Last updated: August 13, 2021

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Do you know about ball pools? They are paddling pools that are filled with multicoloured balls so that children can dive in and play for hours. Do you want to know more about this fun and educational product? Stay here and we'll tell you all about it!

Ball pools allow children to improve their cognitive abilities while having fun at the same time. They also develop imagination, creativity, empathy, and give them the possibility to interact and socialise through a playful space of enjoyment.

Throughout this article we will tell you about the most important characteristics of ball pools, including their different varieties, sizes, formats, raw materials and styles, so that you can get to know their main features and choose the perfect model for your child. Don't miss it!




Summary

  • Ball pools are paddling pools that instead of being filled with water are filled with multicoloured balls for children to play and have fun. They are often used for birthday parties in party halls or in private homes.
  • Among the various materials used in the manufacture of ball pools, canvas, vinyl and vinyl-leather stand out, which differ from each other mainly due to their textures, resistance, cost and types of uses, among other relevant aspects.
  • When selecting a ball pool for your child to have fun and play with other children, it is important that you take into account certain factors, such as their different formats, sizes and designs, among other recommendations.

The best Ball Pool: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about ball pools

This buying guide is specially designed to provide you with all the necessary information about the product you are interested in purchasing. That's why we will tell you about the most important features of ball pools, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Ball pools are a fun, creative and stimulating option for children. (Photo: Olesia Bilkei / 123rf.com)

What are ball pools and what are their advantages?

Ball pools are pools (usually small) made of different materials, which are filled with colourful plastic balls instead of water. This game is great fun for children, as it allows them to dive in and swim through the balls.

On the other hand, ball pools are excellent for stimulating sensory, motor, visual and cognitive functions in children. They also allow them to interact with other children while sharing a playful space.

Among its many advantages, this game also gives children the possibility to strengthen their self-esteem, develop creativity and imagination, and learn to share and interact. In addition, children are physically active while having fun.

Advantages
  • They are fun
  • They stimulate children's cognitive functions
  • They develop creativity and imagination
  • Children exercise while they play
Disadvantages
  • They are not very hygienic
  • They can harbour a lot of dangerous bacteria
  • Children can hit themselves

Canvas, vinyl or leatherette ball pool?

Ball pools can come in different materials that determine their quality, resistance and durability, as well as their type of use. Here we will detail the characteristics of the most commonly used materials for these paddling pools.

Canvas ball pool. Canvas is the classic raw material for portable water pools, as it offers great resistance to shocks, extreme temperatures and excessive weight; this is why it is widely used for large ball pools, which are used by many children.

Many of the ball pools in party halls are made of canvas, usually combined with foam rubber to make it cushioned and prevent bumps. They are a great option for slightly larger children's birthday parties.

Vinyl ball pool. Vinyl is a plastic derivative widely used for the manufacture of toys, cables, packaging, footwear, pipes, etc., due to its resistance and flexibility. However, many claim that this material can be toxic.

On the other hand, beyond its tolerance to weight and sudden movements, vinyl is more prone than canvas to be broken by sharp objects, so certain precautions must be taken. These pools are also often rented for children's birthday parties at home.

Vinyl ball pool. It is a synthetic fabric similar to leather or fur, very used in the manufacture of pools for children, due to its softness. This material is also used in the manufacture of shoes, textile garments, armchair coverings and accessories.

Although it is very strong and elastic, vinyl leather is a little more delicate than the raw materials mentioned above, and is also more expensive. Pools made of this material are generally used for domestic purposes.

Canvas Vinyl Vinyl leather
Texture More porous Smooth Soft
Complexity of cleaning Low Low Medium to high
Recommended ages General children Younger children Younger children
Comparative cost Medium Low to medium High
Main characteristics Very strong and durable Flexible and easy to clean Very soft and silky texture

How much do ball pools cost?

The prices of ball pools vary mainly according to their materials, sizes and additional functions. Below, we will tell you the approximate costs of this product so that you can have a reference of the commercial values.

In the market you can find ball pools from 300 MXN to 3,000 MXN, or more, depending on the characteristics mentioned in the previous paragraph. Extra large or themed models can cost between 8,000 and 15,000 MXN, approximately.

Buying criteria

Here we will tell you what are the most important factors to consider when buying a ball pool, as it is a very versatile product. This information will help you to choose the perfect model!

Sizes

There are different sizes of ball pools, adapted to different uses. Here are the approximate measurements for you to take into account when choosing the right one for your little one.

Small. Small pools are usually round and measure approximately 1.30 m in diameter and 30 cm high. They are specially designed for babies, as they contain them and prevent them from falling and bumping.

Medium to large. Medium to large square pools usually measure 150 x 150 m x 40 cm (high), square pools 2 m x 1 m x 40 cm, round pools 1.40 m diameter x 40 or 50 cm, and octagonal pools 1.30 m diameter x 30 or 40 cm. They are mainly used for rental at home birthdays.

Very large. The largest pools are larger than 3 metres and are usually rented for events or larger spaces. In the case of children's party halls, ball pools of several metres in length are used due to the space available and the number of children who use them.

Formats

Among the various formats of ball pools you can find square, rectangular, round and octagonal variants, among many other options. Here we will give you the characteristics of each type so that you can choose the one that is most suitable for you.

Round ball pool. Round ball pools are usually the most appropriate for small children, as they are generally smaller in size and have greater protection, although you can also get larger variants with this format.

Square or rectangular ball pools. These are the classic ball pool formats, mainly used in children's party halls. They are ideal for slightly larger children, and usually have protection at the ends to avoid bumps.

Octagonal ball pools. These are the least common ball pool formats, as they take up a lot of space and do not optimise the internal space. However, they can be found in children's party halls, as they are a real eye-catcher for children.

Ball pools are one of the most popular games for children. (Photo: Suthep Onsrithong / 123rf.com)

Designs

In the market you can find a huge variety of ball pool designs, adapted to different tastes, interests and needs. Here are some of them so that you can choose the one that suits you and your little one.

Classics. The classic ball pool designs are round, square, rectangular and, to a lesser extent, octagonal. You can find these variations in commercial or specialised shops, children's party halls and inflatable ball pool rental sites, among others.

Stimulating. Stimulation ball pools are those that have a ludic but also a cognitive function, as they improve visual, motor, sensory, etc. abilities. They come with ladders, nets, slides, ramps, fences, bridges, cubes, cylinders, etc.

With themed shapes. These ball pools have extremely fun designs for the little ones, such as jungles, castles (in the case of the larger pools), animals (for the smallest) and mazes (for older children), among many other options.

Recommendations

Although they are great fun and creative for the little ones, ball pools are also discouraged by many specialists because they are considered to be a source of infectious and dangerous bacteria, so we will give you some recommendations:

Clean the pool and balls thoroughly. It is essential that you clean the pool well before and after use, as well as, and mainly, the balls, since they are the ones that keep the germs the most due to the constant contact with the hands and mouths of the little ones.

Avoid crowded swimming pools. It's hard to tell a child to stay out of ball pools at birthday parties, but the reality is that they are the main breeding ground for bacteria due to the heat and the number of little ones. If you can't avoid it, wash your child's hands thoroughly as soon as they get out.

(Featured image photo: freeograph / 123rf.com)

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