“ Brand: ELC / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
Both my husband and myself are big footie fans and are hoping that our girls will grow to love the game as much as we do. To start their interest in the game we looked around for a football for them, this Early Learning Centre foam ball caught my eye and we have a pink one. It is also available in yellow and blue.
This ball is standard football size and I was worried at first that it might be a bit big for my 2 year olds who are both on the dainty side. My concerns quickly disappeared when they started playing with it, the ball is made of foam and so doesn't hurt if it accidentally hits the girls.
So far our playing with this ball has been limited to some very close throwing and catching and some kicking. One of my girls loves playing catch and we've spent lots of time developing her skills in this area. My other daughter prefers to just kick it around or throw it in a bush where it's hard to reach.
We've had our paddling pool out a lot this summer and this ball has been thrown in, it dries out much quicker than I expected which I was pleased with.
How's it lasting?
Considering it is made of foam it is still in really good condition at the end of a summer which has seen lots of outdoor play. The pentagon markings have worn off in places but there is no damage to the foam, I had been expecting it to have lost chunks by now so I'm impressed that it will be still be good for next summer. The recommended age is 3+ but I have always supervised my 2 year olds with this and they have never attempted to bite the foam.
Price and availability
I paid £4 for my football back in the spring sale, full price being £5. I'm pleased with the quality of this football and think this was a fair price to pay.
Would I recommend?
Yes, this is a great first football for toddlers. It allows you to teach them throwing, catching and kicking skills which helps develop their co-ordination.
The Mrs bought one of these foam balls for our little girl to play with. We did have some plastic ones which are great to play with but we wanted to get something which was lighter so that it's more delicate and this is a great ball.
The ball is made from foam so it's very light. This has quite a few positives to it. It means that when we have taught our little girl to catch this ball is much slower when you throw it through the air, it also meas that it is easier for her to then throw it back too as it's not too heavy. The softness of it is great because when she catches it it is soft against her unlike the plastic balls which are harder and more firm so have been known to hurt her a little bit. This ball is also nice and quiet, none of this being bounced around all over the place making that annoying bouncing noise!
This is a large ball, about 20cm and this is a good size to have to help teach children to catch. Over the last few months our little girl has become much better at her catching and I am sure it's because of this ball. She is able to get a good grip on it because it's big and so she can focus on it well and it only goes through the air slowly compared to a smaller ball so she has more time to get into position to catch it.
We have also used this ball to kick around and it's proven to be great fun, she has had many laughs with her brother running around the garden with this.
The negative of it really is that it isn't at all waterproof so we always make sure we bring it inside after use and it has got a little grubby over time as you just can't wipe it clean like you can a plastic ball.
I think this is a great ball and our daughter loves it because it's pink and I'm sure we'll be getting the blue one for our little boy very soon too so they can have one each
I do like to have a bit kick about in the garden or anywhere outside for that matter. Although this is a pink ball it's alright for me to kick about when playing with the kids and just an ok ball.
The benefit of this being a Foam ball is that it is a bit softer but still tough enough to be ok when getting kicked about. If you were using this inside then at least it won't be as noisy as a plastic ball, but for me ball games are about playing outside in the nicer weather. Then again staying in Scotland the weather isn't exactly good at most times.
The difference I find between this one and a plastic one is that it just doesn't bounce all that much and after a bounce and a half then this is down on the ground. Still ok though I think.
It is a nice enough pink colour and looks like how it does in this picture. A bit girly pink for me i'm afraid but you can get this ball in blue as well.
Being Foam this is easy enough for smaller children to pick up and carry about. It is still a large enough ball but if they are gripping onto this and holding it into themselves then it will squash up a bit so easier to carry.
I think I paid around £4 for this. I see that it says this costs £5 but I don't think I paid quite that much for this.
A good ball which gives a good kickaround.
My Little girl ended up with two of these balls after ger birthady party which is not necessarily a bad thing as provided you are careful this ball can be used indoors however it is primarily for outdoor use so with two in her possession we can allocate one to indoor use and gentle play as it were and one for outside play when she can kick or throw it as hard as she likes. The ball does have a certain amount of density to indoor use is restrictedto rolling and close up catch. Checking the website it is priced at a fiver.
She loved the colour and it is certainly aimed at young girls, being made of foam it is a great ball for kids to start to learn catching skills as it will not hurt if they miss it completely and get a face full of ball. It is a blend of light and dark pinks which merge together nicely as the pattern rolls across the floor. I think it is recommended for 3+ however my two year old copes well with it and is able to dig her hands into the ball to get a decent grip on it.
My daughter is happy playing with this on her own but it is far more enjoyable when she has someone to play with and for some reason she does like to lie across it and roll off, not very elegant but she giggles a lot when she does this and while the ball squashes a fair bit it soon retains its original shape.
It is reasonably robust for a foam ball however you do have to watch out for any fraying and foam comming away as little fingers will soon pick at it and foam can end up in mouths, this is primarily why there is a 3+ age recommendation I guess. It can be soaked in water to give it a clean and it dries out without any loss of bounce however given the colour the outdoor one certainly does look a bit grubby and has lost some of its perky pinkness.
The ball is nice and bouncy and being foam it does not hurt as much as a plastic ball, for little girls it is a good purchase and a fun simple toy.
Last year when our niece was getting to the age of enjoying days out to the park and the beach, we decided to buy a few little toys which we could take with us when we went out for the day. Now my niece is a little bit of a tomboy and although she loves some girly toys she is also just as happy playing with a ball, be it just throwing it around or kicking it across the grass. We therefore opted for the Early Learning Centre pink foam ball, pink being a bit stereotypical but the foam being handy as it was light enough to carry and gentle enough on her hands for her to catch.
The ball itself is very girly in colour and print being a light pink colour with a scattering of darker pink pentagons around the ball. Although being made of foam I have to admit that the foam feels quite dense in consistency meaning that this ball was not too lightweight as is often the case with cheaper foam balls. The foam texture of the ball means that it is relatively easy to hold which is handy for my niece's small hands as the ball is about the same size as an average football.
The Early Learning Centre advise that this ball is not suitable for children under 36 months old and I guess this would be because it is possible for them to pick off small pieces of foam which could be a choking hazard.
==Price and Availability==
We bought our football during a visit to the Early Learning Centre and paid around £5 for it last year. Having done a little big of digging around, the ball is currently stocked for £5 at the Early Learning Centre and for around the £5 - £6 region at online retailer Amazon. The price of this ball means that it is quite good value in my opinion even if it only lasts for a years worth of play.
We enjoy playing with this football as although it can be an awkward shape to carry, the weight of the ball means that it is light enough to pack in a carrier bag or rucksack and take with us down to the park or beach. Our niece loves playing with this ball in a manner of ways. One such way is for us to simply play a game of throw and catch with her. This began as a case of just rolling the ball to her when she was younger but has now progressed to her throwing the ball as far as she can and us trying to catch it. We also enjoy kicking the ball around and despite it being foam do not have the problem of it being too lightweight or blowing away as the foam is (as previously mentioned) quite dense.
Being foam, when we get the odd case of the ball rolling into the sea the ball does soak up the water. However; this is easily overcome by simply allowing the ball to dry out in the sun. Another problem that we have had is that the ball does gather quite a bit of dirt if played outside and ours is now beginning to look decidedly grey rather than pink. I guess this would be a problem if you wanted to use the ball both inside and out but as ours is just saved for outdoor play we continue to use it.
The beauty of this ball, in my opinion is that it has introduced our niece to ball games without the need for heavy and harder surfaced footballs. This ball performs in much the same way as a football and does have a small amount of bounce in it when it is dropped. It is also light enough that when it accidentally hits you the ball is soft enough not to hurt.
This has given us a good few hours of amusement and although it is now looking a tad shabby I expect it will provide us with many more when the British summer finally arrives. I would recommend this toy and would hence score it four stars out of five.
Thanks for reading! x
I tend to buy a lot of outdoor toys from ELC, particularly when they have special offers or promotions on.
I have just brought this ball for £6 from Amazon (Amazon sell quite a lot of ELC products for the same price, they normally have the same promotion yet delivery tends to be free regardless of the amount you spend).
The ball is recommended from the ages of 3 upwards which I think is about right, although Lauren has not picked at the ball, a few pieces of foam have come off.
The ball in available in either blue of pink, I chose the pink version (as I tend to do with anything I buy my daughter!).
We keep our ball at the caravan and take it on the beach with us. It is a nice size and because it is made of foam, it is very light meaning it is easy to carry and play with, it also doesn't hurt Laurens toes if she kicks it (like some harder balls can do).
I really like this ball, we have had inflatable beach balls in the past and the slightest bit of wind and we end up chasing down the beach, although this isn't heavy, it doesn't tend to blow away as much. The only downside was that once it gets wet, it becomes very heavy and takes ages to dry out fully. We ended up getting it in the sea by accident and it took a good couple of days to dry out.
I would recommend this and five 4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading.
Review may be on other sites under the same user name.
We're quite a sporty family and I think it's really important for kids to be active and have some play time outside every day if they can.
My little girl is quite dainty and girly but she does like football, probably since she's been made to watch it since she was born and one of her favourite things to do is kick a ball around with us. We have a little plastic ball that we usually play with in the kitchen whilst I am getting the dinner ready as it keeps her entertained but for outside play this Early Learning Centre foam football is great. It's too big to play with in the house so it's most definitely an outside ball.
The best thing about this ball to begin with though is its pink so very eye catching and girly although my husband doesn't mind playing with it. It looks like a proper soccer ball in that it has the pentagon shapes on it although these are dark pink instead of black and the rest of the ball is a light pink colour compared to the usual white of footballs. I think it's just about proper football size although it might be a little bit smaller, I'm not too sure what regulation football size is although this is big enough to be perfect for a kick around.
The ball is made out of quite a tough foam so it's fairly soft to kick and catch and perfect for small children who are too little to play with a proper football. This ball will not really hurt a little one if it is kicked at them accidentally although it is strong enough to cause a bit of damage if you play with it inside. The ball is easy to catch as it does have a bit of give in it and will squish a bit when you catch it which is nice.
Even though it's made of foam it's still quite a tough ball and I like the way it's stood up to play so far. We've had it for a few months now and it's still fairly clean as you can wipe it with a damp cloth to get rid of any mud and dirt etc. it also doesn't have any holes or rips in the foam yet so I'm pleased with its performance.
For just £5 from The Early Learning Centre this has been a very enjoyable toy for our family.
For easter we don't like to buy our girls chocolate as they get so much from everyone else and so we buy them a little present each instead, my eldest daughter loves playing with balls in the garden and her younger sister had started to take an interest finding her kicking a ball very funny so we decided to buy her a foam one so she wouldn't hurt herself with it and it would be safe for use in the house.
We bought the ball from the Early Learning Centre where you can buy it in pink or blue, the ball cost us £5 and it is advised for children aged 3 years and upover however our youngest isn't even 2 yet and she enjoys playing with it.
The ball is made of foam as the name would suggest and although it does compress down like you would think foam would it is pretty tough foam, the ball is pale pink in colour and then has darker pink pentagon shapes on it. My eldest daughter was pleased with the ball as she loves pink and when we first gave my younger daughter it she did try and eat it.
My girls play well together with the ball and there have been no injuries from play which is great, my elder daughter will roll it for her sister to chase which they both find very funny and my youngest tries to throw the ball although at the moment it doesn't get very far as she near enough drops it rather than actually throwing it.
The ball has got a little grubby as my eldest decided to take it out in the garden not realising that it was only for playing with in the house so I wouldn't advise the ball is used for outdoor play or it won't stay pink for long. We only let the girls play with the ball whilst they are supervised as a young child could quite easily bite a chunk out of it and choke however apart from the initial attempt to bite the ball my youngest hasn't bothered since so I find this ball is perfect for her to play with under supervision.
I think the ball is a good toy and it is teaching my little girl things like rolling and kicking although an older child may be strong enough to cause damage in the house with it as the ball is pretty tough but with my little girls being so young it is a good indoor toy. The ball has the initial bite mark in it and is a little grubby but it is in perfect working order and for £5 I am pleased with my purchase.
When we moved into this house the thing I loved most about it were the hard floors throughout; a mixture of laminate, hard wood floors and tiles makes cleaning up after a large family a doddle, and they're easy enough to pretty up with rugs.
The problem is they're LOUD. You can hear every bang, tap and step from everywhere in the house - during the particularly nasty winter and spring of 2011 the racket of Hollie playing with her Pooh Bear ball was just about driving me to insanity. We solved the problem with a couple of foam footballs, although these were fairly cheap so became damaged - the theory was a good one though and the 'thudding' was much reduced, so when I saw these pretty pink foam footballs in ELC I decided to buy her one as I assumed the higher price meant it would be of better quality.
That actually is right, the ball is made of an extremely dense foam which makes for a soft but pretty solid texture. I suspect it would be more likely to break a window than the cheaper balls that we had previously, but this wasn't the reason we started using foam balls anyway so that's not an issue for me - they're practically silent in comparison to the plastic balls the kids play with outside and for me that's the main thing.
The ball doesn't act exactly how a 'normal' kids play ball would, but it has a bloody good go! It'll bounce to a reasonable height and has a good weight for throwing and catching games, this is more important than it sounds too as previous foam balls have proved to be a little too lightweight for Hollie to throw with any degree of accuracy. The tightly packed foam means it's comfortable to hold and adds an extra 'grippiness' for little hands, this isn't as pronounced as with the cheaper balls as this is far more dense so there's not as much give on the surface of the ball for fingers to grip.
My only irritation, and this is in no way ELCs fault, is that younger children than the recommended age of three years can bite chunks of foam out of the ball. Of course, a lot of homes that have a three year old will also have a baby in the house - I know I have, so need to be extra vigilant when sixteen month old David is wandering around near Hollie's toys. He did get hold of this ball once and although I was watching still managed to sink his teeth through the foam before I stopped him - well, to be completely honest it wasn't this exact ball but an identical blue one from ELC. I've been in a friends house when her similarly aged son actually bit a small piece from one of these balls (again, the blue version) and it was quite frightening the speed at which it happened, and also the fact that it could easily have choked the little lad. It can't be helped when you have ANYTHING made of foam and ELC make the age recommendation very clear, so the onus really is on the parent to keep a close watch on their children.
I'm more than happy with this pink foam ball, although I find it strange to be labelled as an 'outdoor toy' as I can imagine it becoming horribly filthy within five minutes of being played with outside. Part of this is obviously down to the pale colour of the ball, but foam plus mud (even dry mud!) is never a good combination! I paid £5 for this ball, which I admit is a bit more than I'd pay for a plastic football-type ball but it's worth it for the (relative) peace when Hollie is playing ball in the hallway.
As a result of a horrible scare I experienced while using the blue version of this ball this pink version ended up in the very same place as the other. THE BIN!
This is an incredibly soft ball that leads the owner in to a false sense of security that their child will be safe while playing with it. The metrical used is a super soft foam that ensures gentle play while the children kick and toss it to each other. That is one of the reason I bought these balls in the first place. I have had too many occasions where a child has ended up in tears after being hit in the face with a ball they where playing with. Also this ball will not burst like a normal inflatable ball would so that also made this more appealing because of the countless numbers of standard footballs that have come and gone over the previous summer months.
Also the fact that this ball wouldn't cause too much damage if used indoors was something that worked in it's favour. But soon enough I realised that this ball and it's blue friend were not as innocent as they first appeared.
The foam on these balls is easily picked at by little fingers and comes off in small clumps. This material can end up in the mouths of the child or pets. I had the horrific experience of discovering some of this very foam in my four year old sisters mouth ( The full story is in the review for the blue version of this ball ),
This reason alone is why I would NEVER recommend this type of ball to be played with unsupervised and especially not by very young children that will put everything into their mouths. This ball is said to be suitable for ages 3 and up but after my terrifying experience I would never allow a child that young to play with this ball.
Another couple of reasons I find this make to be disappointing is that they are very light indeed and will catch the slightest breeze and blow out of the garden or even worse onto the street if your children are playing outside. I know every ball can end up in the neighbours yard or on the road but they normally get kicked out there not blown. This ball also Iike the blue one is absorbent (I know it's made of sponge) I didn't expect it to be SO absorbent. And if the outer seal is broken by being picked at the water gets in even more.
This ball is a fantastic alternative to harder balls that smash windows and hurt children during play but the fact that the material can be swallowed makes this a very dangerous toy indeed. To look at it you would never think it could hurt your child but this very make only in a different colour nearly resulted in an unthinkable situation. Both this hall and the blue version had been played with for months and months before any thing bad happened but once it did we couldn't keep these in our house any longer.
Just as with the blue version I can not give this ball any more than one star and if I could Mark it lower I would.
Please supervise your child while playing with this kind of ball.
This soft foam football is ideal for a gentle kick about / Age range: From 3 years.