I am a great fan of getting my kids out into the fresh air (weather permitting!); I'd much rather see them getting some sun to their bodies than sitting playing computer games all day and night, something which an increasing number of parents seem to condone and something that I personally think is the height of irresponsible parenting. Therefore my garden is bursting at the seams with all manner of toys, but the one which has really captured the attention of my four year old is a relatively simple starter basketball set made by Swingball.
It's a clever little thing, when new it arrived in a sturdy plastic box and this box transforms into the base of the basketball hoop. This set is plastic through and through, the pole comes in three sections which can be easily adjusted to grow with your child and the beauty of it is that once they've finished playing the whole thing can be dismantled within minutes and will pack fairly easily back into the base for tidy storage. There is a knack to fitting everything back in, but I sussed this within the first couple of plays and now even Hollie can pack the basketball set away with limited help when she's finished playing - the only point I will make is that the ball needs to be deflated before it will go into the base, but to be honest I don't bother and just leave that with the rest of her balls in the garden.
To put the basketball set together is a piece of cake, there's a short instruction sheet included but it really is very self explanatory as all you need to do is push and twist the various components together. The thing that caused us (well, Mark) the most faffing was when we came to fit the rectangular piece of mesh behind the hoop as it needed an extraordinary amount of pulling and pushing to get it squarely in place without the infuriating thing warping. Eventually we did it, although our jubulation turned into a feeling of 'bleugh' when we realised it would need to be taken back off before everything went back into the box... Not to worry...
Hollie loves playing with her basketball set, it's often the first thing she runs to when the weather is good enough for her to play in the garden and throughout her play time she will keep popping back to it to shoot a few hoops. The hoop itself is designed to snap off the pole if pressure is put on it; this obviously means your kids will need to be careful to avoid breaking it, but more importantly than that this is a safety mechanism to prevent hanging accidents - something which may seem odd, but when you consider the enjoyment children take from throwing skipping ropes and the like around it does make a huge amount of sense. I'd much prefer a broken basketball hoop to a strangled child, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
The height of the pole adjusts up to around 160cm, which (although not huge) is adequate for the young children who are likely to use a set like this. As a guide, Hollie was just under three years old when she received her basketball set and we've gradually moved the height until it's almost at it's uppermost limit - Hollie is a dainty little thing but surprisingly good at scoring points in basketball, so although it's now slightly too high for her she's able to improve her new-found skills by learning how to shoot a higher basket. The minimum age recommendation is three years and above, but with adult supervision I don't see why younger children can't have a go - I know my sixteen month old son likes to be lifted up to drop the ball through the hoop and gets ridiculously excited when he gets clapped for doing it properly!
As well as being great fun, playing basketball helps small children to improve their hand-eye coordination and also helps with their overall fitness as all that throwing and running after the ball is fabulous exercise for little people. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, that's got to be better than those pudgy kids that spend all their time on the X-Box!
The My First Basketball Set is currently retailing at £19.99, I paid a little more than this a couple of years ago and think this is a bargain price for such a fun little game. The minor irritation with the mesh at the back isn't a problem really, it's been worth every penny in my opinion as the enjoyment Hollie has had out of it is priceless!
I came across this basketball set 2 years ago now in the Early learning centre when i was shopping with my sister, and we decided to take advantage of a buy 3 garden items for the price of two promotion to get one of these each for our little boys. At the time, mine was aged 2, and her little one was 3, and they had both showed a lot of interest in this set. We were pleased that we paid about £18 for it when you averaged the cost out.
On first picking this up, it did not look very much. It was all in a small case. This is the blue bit you can see at the bottom of the pole, and it is a storage case. This can be weighted with sand or water to make the pole stand upright, or you can use it to store all the bits in when the net is not in use.
There was a small bit of assembly required. The hardest bit was the net, but all the pieces basically slot together and it came with good instructions that even a mummy with 2 young helpers could follow. The ball that came with the set looks like a mini basketball, and came flat. The set included a pump and valve so the ball could be inflated, and the resultant ball was nice and soft, so perfect for young children to play with.
The pole itself is in 3 sections so that you can adjust this height to match the height of your children. For a long time we had this with just two of the poles and this was a great height for a young toddler. High enough to have a go at shooting, but also they were tall enough to put the ball in the hoop if they were not having much look. As my kids have grown, we now use the 3rd pole, and this makes the game more challenging. My boys are fairly tall. My eldest is 4 and a half but wears 5-6 year old clothes as he is such a beanpole. I think this maximum height will probably be ok for him this summer and next before he will be too tall.
My opinion of this set is it is a good introduction for young children to the game of basketball. It looks very like a full size basketball net, with the addition of the backboard, and it is sturdy enough to play with as long as it is weighted. We have used it inside the house when they were very little, but i find it is better in the garden. It is not overly easy to get the ball in hoop. I would prefer it myself if it were a little bigger to make it easier for my little ones to do.
It is a fun game that can be located wherever you want in the garden, and if you want it packed away it folds up again small. There is very little weight to the pieces, so there is no need to worry if the set topples onto a child, or they bump into the pole. It is good to encourage hand/eye co-ordination, and kids always love being out and playing with a ball. A lovely set. Especially worth getting if you see it on offer.
I bought the mookie first basket ball set last summer, I was looking for some out door toys for my daughter, we already bought her a swimming pool so I decided to buy her the basket ball set. I also wanted something that would be portable so we could take it on our camping holiday to keep the kids amused.
I always look about to find the best price as I do like a bargain like most people, at the time I managed to buy it from toys r us on sale for £20.00, argos and other websites were also selling it. It is still available to buy now in shops.
It came in a card board box, with a picture on the front. Inside the box were easy to follow instructions and the basket ball set. The basket ball stand is blue and yellow in colour, unfortunately it was not available in pink as its my daughters favourite colour.
The set comes with a plastic storage box which you use as the base, I filled the base with sand from my daughters sandbox, can also fill it with water or stones just to weigh it down so it does not tip over when kids are playing with it. It had four poles that you join to gether and joins to the base, you can adjust the pole hight by using less poles depending on your child's height. The basket ball kit also includes the hoop ring with the net attached and a back board with netting. It took me 10 mins to build the first time but now I can build it in 5 mins. It is also easy to dismantle and the base stores everything, Its easy to store away as its compact and small, I popped it in my shed but will be using it again this summer.
It was well worth the money I paid for it, my daughter had hours of fun with it and had many of her friends around during the summer to play with it and family too, the only problem I had was having to go into my neighbours garden to retrieve the ball when the kids missed their target! By the end of the summer my daughters ball skills had improved, it was great exercise for her and she did not get bored of it. My daughter was 5 at the time and will still get some use of it this summer. I would recommend it for kids aged 3-6 years. Its a out door toy that will last years and years, I also bought the mookie swingball set as I was so impressed with the mookie range.
My sister had this for Xmas and it's only about now that she's started playing with it, we had a basketball hoop on the back gate but every time she grew a bit my dad had to keep unscrewing it and moving it up. I didn't know there was any such thing as a kids basketball set but this one from Mookie is brill.
It all comes folded up in a plastic box and the box you use to put pole in and so it doubles up as the base of the basketball set. You're supposed to undo it and put it all back in the box every time you use it but we've kept ours in the back garden since Xmas and its fine even though it's been covered in snow and everything! I reckon it would be a pain in the backside to keep undoing the thing anyway and putting it back together again doesn't exactly take 2 mins!
It's supposed to be for kids aged 3 upwards but my sister was only 2 1/2 at Xmas and at the lowest setting the basketball hoop was fine for her. It is adjustable and to move it up is dead easy, you just slide the pole up and lock it in place with the twisty cap. It goes up to about 165cm and that's just over a metre and a half, like I said ours is on the lowest setting and that's already about a metre so it's not going to go up all that much more.
We filled the base with sand to make it nice and stable and it doesn't move at all now, the pole looks a bit flimsy when the ball hits the hoop but it's solid and just wobbles around a bit. The hoop is quite oversized for the size of the ball that comes with the set, it's not MASSIVE but there's loads of room for a little kid to get the ball in without keeping on missing. The mesh back plate is also good because as long as you throw the ball to hit the printed square it will usually go through the hoop and they've scored a goal...... or whatever you call it in basketball!
I deffo recommend this, it's quite expensive and costs about £25.00 but is worth it because my sister has had HOURS of fun with it and it will last her for ages yet. Another good thing is that it's stable whatever surface you use it on, obviously it's got to be fairly flat but it's fine even on our quite bumpy grass.
I am a big fan of swing ball, not only because it is a fun, sturdy good quality toy but also of the fond memories of my childhood, when it seemed the aim of the game was to hit each other around the face with the ball rather than at each others rackets.
We already have the original swingball and a variety set that the kids love and play with all the time, so when I saw this first basketball set on offer at a local toy shop, I just couldn't resist.
What is it ? Well basically it is a basketball hoop and stand, that comes with a back net, basketball and a pump. The best part about it is that it all packs away neatly in a little carry box.
Assembley - The basketball hoop can be put together pretty quickly.
1) The carry box is used as a base, you need to weigh it down otherwise it moves all over the place. You can fill it with water, or put something heavy inside such as sand, we just put some bricks in it.
2) There are four short tubes, these simply fix together using the connectors provided. This makes the pole in which the basketball hoop fits at the top. A brilliant feature of this product is that, you can adjust it to suit your childs height, so if you want it lower you can just use less poles.
3)The net hoop fits onto the pole with a small bracket that just clicks on.
4) To make the back net, you need to thread some small poles through the sides of the net and then add the corner poles to make the rectangle shape.
5) Pump up the ball with the little pump, this only takes a few minutes.
6) You are ready to play.
The set comes with full easy to read instructions. It is fairly easy to put together, although on my first attempt I did struggle a little bit with fixing the back net together. I think this was down to me being a bit dopey, rather than a problem with the product or instructions. I think it would be too hard for children to assemble themselves.
When you are finished - You just disconnect all the poles and they fit back into the base. It is a lot easier to dissemble than assemble.
Playing with it - My five year old son absolutly loves it, he plays with it for ages. At the moment it is definatly one of his favourite toys. My ten year old daughter is a bit too old for it, it is not challenging for her and she gets bored with it.
The box says five plus - I would say that children younger than five would get a lot of enjoyment from it, my three and four year old nephews love it. I would say the oldest age would be about eight.
We make up little games and competitions, where you get points for getting the ball in from different distances and bonus points if you get it in with your eyes closed.
My favourite part of this toy is that it is portable, we spend a lot of time at my in laws caravan and to be able to pop it in the car and take it with us is brilliant. We also take it to the park when we have picnics and is a great toy to take to the beach with us.
It would be great to take to relatives or friends houses, especially those without kids and a supply of toys.
The swingball basketball set costs approx £30, I bought mine on offer for £20 and I have seen it on amazon for £27 so it is worth shopping around.
It is a good sturdy toy that will see my little boy trough a few summers at least. I would highly recommend it.
My 2 year old son recieved this as a presant and in all honesty i thought this would not really be suitable or even likeable. I must say though he absolutly loves it. My nieces and nephews love it and they range from 2 to 9 years of age. Everything that you see packs away into the box that acts as a base for the stand. It's quick and easy to assemble with easy to follow instructions. It includes a pump and pin to inflate the ball, which i may add is made from the material that normal basket balls are and not the awful blow up varity that doesnt allow for real play as its too light. The height of the basket is a good size for younger children, with the game being very easy to grasp. The biggest downside to this would be the poles that the basket is situated on. With it being lightweight tubing coupled with the fact that you have three tubes stuck on one another this gives the basket a slight sway when the ball is dropped through the hoopeven when the base is filled with water or sand which its recommended you do, but it has yet to fall down from this... Apart from that there isn't really much bad to be said about the product. It's heaps of fun for my son teaching him not only how to throw a ball but aim and co-ordination and how to play as part of teams or one-on-one. The product is lightweight, highly portable and quick and simple to put togther and take apart. Lots of summer garden fun, in the home, in the garden and on the beach.
First Basketball. Who can play? Swingball First Basketball has been designed to introduce the youngest players to this exciting sport. A lightweight, mini basketball, fabric mesh backboard and height adjustable poles mean that children as young as 3 years start to develop their hoop-shooting skills.