“ Brand: Early Learning Centre / Type: Ball Pit / Age: 12 months + „
Upon realising my daughter would be 4 months at Christmas, I began searching for suitable presents. I had to factor in the fact that we have little space for large toys in our house, and so I started to search ELC website with this in mind. I stumbled across this sensory ball pit, and was instantly attracted to the fact it has bright colours and provides a stimulating learning experience for my baby. It comes with beanbags which make different noises when felt by the child, and a few balls. I think for £25.00 I would have expected the balls to fill the ballpit, but I only needed to spend another fiver in order to get a large bag full which wasn't too bad. The ballpit is filled with different textures, and a mirror which my baby loves! The ballpit is 6months plus, but I put my baby (4 months at the time) in it on her tummy and she absolutely loved it. She can now sit up and really appreciate the different colours and textures. I would always supervise her in there, but it is certainly a good place to put your child if you want to get on and do housework as long as they are in your eyesight!It is extremely easy to pop up, with four easy rods to slot in and velcro to hold them in. It then folds down, and I can easily slide it underneath the cot when Im not using it to keep the place looking tidy for five minutes! I am really glad I purchased this item, my baby can learn new textures, colours, recognize her reflection, and generally have great fun!
We bought this as a christmas present for our daughter when she was 4 months old, we saw this advertised as being from 6 months plus but we wanted something she could grow into as next stage from her play gym and this seemed to fit great.
This is described as a sensory ball pit which can be used for playing a variety of games and give a learning experience through play. It is a thin canvas material, is very lightweight which is great, it is given its circular structure from pop up form as comes in the box as a tightly folded circle, this is made sturdier with 4 plastic rods inserted into sleeves on the outside which are velcrowed in so children will not be able to get them out. Also with the pit comes 20 coloured plastic balls, 4 beanbags which are a yellow sunshine shaped one, green rattle one with a tree on, red soft one with apple on and a soft blue one with a cat on. Also a large mirror which can velcrow to the inside or outside of the pit in 2 designated places. The pit has holes dotted around it through which you can post balls or put your hands through to tickle baby as we do! Also has see through mesh sections.
Our daughter loved this pit, when she first used it she just lay in it, although not for very long as I don't think she was sure what to do with herself in their. From around 5 months she has grown to love it more, it is a great place to put her and know she is safe and occupied. The 20 balls do not fill the pit up but when you put other toys in their this is fine. Although if you wanted to use it more as a ball pit you can purchase a large pack of play balls to fill it with. Our daughter enjoys playing peek a boo with me popping up from the outside of this, she loves the mirror and pulls it off to wave around and the balls have become her new favourite thing in it now at 8.5 months. She can swivel herself around in it and loves to grab the edge to shake as makes a noise as the canvas moves. I am sure she will get much more use of this as she learns to crawl in and out of it and learns the coordination to post the balls through the holes.
A great feature of this pit is that when the rods are taken out you can twist it back down into its small circle and take it where you need, we did this when we went camping as is nice and lightweight and a great place to contain baby in while having great fun!
Like many other mum's I spend a lot of time looking for toys that my little boy will enjoy and that will also aid his development and stimulate his curiosity. Thats why I spend a lot of time reading childrens toys reviews on here, because I like to know if I'm going to purchase something it is actually a good toy and worth the extreme price tag that seems to accompany toys these days!
The Early Learning Centre is one of my firm favourites when it comes to toys for my little boy. In all honesty I can't say it's great for babies as their ranges tend to be much smaller for the under 6 months and to a degree the under 12 months. However once you get past that first year their entire collection becomes obtainable for your child in some stage. That said this particular review is about an item that is aimed at babies and children over 6 months-so although the younger range is small, there are still some gems to be found!
I purchased this Brilliant Start Sensory Ball Pit for my little boy when he was about four months old for Christmas. Although it does advise to be used by babies over 6 months, the instructions note that as long as a baby is watched while in the ball pit a three month old would also be able to enjoy the experience of being inside. Being honest I can't see any reason it wouldn't be safe for a baby of any age as their are no small parts andto be honest the younger they are the less likely they are to put things in their mouths anyway.
The ball pit itself came in a colourful box with the same picture as shown on the front. Inside was the folded up ball pit, four poles, a small selection of balls and beanbags and a detachable mirror. The assembly was really simple, you untwist the ball pit and it pops up in to position and then you insert the four poles in the evenly spaced out sections to ensure the top stands in line with the bottom. The detachable mirror comes with velcro on the back of it and a section where it can be attached on the inner side of the ball pit so your child can watch themselves play. Then all you need to do is pop the balls and bean bags in the pit and it's ready to go! It was my kind of toy-it literally took a minute to put it up!
The main reason I purchased this ball pit against others on the market was because of the fact it's aimed at stimulationg my sons senses-touch, sight, sound etc. The ball pit itself is made up of very brightly coloured sections with some sections featuring mesh like windows and four different holes to push balls in and out. The top is stripey black and white and the bottom is blue. I knew that in the early stages the colours would really stimulate my son-particularly the black and white as along with red these are the first colours a baby can see. The fact that their were different textures on the ball pit itself along with 4 different textured bean bags meant I knew he would be very curious to touch and feel every single thing. The beanbags themselves come with noises inside them too so when they are moved some rattle and along with the plastic balls boucing around the different sounds always keep my son interested.
Joshua is now 11 months old and playing in his balls pit is something he does A LOT! It features in our games on an hourly basis. Another reason I purchased this particular ball pit was because it was big enough so that as he got older he could still enjoy playing in it without him dwarfing the actual ball pit against his size! The ball pit itself is approximately 1 metre in diameter. I would say due to it's size my son can enjoy this for the next few years.
Josh loves to sit in the ball pit when it's full and throw all the balls out then collect them and get mummy to put them back and likewise he loves it when he's inside with some of his other toys to play with. Because it's easily bendable he crawls over the side (not very gracefully!) to get in and out and he often really drags the sides down to do this. But I have been really pleasantly suprised with how well it has withstood my sons weight constantly being pulled over the sides. It's managed to maintain it's shape, without bending or looking a bit scoo-whiff. So it gets top marks for durability!
The Sensory Ball Pit cost me £25 and in my opinion was a little steep for a ball pit. For that price I would have felt a little better if it had come with a fw more play balls. So far it comes with 8 balls and 4 bean bags so you deffinately need to purchase a big bag or two of plastic balls to go inside as 8 is far from enough. If the pit came with a free bag of plastic balls I would have been overjoyed at the cost as we have already had so much use out of this and I know we will do for years to come too.
Overall 4 out of 5 stars, I feel a bit mean not giving it the full 5 but the lack of accompanying balls against the price of £25 looses it that top spot in my mind. But I can not praise it enough, particularly if you have an active little boy (or girl) like mine!
If you want any more infomation of the ball pitt please visit www.elc.co.uk
My little girl loves going to those indoor play gyms where they have slides and climbing frames and ball pits to slide into. Well now you can bring that fun home with you with a ball pit from the Early Learning Centre. I probably should have invested in ELC shares this Christmas as it was my baby's first Christmas and just about every toy she received was from there but I know them to be good quality toys as well as good fun and educational so I knew this ball pit would be good.
The pit itself is not too big, it's probably about 3ft in diameter and has enough room in the middle for two babies to sit in but really thats all the size you need, any bigger and I don't think it would fit in most front rooms. The pit is made out of a thin canvas, much like tent material so it is easy and light to pick up and move. It is in the shape of a circle and has those bendable plastic rods to hold it up around the edges and make it into a circle. The edge around the top has a lip so it makes it that little bit harder for babies to climb out although my baby girl has figured out that if you lean on it the whole pit will tip up and you can crawl out that way. This does not injure her in any way as it's so light so I have no problem with the pit being able to do this.
There is also mesh on the side of the pit that is great for looking through. There are also holes cut out in the side of the pit which is great for posting the balls through so it makes it fun and exciting for the babies. They also find this really funny to do and I think it's a good development skill. My daughter also finds it very funny to just throw all of the balls out of the pit and make me retrieve them for her! There is also a detacheable mirror on the side of the pit which is held there with velcro. I'm not entirely sure why this is there as you cannot see it from inside the pit but I guess if you are playing out side the pit it is always funny to look and and babies always love mirrors.
ELC say that the pit is great for getting your baby moving, playing beanbag hide and seek, reaching, rolling and grasping, investigating textures and sounds, developing curiosity and confidence, creating a fun play space indoors or outside. It is great for stimulating the senses, working on hand to eye coordination and developing social skills. For me it's great to have something to pin her in, at least for a few minutes while I am taking a shower etc as it is fun to play with and will keep her imagination going for a little while. Now that she is crawling it's so hard to keep her in once place but this pit seems to do the trick nicely.
The pit comes with 20 playballs which are great but I have to say I don't think there are enough of them. It doesn't really fill the pit up so you could do with quite a lot more although I do believe ELC sell balls on their own so this is probable their way of making you spend more money in store. 20 balls is definitely enough though if you are always chasing after them trying to put them back in the ball pit after your baby has thrown them out so for some people this is probably enough! The balls are made of plastic but it is a thin plastic and they are quite squishy so this is probalby good as they will not hurt if they are thrown at you. There are 4 different colours, red, yellow, green and blue which I think is good as it's a great way of teaching colours, I always say to my little girl, find me the red ball or thrown the blue ball so there are endless fun teaching possibilities there.
The pit also comes with fun bean bags to throw and post through the holes. There are 4 bean bags, a rattling beanbag which is green and has a picture of tree on it, a squeaking bean bag which is red with an apple on it, a crinkly bean bag in the shape of a flower and a velour beanbag which is blue with a picture of a cat on it. ELC say that this is suitable for ages 12 months to 3 years and it costs £25.
They give you some fun suggestions for play too which are:
1. Roll like a ball - show your baby the textures and colours around the ball pit. Show your baby how to kick and toss the balls and how to enjoy rolling amongst them
2. Hide and seek - hunt for the beanbags amongst the colourful balls. Cheer when your baby picks one up. Show your baby how to throw the bags out of the pit for you to toss them back in.
I love this ball pit, I can see many hours of fun to come with it at a great price and a toy that will last a long time.