to the ears as handles! If you prefer to use a Rody Horse as a rocking toy, a separate base is sold for it.
Rody Horses are incredibly cute. They sort of look like donkeys with long ears and mulish snouts but they also look like sheep with stubby tails and feet. They wear a friendly smile, have a heart shaped white forehead blaze and have a painted on saddle. You have your choice of many bright colors such as a royal blue, sunny yellow or bright red. I chose the red for my daughter simply because it's my favorite color and she's still too young to have voiced an opinion in that area.
A Rody Horse comes with an adapter for your air pump and two plugs. You'll first have to remove one plug from the Rody Horse's hindquarters and then insert the pump adapter. You can use just about any air pump to inflate your Rody Horse. I used a regular hand pump and it took me about 5 minutes to inflate our Rody Horse to the desired circumference.
You can adjust the size of your Rody Horse to the size of your child, just add air or release some air. Make sure you don't exceed 29 inches in diameter around the saddle. A Rody Horse will accommodate up to 400 pounds!
Rody Horses are recommended for ages 3 and up because of the small size of the plugs and adapter. Other than that, there are no little pieces. The extra plug and the adapter should be stored far away from children. The other plug that is in the horse is very difficult to remove so I don't truly see this toy as hazardous. I really appreciate the note in the product's literature that states "pending individual children's ability + developmental level earlier age use might be possible under proper adult supervision and guidance." Thank you! A manufacturer that shows some common sense! But, this toy is not made in the United States or China - it comes from Italy where they don't have labels on items like "Do not use chainsaw in the bathtub".
Finally, my daughter just loves her Rody Horse. She spends a lot of time bouncing with it all over the kitchen and family room. She rolls on and off of it and loves giving it kisses and hugs. This toy was a huge hit and will be played with for many months to come.