Product Type: Mookie Toys Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... 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 s... more
A Michael Jordan in the making!
Mookie Swingball First Basketball Set
Member Name: chrisandmark
Mookie Swingball First Basketball Set
Advantages: Fun for small children, easy to put together and dismantle (mostly)
Disadvantages: The mesh section is very fiddly to begin with
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!
Summary: A fun way to introduce exercise to your little ones