Sometimes the simplest things in life bring the most pleasure. How many of you have spent a fortune on a gift for your kid only to have them chuck the contents aside to play with the box? And the had-to-have hi-tech toy that sits in the corner while they play with their older brother’s plastic truck? The truth is what entertains us doesn’t necessarily do the same for toddlers and children, and what we think is ‘too basic’ brings hours of fun and imaginative play for kids.
Like a ball pit. What is essentially an empty space filled with hundreds of plastic balls is a rainbow of unlimited play, where their imaginations can run wild. Whether they’re playing hide and seek or simply throwing the balls around, it’s an opportunity for your little one to learn colors, coordination, shape recognition, social interaction and develop motor skills.
While a kid’s ball pit doesn’t vary too much with regards to its function, it certainly does when it comes to its form. There are big ones and small ones, ones with popular Disney characters. There are ball pits with tunnels or hoops to encourage different kinds of activities; some are round or square, and some are shaped like a rocket or a tent.
Benefits of Ball Pits
Ball pits are not only great for playtime, they have other benefits too, including:
Cooperative Play: the way kids play in a ball pit, it encourages them to work together and develop their social skills. Without even realizing it, children are learning all about cooperative play.
Hand-Eye Coordination: children work on skills that are essential to their development. When a ball rolls out of reach, they need to fetch it, pick it up and throw it back into the pit.
Relaxation: a ball pit is a sensory experience and some kids enjoy the soft material and the ‘feel’ of the balls. It’s a safe place for them to be calm, mindful and relax.
Want to know what the best kid’s ball pit is? Or which ball pit for toddlers is the best in our opinion? Carry on reading to find out.
Our Top 10 Ball Pit Options for Toddlers and Kids
Everything about the Kuuqa Kids Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop screams fun, fun, fun. The bright polka dot patterned play-pen isn’t only easy on the eye, your toddlers will learn to recognize color too. The hexagonal shape also sets it apart from the run of the mill square or rectangular ball pits.
It’s made of a soft polyester fabric, is waterproof and folds easily for convenience and portability. The zip carry bag makes carrying it around easy and protects it from the elements when it’s stored away. In terms of safety, the high-strength steel holder is solid enough to keep the playpen upright, but won’t cause any injuries.
The ball pit is large enough for two toddlers, aged from one to four-years-old and the addition of the hoop is a nice touch. Although you can get away with 200 to 300 balls, 500 fill it nicely.
Take a kid’s two favorite things – a jumpy castle and a ball pit – and you’ve got the My Bouncer Perfect Little Ball Pit. Can life get any better? The inflatable house and ball pit is small enough to be used indoors but big enough to provide hours of entertainment. It’s made from a child-safe material that’s similar to the kind to make tents for camping. It’s lead-free, BFA-free, non-PVC and Phthalate-free.
My Bouncer Ball Pit inflates in under a minute and is sold with 500 plastic balls. It’s safe for toddlers and can handle older children. Mom and dad could probably play on it comfortably too. The only negative with regards to this particular ball pit is that it needs to have the motor running all the time, which can get a little noisy for sensitive ears. It’s easy to deflate and comes with a convenient carry bag for safe storage when it’s not in use.
Playz 5pc Kids Playhouse and Gym is a ball pit on steroids. The maze of tunnels and tents will keep kids of all ages busy, as they build and design their very own obstacle course. The pieces are all interchangeable and can be set up in a number of ways. It can be used outside and is big enough to be used at family gatherings, playgrounds, schools, and parks or you can keep it in the backyard.
The tent has five mesh breathable holes, the basketball hoop has a ball return-funnel and the ball pit can be closed off and used on its own. The 5-piece playset from Playz can take up to 1000 balls, or as little as 200. It truly is a one-of-a-kind jungle gym-playhouse and is a great choice.
3…2…1, lift-off! Ignite the imagination and inspire your future astronaut with this very sweet space rocket inspired ball pit. The multi-purpose tent and ball pit can be used for all sorts of fun and games. It’s a tent, and it comes with a crawl tunnel, a ball pit and a hoop. The three-piece playhouse can be used in a number of ways, ensuring kids don’t get bored.
It’s suitable for toddlers and children, up to the age of 8 and even pets will have a blast making their way through the tunnel. The ball pit/tent combination is made of a kid-friendly fabric with breathable mesh walls. It’s padded for added safety and easy to set up and take down. Playz toys encourage STEM development and the rocket ship is the ideal git for toddlers as well as older children.
This is a fun easily portable ball pit that is also sturdy enough for both indoor and outdoor play. The Eggsnow Kids Ball Pit has an easy pop-up design so you can set it up in only a few seconds and then collapse it down into the included storage bag just as quickly.
The material is an anti-tear polyester so unlike some other toy ball pits this won’t tear or break with the first use. It’s a nice size ball pit that works well for babies and toddlers. It measures 42 x 23 x 15 inches. You’ll find it much bigger than expected and would have no problem with more than one child sharing it.
There’s only one thing better than a ball pit to play in. And that’s having your own. The Kiddey Ball Pit Play Tent is perfect for a playroom or nursery and can be folded into a convenient, compact size to take to the park or visits to friends.
The large opening at the top of the tent lets you fill the pit with plastic balls easily, and when it’s time to pack away, you simply turn the tent over and retrieve them. Setting up the play tent is child’s play, literally, and packing it away is just as simple. It has six sides, five of those are a breathable mesh that let you see in, your toddler can see out and the air is able to circulate. Also, there is a tie back feature to keep the ‘door’ rolled up and out the way.
We like that you can simply wipe the fabric clean with soap and water and for easy storage the pop-up tent twists into a compact and fits in a handy storage bag.
The Kiddey pit and tent doesn’t come with plastic balls, so remember to buy them separately. The pit needs approximately 400 for the best possible play session.
The 4-Piece Pop Up Children Playhouse from Playz is a quality ball pit for toddlers. The two tents and two tunnels can be used with the tent, or on their own. Children are encouraged to use their imaginations as they build and design their very own pop-up play area.
It’s a safe set-up for toddlers and younger children and is made from BPA, latex, lead, and phthalate free. As per all of Playz’ products, the play tent and tunnel exceeds all necessary safety standards and parents can let their kiddies play and explore. The tent is made from a fabric known as 190T polyester, which is multifunctional. It’s used to make light tents, backpacks and winter clothing items. It is also used as lining for clothing.
The eWonderWorld Six Sided Hexagon Twist Play Tent is a popular choice for children from three years old and up. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor play and comes with easy-to-follow instructions to set up, as well as a video.
The eWonderWorld hexagon play tent fits into a nursery or playroom, and when it’s not filled with play balls, kids love sitting in it to read, color in, do puzzles, have a nap or just relax. The three openings allow for air to flow through the twist tent while the new and improved flap door in the front stops the balls from falling out.
The tent-ball pit combination accommodates two happy toddlers comfortably, and it’s a well-made, well-priced addition to any kid’s play area.
Make sure you buy a few bags of plastic balls because they’re not included.
The Click n’ Play plastic balls are exactly what you need when you’re out shopping for a ball pit, even if the one you choose is sold with them. Ask any kid, you can never have enough plastic, crush-proof balls and they can be used with a jumping castle, in a ball pit or a swimming pool. They’re made without air, which makes them last longer.
The pack has 100 balls and can withstand over 80 pounds and are crush proof. The balls are a good size for little hands and are available in red, blue, orange, green, pink and yellow. They are sold in a reusable mesh bag for easy storage when playtime is over.
The pack is excellent value for money and is perfect for use in ball pits, or anywhere kids play, including playrooms, activity areas, and schools.
Buyers Guide: Things to Consider when Choosing a Ball Pit for Kids
Finding the right one can seem a little intimidating but our buying guide will help you choose the best ball pit for your needs and budget. Also, who knows, one of the ball pits featured in our top 10 reviews could be the exact one you’re looking for.
Suitable for toddlers 18 months and older (depending on the toddler of course) ball pits are a clever way to keep little ones busy for an hour or two, and they learn while they play. Choosing a ball pit isn’t difficult but there are a few features that could be the difference between good or great!
Be sure to keep the following in mind when choosing a ball pit for toddlers and kids:
Age and Weight
Depending on where and how the ball pit is going to be used, always check the suggested age and weight capacity with the kids that are going to be using it. There are some that can accommodate kids as old as 15 while some are best used by littlies. If you’re getting it for your house, consider the age of your children and buy one that can be used for two or three years.
Nowadays you can get a wide range of add-ons for ball pits, including tunnels, hoops and toss holes. What these do, for a minimal cost, is add another level of entertainment and the chance to gain an additional skill. Give some thought to the kind of activities kids enjoy, whether it’s at home or at a playschool, and buy with that in mind. Also, there are some ball pits that are sold with an add-on or two and others need to be bought separately.
Ball Pits or Pits
Let’s be honest, a ball pit without balls is a pit. Nothing more, nothing less. If they’re not included in the pit make sure you grab a bag or two before you get home. Most of the time, even if they are sold together, people buy an extra bag or two anyway. We suggest the value packs; they’re good value for money and you get a nice array of colors. And if you’re new to ball pits you’ll soon learn that there is no such thing as too many balls!
Ball pits need to be safe and ideally should last a while. The material should be durable and you want it BPA-free. It should also be easy to clean. Yes, ball pits and the plastic balls need regular cleaning and sanitizing, if necessary.
Ball pits vary in size and portability. Some are easy to fold up and carry to the car for a day at gran and grandpa’s house, or for a get-together where you know the little ones are going to need some sort of entertainment. There are also inflatable ones that will need a plug point and aren’t as convenient to use. Make sure you know where it’ll be used the majority of the time. Will your kids be in it indoors or outside? Do you prefer a ball pit that can move effortlessly between the two spaces?
Finding a ball pit that will grow with your children and withstand some serious play isn’t difficult, there are a lot of well-made products. Where the confusion might come in is deciding on the right one for your needs.
Some can hold one or two kids, while another one can keep five or six entertained for a few hours. Multipurpose ball pits offer value for money, but if your budget doesn’t allow for it, a traditional pit is fine. You can always get add-ons at a later stage. Ball pits are the perfect play areas for little ones and a good way for mom or dad to get some time to themselves.