9 Best Ball Pits | March 2017

We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. It's quite possible that no toy is as much fun for little ones as these ball pits. Our selection of some of the best on the market includes something suitable for toddlers up to older kids, so your little ones can enjoy years of fun. And, yes, a few are big enough for adults to crawl into but, just don't. Let your kids enjoy them. Skip to the best ball pit on Amazon.
9 Best Ball Pits | March 2017


Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
9
The Disney Mickey Having a Ball has a sports adventure theme with beloved characters that your kids will love. It features 20 soft flex balls, see through windows, and an interactive side play panel for added fun, but it's not made to withstand rough play.
8
A little goes a long way with the RecTent Jumbo, as it combines convenience and affordability for countless hours of fun. This portable play pit can travel with you to the beach, the park, campgrounds or can be used in your own backyard as an immediate solution to boredom.
7
The extra roomy Kiddey Ball Pit is a hit for both kids and parents alike. It features mesh paneling sides for optimal air circulation and easy supervision, plus it has a large top opening for quick and simple filling of balls at any time.
6
The eWonderWorld Twist Play Generation II measures 48 by 41 inches, to easily accommodate two children at once. It features a front, back and top opening for the most interactive play experience, plus an entrance flapper prevents any balls from rolling out.
  • sets up in seconds
  • includes an instructional video
  • doesn't come with any balls
Brand eWonderWorld
Model CT-412S
Weight 2.3 pounds
5
The FocuSun Playhouse is made from soft, waterproof polyester fabrics that are easy to clean and won't irritate a baby's skin. It has breathable, mosquito-proof mesh sides that make it easy to keep an eye on kids as they play.
  • sports fun animal characters
  • basketball hoop in ball pen
  • includes a zippered storage bag
Brand EocuSun
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
4
The Bestway Helicopter Up in & Over provides a fun and safe environment for your little one to play. This kid-friendly design features bright, engaging colors and includes 50 non-PVC plastic balls that are 100% phthalate-free for added peace of mind.
  • ideal for ages 2 years old and up
  • gender neutral design
  • small size is best for just 1 child
Brand Bestway
Model 52183B
Weight 7.3 pounds
3
The FocuSun Pop up is a great deal considering what you get for the price. It is a 3-in-1 set consisting of a tent house, tunnel and ball pool. There is also a basketball hoop in the ball pit little kids can use to improve their accuracy.
  • eco-friendly and durable
  • breathable mesh sides
  • can use each component separately
Brand EocuSun
Model pending
Weight 3.3 pounds
2
Let their imagination go wild with the Right Track Toys Tent. This well-constructed indoor and outdoor play zone includes a tent, a detachable tunnel and one hundred 2.75" balls for a variety of uses that will keep high energy kids occupied and contained.
  • very simple to fold down
  • stores easily in a closet
  • bpa and phthalate free
Brand Right Track Toys
Model pending
Weight 6.5 pounds
1
My Bouncer offers the perfect indoor activity for active kids who need to expend their energy. It includes a low-noise blower pump that makes setup a cinch and deflates just as easily in mere minutes, so you won't mind setting it up when it's time for the kids to play.
  • includes a handy storage case
  • lightweight and easy to move around
  • puncture and tear resistant
Brand My Bouncer
Model pending
Weight 31 pounds

Into The Pit

Childhood has certain iconic environments and experiences that span generations, creating a link between parents, children, and eventually grandchildren if the icons are strong enough to last. The long process by which one learns to ride a bicycle immediately comes to mind as a rite of passage that most of us remember fondly. As technological advancements continue, future generations are liable to recall their first smart phones the way some of us remember our first video game systems, or, in generations older still, our first meaningful piece of sporting equipment.

One place that holds a powerful mystery to it, that offers a few generations worth of memories and fun, is the ball pit. I remember seeing my first ball pit at a young age from a distance, and I watched as the kids in it writhed in delight among the colorful spheres. I was sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there was water in the pit, so fluidly did the balls and the kids among them move.

When I finally set foot in a ball pit, I was amazed to discover that it was a dry environment, that the balls themselves, in all their hollow resplendence, provided just enough support to small bodies to make them seem buoyant. From that moment on, I was hooked.

While that discovery took place in a public arena, the ball pits on our list are decidedly meant for private use, occupied as they may become with your children and their friends (and, if they're big enough, probably with you and your spouse after a bottle or two of wine).

The design of any ball pit is perfectly simple. All you need is a pit with walls of a certain height that can contain the balls at a minimum depth, and then you fill that pit with said balls. The big calamity comes when it's time to put the pit away, and since it's not a great idea to dig a physical pit in your backyard and fill it with balls, the pits on our list set up and collapse by means of inflation or by a kind of collapsible spring-loaded hinge used in nylon clothes hampers. These are not only much cleaner than the mud pit in the back yard, they also don't run the risk of disturbing any ancient Indian burial grounds that might lurk beneath the grass.

How Does It Pack?

As we discussed above, the ability to break down a ball pit into something sized for storage is paramount. There will come times when your kids simply don't want to be in the ball pit, when you'll need the space in your play room, living room, or back yard for some other toys or activities. If the ball pit can't pack away neatly, it'll become an albatross, like a trampoline no one's jumped on in a decade rusting through the neglected seasons.

That fear shouldn't send you on a bee line toward the smallest pit on our list however. Most of these break down with a good bit of ease into smaller components. In fact, the size of the pit you choose should depend more on the age and size of your child than anything else, as well as, perhaps, the size of their friend pool.

If you've got very young children, they can get lost and even become afraid to enjoy some of the larger pits on our list. The sheer depth of the balls could become overwhelming. In case the pit isn't meant to be a surprise for the young one, however, it'd be worth asking if this would freak them out. If someone had asked me as a child how deep was too deep for a ball pit, I wouldn't have had an answer. To me, at that age, they couldn't get deep enough.

The reverse of this is most certainly true, that if you have slightly older or simply larger children, some of the smaller pits on our list wouldn't make the grade. There should be enough space in the pit for two to three kids to feel like they have some room to roam or explore, unless you're only interested in providing a small space to keep a single, small child safely occupied.

Some of the pits on our list have additional features like side doors to easily let kids in and out (these are also big helps when removing the balls into storage), basketball hoops to add an element of competition to the pit, and even detachable tunnels that lead into the pit from without.

The Soft Play Pioneer

The ball pit was born in the late 1970s, out of the mind of a man known as 'The Father of Soft Play,' a title that he earned by innovating play spaces designed for their combination of safety and the engagement of a child's imagination. This man, Eric McMillan, had become disgusted with the state of playground infrastructure throughout the US and Canada, and he sought to change it.

In one fascinating interview McMillan gave to People magazine back in 1979, he said that modern play spaces had become "architectural graveyards–grey asphalt slabs. They've been built by adults who've forgotten how to play."

That last bit is particularly poignant in today's playgrounds, in which a new generation of jaded adults has taken McMillan's notion of soft play and created, in this writer's opinion, a play space so safe that it deprives children of any physical sensation of their world. Ball pits, however, remain a safe, imaginative landscape where sensation and creativity can harmlessly collide.



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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information

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