In our time we must have had at least one bag of every major brand of play ball. The latest to join the collection were these from Tesco, costing around the £5 mark for 100 lightweight, plastic balls. Held in a rather flimsy, zip-up, mesh bag, these balls are designed to be used in conjunction with a ball pit, but we use them in a cheap blow up paddling pool. A single bag of these balls isn't going to cut the mustard with any ball pit, you'll need at least two and possibly three bags to fill even a small ball pit.
The balls themselves are smaller than many on the market, not my much but enough to be noticeable when they are together in a ball-pit But it's a case of swings and roundabouts, they may be smaller but they are also made of much thicker plastic and considerably more durable. Yes they will squash, but it takes a lot more effort than, say, the balls from Asda. It's easy enough to rectify smaller dents but there's no coming back from stood on, flat as a pancake, so expect to lose a few regularly.
There appears to be two colour schemes, a pink based for those that like that sort of thing and bright, primary colours for the rest of us. I haven't counted them (nor do I intend to) but there is a good mix of red, blue, yellow and green. As with other brands, the zip up bag is a nice touch, it's great to be able to store the balls when not in use. But the zip is a little flimsy and the mesh a little thin, so it doesn't last too long.
As well as being fun in a ball pit, whether made for purpose or from a re-purposed paddling pool (I paid £1 in the Pound shop), these balls are great fun in the paddling pool where they float on the water's surface. Just be careful of the wind, they are very light so could be blown in to neighbouring gardens.
For my sons first Christmas, I never went mad buying him gifts as he was only 6 months old so I kept it simple. Roughly around 6 toys were bought for him and I was glad I didn't go all out because he spent most of the time being more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper! When it was his first birthday I decided to push the boat alittle further because as you can imagine, a lot of changes occurred within those 6 months e.g he was walking now, spoke a lot more, eye and hand co ordination was much better etc, and I wanted to get him a variety of different things. I purchased this item from Tesco.com over 3 years ago. The exact price I don't recall, but currently you can buy 100 for £4.99 or 300 for £14.00. I purchased 300 balls.
Why did I buy it?
I saw online a blow up shaped rocket that could be used as a ball pit or small paddling pool, and I thought this would be the perfect partner to this item.
What do you get?
Firstly, the balls that I purchased were blue, yellow, red and green. All balls made of some form of plastic and are 2.5 in diameter. These balls are housed in a blue net, which when all are placed in it, is more or less a square shape. To place the balls in it or to take them out, there is a zip running around the top ( nearly two thirds the way round ) and when opened forms a ' lid ' and provides easy access.
What do we do with them?
Honestly? These never made it into the blow up rocket! It was one of those things that I bought and had all the best intentions, but never really got used. What did happen though is my son basically took them all out and threw them around the house, which he loved, but I found at times a touch annoying. I had no problems with him playing with them but when it was time to tidy up and after putting them all away, he would take them out all over again and I this got repeated over and over again....
Currently, the majority of the balls are stuck in a cupboard, and some rouge balls are floating around the house as the kids are always throwing them at each other, playing with them in the bath and all kind of weird and wonderful uses they get up to with them.
What I would say is with child number 2, I am older and wiser. My daughter has experienced a lot more in regards to a variety of different extra circular activities e.g buckets loads of stay and plays, numerous soft play areas, fairs, museums, parties etc. She does love ball pits ( I discovered when taking my son to Stay and Play he didn't! ), but personally I like to keep these things out of the house or garden and visit somewhere where she can run riot with them, and we don't have to tidy up.
What do we think?
They are a good quality. None of them have caved in and are still quite strong and rigid. The balls themselves are the right thickness and definitely not cheap in look and feel. The size is just right for small or slightly bigger hands to hold and the colours are unisex, bright and eye catching. The colours are still very true to when they were first purchased and haven't faded. Ive also found these very easy to clean. My daughter the other day decided to decorate some of these in yoghurt, shes also put them in the toilet. Besides the toilet situation, if they get dirty they can just be wiped with a damp cloth, or if a touch dusty to wipe with a dry cloth.
Negatives? When they're not in use they can take up quite abit of space whether you store them inside or out. You obviously cant store them away flat, so they are quite chunky and in my cupboard are taking up valuable storage space.
Would I buy these again? If it was down to the quality of them then I would say yes, but for this home I would say no, as I don't feel we have the inside or outside space to really enjoy them. I personally would prefer to see these in a play area not in or outside my home.
Only buy if your going to use the! Still a great product though.
When my girls were about 8 months I thought that filling our small paddling pool with balls would be fun for them, it was the time of year when Tesco had all their outdoor toys in and so I thought I'd have a look at what they had on offer. We already had one pack of brightly coloured balls that we had been given but the 2 different pinks and pale blue option caught my eye as being more girly.
The balls come in a storage net and each pack contains 100 balls. The net is zipped around the top making it easy to tip them all out and put them all away again. The net has a carry handle which we also use to hang them up by in our garage when they aren't in use.
2 of these packs filled our small 3 ring paddling pool enough for our then baby girls to play around in, they weren't moving much at this age but really enjoyed just touching and pushing the balls about.
As they got older they started to enjoy playing with balls more, throwing them in and out of the paddling pool with or without water. The balls are small and very light and so are safe for little ones to play with although the recommended age is 2 years. They like to take them and hide them in places but we've always managed to find them all.
One of my daughters loves playing catch and one of these balls is ideal to start learning how to throw and catch to another person.
These balls aren't as strong as the Early Learning Centre ones that we were given but when they dent it's easy enough to reshape them. None have cracked or become damaged to the extent that they need to be thrown out and they've had a fair amount of use over the last couple of years.
Price and availability
A Tesco own product they are available in some stores and at Tesco Direct. They cost £4.99 for 100 which I think is really good value. The downside to buying at Tesco online is that you can not choose between the brightly coloured and the pink balls, Tesco often do this with products and I find it really annoying!
Would I recommend?
Yes, all babies and toddlers that I've come across seem to enjoy playing with these balls and they feature at the majority of soft play places.
When my daughter was younger and we visited play centres, she seems to be drawn to the ball pools so we invested in a cheap paddling pool at home and filled it with balls.
What first attracted me to the balls was the colours, around 80 of the balls are pink and around 20 baby blue, the pink ones come in three different shades of pink and the whole product has a really girly theme to it. The balls come in a mesh bag which easily holds all the balls and is a good feature of the product as at the end of the day, I can pack them all away easily. The bag has quite a large handle to the top making transporting the bag really easy. The mesh bag is a pale shade of pink and has a zip to the top.
I think we paid a few pounds for the bag, however this was towards the end of the season and Tesco were selling a lot of their outdoor products off quite cheaply. The balls are available both online and in store, but because they are seasonal, I think they are only available in store during the summer months. The actual RRP is around £4.99 which I think is quite good value.
The balls actually float which I like, although we don't have as many as we used to, we still use a few of them in the bath and more recently, we have been playing in Lauren's big paddling pool with them (I genuinely have no idea where they have all gone to as we had these and a few bags from ELC). I do find the balls quite versatile as we have used them in many different ways, such as playing football, learning to count and also catch - As the balls are really lightweight, I felt more confident and happy throwing them to Lauren as I knew they wouldn't hurt her if they caught her on the arm or leg.
The only real downside for me is that the plastic is a little on the thin side and I do find that these do dent quite easily which is a bit of shame really, having said that, because they are hollow, if I give them a couple of squeezes, they do seem to go back to their original shape.
I would recommend this product, we have had hours and despite the balls being 4 years old, they are still in excellent condition. For me, I would give 5 out of 5 stars!
Thanks for reading.
WHAT IS IT?
A mesh bag containing 100 soft plastic playballs. There are two sets, the pink one above and a set of the usual primary colour mix. These balls are for use in enclosed ball pit.
WHY BUY THESE?
They're cheaper than the identical Early Learning Centre balls and more easily available to me as I don't have an ELC nearby.
The pink set is unevenly split, with at least 2/3rds of the balls being the dark pink and the rest a mixture of baby pink and baby blue balls. I believe the ELC set contains a few silver balls but I don't miss those, my daughter loves the selection and refuses to mix them up with the other more standard set. There are more red balls than blue or yellow but this is usually the case and again isn't a problem for us.
ARE THEY ANY GOOD?
Yes! They don't bend or collapse under the weight of the children. They are made of very thin plastic but it's tough so the balls will bounce when thrown. One pack of 100 doesn't fill my average size ballpit so I have to persuade my daughter to mix the sets and then she has a deep layer to jump into. When the children have finished playing the balls fit nicely into the bag for storage, there's no struggling with the zip as the balls fit so perfectly that it's a smooth action to do the bag up when the last one goes in.
5 Dooyoo Stars.