Last updated: August 26, 2021

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Let's think back to our childhood. What child didn't love it? While parents went shopping, we spent our time in the ball pit paradise. So that you too can give your children more physically active fun, find out here whether a ball pit is right for your home and your children.

You already have concrete ideas and now want to know which model is best? In this article, we have taken a close look at ball pits and summarised the most important tips and information.




Summary

  • Ball pits not only support physical exercise in children, but also promote imagination and gross motor skills such as grasping and throwing the balls.
  • Important purchase criteria are suitability for indoor / outdoor use, quality, ingredients and sustainability as well as transport and equipment.
  • Ball pits are available in different price categories. High-quality models are already available in the medium price segment.

The Best Ball Pit: Our Picks

Buying criteria for ball pits

In order to find the ideal ball pit for your children, we have worked out some buying criteria to help you with your purchase. We have summarised the following criteria here:

We will go into the individual criteria again in the following step:

Suitability for indoor and outdoor use

Most ball pits are suitable for both the home and the garden or park. A ball pit for outdoor use should always contain 100% polyester and be somewhat larger and more durable, as it can be used by several children at the same time at birthday parties. Please make sure that the net windows provide additional protection from sunlight and repel mosquitoes, if necessary.

Quality / Ingredients

Quality and ingredients are paramount in any play tent to ensure that your children can play safely and healthily. The ball pool should be breathable so that the temperature is balanced at all times. Transparent mesh windows ensure that you can always supervise your child.

The fabric should be tasteless, odourless and of high quality. When buying, make sure that the material is robust and stable so that the tent can be used for a long time. If the tent is compressed, it should return to its original shape. Also, make sure that the product has either been tested by TÜV or has a quality seal. The balls must not stain and must not contain any dangerous softeners.

Equipment

When choosing the equipment, always consider where the ball pool pit will ultimately be set up. At home, there is usually less space, so a multi-part set is out of the question. An integrated basketball hoop or a slide that can be added is sufficient here.

For the outdoor area, extended elements with crawling tunnels and pyramids etc. make sense, as several children can play together at the same time, all age groups are addressed and there is more choice to play with. In order not to limit the play factor, the tents should have enough space so that they can be filled with balls.

Transport

The ball pool should be flexible to use if the children are invited to a birthday party or want to play in the garden at the grandparents'. It should be easy to assemble and disassemble in a short time. The elements should be practical to fold up.

When buying, be sure to consider an integrated zippered carrying bag so you can easily transport it to the next playground or take it on holiday. Foldable ball pits are also very easy to take with you in the car, on the train or on the plane.

Cleaning

If the ball pool is used very often outdoors on a lawn or in the garden, cleaning cannot be ruled out. To avoid having to buy another ball cleaning machine, the balls should be able to be cleaned either with normal water in the home bathtub or with a larger washing net in the washing machine. Afterwards, you should clean them additionally with a disinfectant.

You should be able to clean the inside of the ball pit with a hoover and wash the fabric of the play tent with a damp cloth. With higher-priced models, it is common to be able to remove the cover and wash it in the washing machine.

Shopping Guide

In the next step, we want to go into the questions about the ball pool and give you a better overview.

Who is a ball pit suitable for?

Provided that the children are always supervised while playing, a toddler from 6 months of age who can sit and crawl independently can play in a ball pool. It is important to note that the balls must be of a certain size so that they cannot be swallowed by the babies and a choking hazard can be ruled out.

At this age, however, babies can only grasp the balls at first, as their gross motor skills are not yet fully developed. From the age of 18 months, the motor skills are already advanced, so that the child can also throw the balls.

What types of ball pits are there?

There are different models for home and outdoor use. From a round, open ball pool to a five-piece tent, there is everything. Some ball pools are inflatable and can be easily stowed away, others have a fixed enclosure that is suitable for a permanent location, such as the garden. Here, an additional slide can also be easily integrated.

With closed ball pits, you give your child the safety of not falling out and the opportunity to playfully hide. For the outdoor area, there are far more possibilities with extended elements, such as a crawling tunnel, a play cube or a pyramid. This way, children can be active and let their imagination run wild. Some ball pits also have extras such as dart targets or similar if the siblings are older and should be included.

Bällebäder-1

A ball pool in the garden can add to the fun of playing in the summer. The pool can also be filled with water.
(Image source: Christine Tuntunjian / Unsplash)

There is no limit to personal wishes here. There are ball pools in many patterns, with different animal motifs and shapes. With various suppliers, you can also have the ball pool personalised for the ideal birthday or Christmas present.

What size should I look for in a ball pit?

The size always depends on whether the ball pool has a fixed location or is often transported or only rarely used. Ball pits generally take up a lot of space, so please plan for this when making your purchase. Most ball pools have an average size of 90cm x 20cm.

Most of the time, the ball pool should only be used for a few hours a day and not get in the way, so a foldable product that can be stored away is best. In the garden, everyone has more space, so a larger ball pool with several elements makes sense and the neighbour's children can also play.

Conclusion

A ball pool is very well suited for entertaining fun. Thanks to the quick assembly, you can also transport the ball pool easily, so that you can sit back and relax when visiting the grandparents and talk in peace while your child has fun with the balls. Keep in mind whether the ball pool will be used indoors or outdoors.

If you have several children or frequent visits with children, a ball pool with several elements, such as a crawl tunnel and a mini basketball hoop, is advantageous. In this day and age, children are confronted with digitalisation early enough. A ball pool that is placed in the garden is therefore a welcome change.

Image source: Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke / Pixabay

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