A graduating senior attending Tama Art University, Atsushi Shiraishi, has created a prototype that promises to turn parents into wearable jungle gyms.
The device, referred to as the AthleTitti, was developed in an effort to promote physical interactions between parent and child in a time when electronic devices are reigning supreme. The project was created as part of Shiraishi’s thesis project.
The authors of the book The Art of Roughhousing argue that interacting in physical play with your children is not only good to keep them physically fit, but also plays an important role in their intellectual and social development. The book continues to say that through its loving physical contact, roughhousing not only shows boys that physical contact holds other associations than those with violence, but also offers girls a sense of inner strength and confidence in their physical abilities.
The name is a combination of athletic and chichi (or titti), which is Japanese for father.
The AthleTitti is not the only apparel out there that promotes physical interactions between parent and child. The “Daddle,” put out by riding supply company Cashel, is a soft, Western-style saddle that the parent places on their back allowing them to offer their child horseback rides, writes Rusty Blazenhoff for Laughing Squid.
The Daddle was inspired by a similar toy created in 1965, called The Daddy Saddle, which was sold by Kenner. The saddle, which “fits any size daddy,” promises “hours of the most exciting fun any child and parent ever had playing together.” The ad continues to suggest additional uses for the daddy saddle, including on a teeter totter, sofa arm, wagon, hobby horse or swing set, or even on the box it came in as a seat for watching TV, “when daddy’s out on the range.”
The Daddle is available for purchase on Amazon.com. While not entirely helpful, the reviews found on the site are at least good for a laugh, with one user talking about riding her spouse to work to save on gas, and another warning would-be buyers about letting their child use the product with spurs.
Wandrwoman “Caped Crusader” wrote, “Please note that this Daddle is Western Style and will not be appropriate for those trained in the English Father Riding Method whereby one holds a rein in each hand and posts the trot. If you are looking forward to father jumping, father fox hunting, father polo or daddy dressage you will not be able to use this Daddle. Western Daddle riders hold the reins with one hand, and sit the trot. The pommel or horn on this Daddle is meant to hold a lariat which is useful when roping cattle or other competing or unruly fathers.”