Ball pits for kids – we can all remember the joy of diving into a colorful ball pit and the endless amount of fun they provided us, from hiding amongst them to navigating through them and playing catch with friends.
Ball pits, like trampolines, are a great way to keep kids entertained and active and help them develop simultaneously.
Ball pits encourage kids to learn by providing them with sensory and tactile stimulation that helps them develop their motor skills, coordination and learn about basic shapes and colors. They’re also a great way to get kids active, which is definitely a bonus in the age of technology.
There are a wide variety of ball pits for kids and they vary tremendously in terms of size, design, material, and quality. With these factors in mind, we have selected some of the best ball pits for kids that are sure to provide your child with a go-to place to have fun and adventures.
Best Ball Pit for Kids: Reviewed!
Yoobe 5 Piece Ball Pit Playhouse
The Yoobe ball pit is a top rated ball pit for toddlers and kids that features 5 large components for the ultimate playhouse experience. It includes a large ball pit and two tents all connected by crawl tunnels allowing your child to pick their preferred route and even use them independently.
This ball pit set is more than big enough to keep groups of kids entertained and happy for hours on end. And you can just as easily opt to use the ball pit on its own on days when you just want a quick set-up and playtime in the backyard. You simply pop it up and your kids can get crawling and have fun.
Setting up the Yoobe ball pit set is extremely straightforward, and no assembly is required. All you have to do is open up the foldable storage bags and each component will pop up ready to use, all you have to do is secure the pieces together using the four-point buckles.
This compact fold-up design also means they are very easy to store, even for those with very limited space.
In terms of durability, the Yoobe offers much more than its rivals. The fabric used is designed to withstand considerable wear and tear, including the 2 mm thick fabric, coating the stainless steel frame and the thick Oxford fabric on the underside.
This ball pit is suitable for toddlers and kids aged 3 years and up. Bear in mind that you will purchase the plastic balls separately. Overall, this serves as a fun outdoor activity for warm summer days and family parties; you can even let pets use it, such as cats, dogs, and even rabbits.
EocuSun Kid’s Ball Pit Playpen
If you are on the hunt for a ball pit that’s easy to set up and portable, then the EocuSun ball pit playpen offers pop-up fun on the move. The compact, fold-up design means you don’t require any equipment or tools, all you need to do is open it up and it will pretty much pop up and be ready to use.
It can then easily be stored in a backpack or placed in the trunk of your car, making it perfect for fun in the garden, camping or rainy days inside.
The fun polka dot design will be adored by kids and the seams feature an extra-durable red fabric for maximum longevity and ensure the steel frame is well cushioned.
The small octagon shape of the ball pit maximizes the play area and provides more than enough room for one or two toddlers or small kids to crawl, hide and play.
This ball pit is recommended for kids from the age of 6 months to 5 years old. The lightweight and extremely durable design mean this ball pit is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
The playpen is made from a polyester material, which is ideal since it’s waterproof and easy to wipe clean should any dirt or spillages occur.
This ball pit will easily accommodate enough plastic balls for hours of fun for the kids. Remember to purchase them as they are not included with the playpen. This is the perfect solution for outdoor fun with the kids!
Pop Up Kids Ball Pit Tent
This bright and fun looking Ball Pit tent by Imagination Generation is the perfect place for kids to hide away and play with friends or independently.
Made from a polyester material, the tent is lightweight and therefore, very easy to move around the backyard or garden and waterproof making it rain proof and easy to wipe clean.
What makes this ball pit particularly good are the transparent viewing screens on each of the 6 panels. Made from mesh these allow maximum ventilation and air circulation on hot summer days and mean you can easily monitor your kids from a considerable distance.
This a relatively large ball pit for toddlers at 30 inches tall your kids won’t be able to fall out easily, while the octagon design helps provide a larger play area than circular alternatives.
The entrance to the ball pit features Velcro a fabric flap that can be fastened down securely to keep tots safe and secure as they play inside.
This playpen is the perfect out or indoor toy for gardens and backyards and any room in the house. It can be folded down or set-up in a matter of minutes and is the perfect accompaniment for days out at the beach, parks, and picnics.
Remember that you will need to buy the balls separately with this pit and it’s recommended for kids aged 3 and up with adult supervision.
Fisher-Price Train Inflatable Ball Pit
If you are looking for an inflatable ball pit, then the Fisher-Price Inflatable Train Ball Pit is a great option. The main advantage of inflatable ball pits is that they provide some bounce and cushioning, which many parents feel offers reassurance for small kids and toddlers that tend to have a habit of falling over.
In addition, there’s no doubt that they are much more comfortable than the pop-up variety.
This ball pit is made in a cute train design featuring vibrant colors and animal characters that are bound to win over the kids. For this reason, the ball pit is also a great way for kids to engage in pretend-play as they become the conductor or passenger of the train for the day.
To gain entry, kids simply climb through the train’s front and once inside are secured within the inflatable walls of the ball pit where they are free to bounce, crawl and have fun. Parents can also easily join in thanks to the low-walled design and can easily keep an eye on their kids as they play.
Just like the pop-up ball pits, it’s a lightweight and waterproof making it very easy to move around the house or garden and wipe clean.
Since it is inflatable, it does require a little more time to set-up, but for many parents that a price worth paying for extra comfort and cushioning. This time can be saved if you choose to inflate it using a standard pump instead.
Once deflated the ball pit is as easy to store and take on vacation as pop-up alternatives. Best of all, 25 non-PVC plastic balls are included meaning no extra purchases are necessary and you can play with it from day one almost immediately.
Active Play 3 in 1 Jungle Gym PlaySet
This comprehensive playset by Active Play includes a kid’s ball pit, slide as well as a toss target, which will provide toddlers and preschoolers with hours of physical activity and fun play indoors or out.
This set also includes 50 plastic colored balls, which can be used in the ball pit or in the toss target game, where kids can take goes trying to successfully make balls land into the net.
There is also a hand picture accompanied by numbers, so you can easily turn it into a fun counting game – the best of both worlds for effective learning!
This set is made from extremely durable materials, including a sturdy plastic tube frame, slide and an attractive fabric pit featuring a star design. The set is ideal for environments including playrooms, nurseries and even outdoors, although it would be best suited to flat surfaces.
In total, this gym set is approximately 20.3 pounds in weight, which is heavier than some of the other playsets mentioned, but still light enough to be transported, stored and carried from A to B with ease.
It is slightly more cumbersome than the others, but that’s a worthwhile tradeoff for a set that comes with multiple activities and a slide.
Another great thing about this playset is that you don’t need any tools for assembly; since all parts interlock together it’s a straightforward process. The Active Play Gym set is large enough for 2 to 3 kids to play with and recommended for kids aged from 1 to 3.
Kids will love jumping into the ball pit, throwing balls into the toss target and then riding down the slide. This is the perfect combination for maximum fun, encouraging physical activity, counting and developing coordination and motor skills.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Ball Pit for Kids
Ball pits are a great way for kids to have fun and get active and with the variety available today there’s sure to be one that meets your requirements, whether you are looking for an inflatable or pop-up design, or a ball pit suitable for use indoors and out in the garden.
Other important factors include the age of your child, portability, available space, material, quality of the design, features and overall reputation. Here we outline some important things to look out for:
Recommended Age for Ball Pits for Kids
It’s essential to check the age limits of the ball pit you have in mind, which is determined by the manufacturer and safety tests. Some are designed for toddlers, while others are designed to be used by teens and even adults.
To find out the recommended age based on weight and height limits ensure you read the manufacturers guidelines and product details.
Ball Pit Portability
Do you intend on taking the ball pit on vacation? Or do you want to be able to easily transport it between rooms? If you do intend on moving the ball pit around a lot, then you will be better served to opt for one designed for portable use and transport.
These are typically the pop-up and inflatable ball pits that are lightweight, easy to assemble and require very little storage space. Some of the best ball pits will allow you to set them up in a matter of minutes almost anywhere and pack them up again in the same amount of time.
Location of the Ball Pit for Children – Indoor or Out?
Another key consideration is the available space you have to set-up the ball pit and where you intend it to be set up – inside your house or outside?
Obviously, if you have a certain space in mind such as a nursery or playroom, it’s worth checking the dimensions of the ball pit in the product description and checking it will fit in the intended location.
You also need to think about the environment it will be situated in. For instance, if you intend on your kids using it outside, then it will need to be made from the appropriate materials, typically waterproof and durable enough to withstand abrasive surfaces, heat, and sunlight.
Does it Include Balls?
It’s worth checking whether the ball pit you have in mind includes the actual balls, that are responsible for much of the ball pit experience.
Typically, they are not included, so you will need to make sure you purchase them separately, however, there are some brands that do include them as a ball pit with balls bundle, so it’s certainly worth looking out for.
Materials of the Kids Ball Pit
The type of material a toy is made from is a growing concern for many parents, but today you can find many BPA-free plastics and that includes ball pits for kids. As well as the safety of the material itself, you also want a ball pit made from a material that is both extremely durable and waterproof.
This will last much longer and be very easy to keep clean. For this reason, plastics are the most common material used, but there are those made from cotton and other synthetic fibers too.
How Deep Should a Ball Pit Be?
As you can tell from the product reviews, ball pits can vary in size and shape but generally, the minimum height of the sides of the ball pit should be no less than 3 feet. This is to prevent children from accidentally falling over the sides but is not too tall for them to climb in and out of safely.
The balls themselves should fill no more than 2.5 feet. As we discuss in the upcoming safety section of this article, this is to prevent kids from being able to submerge themselves so much that they keep bumping into each other and getting injured.
This is just enough to give a seated child the submersion experience but not so much that they get lost. It also keeps the balls from spilling over as much as this gets the balls dirty, particularly if you are using the pit outside.
Ball Pit Safety
There are parents who are somewhat concerned about letting their children play in a ball pit, and these concerns are wholly understandable. The first and most obvious safety concern is hygiene but then there are also other hazards to be aware of.
Ball Pit Hygiene: How to Clean a Ball Pit
Germs being present in the ball pit is a major safety factor to consider as each ball can be a vector for nasty microorganisms that we don’t want as they can make children sick. The only way to combat germs is to keep the ball pit clean and this is quite a monotonous task.
It’s certainly not economical to submerge all of the balls in boiling water to disinfect them and it would be wise to avoid the use of harsh cleaning chemicals such as chlorine-based bleach, as this in itself is a hazard worth keeping out of the ball pit.
One way to clean a ball pit properly is to remove all of the balls and wipe each one with a kid-friendly sanitizing product. If you were having a kids party it might be worth getting some of the other parents to come around before the party starts to get this done.
Check out the video below to see how the staff from Mygym Framingham get things done!
They certainly have a lot of patience but according to them, they don’t have the facilities to do this quicker. You may find this a therapeutic task or you may think it’s a waste of time but it is diligently making sure the ball pit is free of germs, so props to them!
Kids play centers will need to clean their ball pits daily for the amount that they are used but a home ball pit will only need cleaning once every two or three uses.
If you are not interested in cleaning each ball individually, a quicker way to clean the balls at home is to put all the balls onto a sheet. Spray them all with your disinfectant of choice and let them dry. Repeat the process again to ensure they have been cleaned thoroughly.
Ball Pit Safety: Hazards
The ball pit is generally not very dangerous and the main cause of injury to children from ball pit use is other children. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most injuries relating to ball pits are a result of children colliding with each other.
Injuries relating to ball pits can be avoided by:
Reducing Number of Balls: Don’t buy so many balls that the ball pit if filled to the brim. This allows children to submerge themselves more easily, and when they are submerged they can’t see what or who is in front of them and are tempted to propel themselves forward through the balls with no regards to who they may bump into.
Lay Down the Rules: Before anybody can get into the ball pit, have all the kids listen to an adult stating the rules which primarily consist of:
-Don’t go too crazy
-Remove shoes, accessories and loose items
-No food or drink allowed in the ball pit
-Wash hands before going into the ball pit, especially after eating
-No submerging under the balls (all of the time)
Breaking the rules can result in a timeout from the ball pit for some time.
Consider the Surroundings: Don’t have slides or other play equipment hanging above the ball pit, as kids could stand up and hit their head on it. This could knock them over and have them bump into other kids. If your ball pit has a slide that leads into the ball pit, tell the kids not to hang around at the bottom of the slide.
Clean and Inspect the Ball Pit: Ensure that before the ball pit is being used by children that it is inspected and cleaned carefully. We have mentioned cleaning already but just be sure there are no loose objects or food in the ball pit that can be a choking hazard or vector for germs.