For a rather unassuming toy, ball toys can be very versatile. Playing with balls can be beneficial in improving your child’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and timing; all-important to remember when choosing the best balls for toddlers and babies. Your little one can enjoy the many benefits and skills that playing with balls can bring at any age.
You can play with your baby using ball toys very early on. It can help them strengthen their muscles and help your babies familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Ball play can even help your little one learn basic social skills. Throughout this article, we will cover some of the best balls for babies and the benefits of playing with a ball for your little one.
In a rush? Here are our top picks!
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Table of Contents
- 1 Choosing a Top Ball Toy For toddlers
- 2 Best Balls for Babies and Toddlers
- 2.1 Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
- 2.2 Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls
- 2.3 Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball
- 2.4 Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set
- 2.5 Playz 200 Soft Plastic Mini Play Balls
- 2.6 HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball
- 2.7 Baby Einstein Roller-pillar Activity Balls Toy
- 2.8 VTech Bright Lights Soccer Ball
- 2.9 Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Cutie Pie Butterfly Kickball
- 2.10 VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball
- 3 How does playing with balls help Toddlers
Choosing a Top Ball Toy For toddlers
That’s the great thing about ball-type toys. They come in different sizes, weights, and designs for balls, so you can start playing with your little one from only a few months old. However, choosing the right ball is necessary for your little one to ensure safe play.
The important things to keep in mind when buying a ball for your little one under 3 years is the weight; make sure it’s light enough for them to pick up; the size to make it easier for them to handle; and finally, that there are no choking hazards or sharp edges. Soft plush balls are best for kids under 3 years old, making them easier to hold. Balls that make a noise are also suggested as it teaches your little one to learn about cause and effect. Even a ball pit would be fun for your baby with different vibrant colors, and they would have endless fun.
When your child is above 3 years of age, their motor skills are more developed, and ball play is more straightforward. You can use various sizes as this will help them fine-tune their motor skills, though lightweight balls are still recommended as the younger ones will find it less frustrating.
As they age, you’ll find that your little one would want to start using bats and other light sports equipment; here again, softer balls are recommended to avoid your little one hurting themselves and others and protecting your windows!
Best Balls for Babies and Toddlers
Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
This baby ball toy is excellent for babies aged 6 months and up. The different vibrant colors of this ball draw your babies’ attention to it and hold their attention.
The various chunky bumps not only offer different textures for your baby to familiarize themselves with, but it also offers an easy grip during playtime. As all babies do, they enjoy putting everything and anything into their mouths; these chunky bumps allow the baby to gum on the fabric without you worrying about a choking hazard.
The small beads create a gentle rattle. This helps introduce your baby to cause and effect,’ i.e., when they shake the ball, and it makes a fun sound.
Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls
The Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls are soft, brightly colored balls designed for babies 6 months and up. Although the bumps covering the ball look sharp and pointed, they are actually soft and made to help your baby with their tactile development and grip the ball during playtime.
The Sensory balls add some extra fun because they are made from plastic, so they can bounce! The bouncing helps your baby develop hand-eye coordination. It’s also BPA and phthalate-free, meaning that these balls are safe for your baby to gum on when the inevitable teething begins. Your baby would undoubtedly find the many nubs soothing on their aching gums.
Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball
This ball focuses more on sound, visual, and sensory development than motor skills. Because of how it’s made, this toy is ideal for toddlers younger than 3 years.
The handles are flexible and have different textures, making them easy to hold and helping your baby with their tactile development. The moving parts and squeaker button on the top are designed to grab your baby’s interest.
The round beads create a sound when the ball is shaken. The mirror creates interest as the baby starts to recognize faces; they will soon recognize themselves.
Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set
This ball set is ideal for babies 6 months up to 2 years old. This ball set offers a unique variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. This variety helps your baby with sensory development while creating an endlessly enjoyable playtime for your little one.
The different balls are lightweight, making it easy for your baby to throw, toss, roll, and bounce. In addition, the different shapes promote tactile development and are suited for various activities; for example, the round ball is easy to roll, whereas the ball with bumps is easier to toss and catch.
The plastic these balls are made from is BPA-free, making them safe for your baby to gum and chew when their inevitable teething stage starts.
However, since some of the balls have holes, saliva from your infant’s chewing might sip into the ball, so you need to clean the ball often to prevent mold from forming inside them.
Playz 200 Soft Plastic Mini Play Balls
These balls are perfect for throwing into your baby’s ball pit, play tent, or even their bath! The different colors are vibrant and valuable when teaching your little one about the colors. They will help with recognition.
These plastic balls are smooth, resilient, and easy to clean. Playz has a crush-proof guarantee, stating their balls can withstand up to 150lb. How is this important? This means your baby cannot hurt themselves on sharp edges of balls squished by either your baby or by accidentally standing on one.
HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball
This ball was designed with the senses in mind—bright, vibrant colors for the eyes and to draw your baby’s attention. Soft ridges are made of different fabrics to expose your baby to different textures and make the ball easier to grip while playing.
Each colorful fabric section offers different sounds; it also crinkles, squeaks, or rattles when the ball is tossed or rolled. Each of these makes the ball enjoyable for even the youngest of ages.
The materials used for this toy are all child-safe, non-toxic, and easy to clean; all this is done to put your baby’s safety and fun first.
Baby Einstein Roller-pillar Activity Balls Toy
This toy is perfect for toddlers under 6 months; it was specifically designed to encourage crawling and hand-eye coordination. Each ball was made to provide different stimuli for your little one, varying from visual to different sounds each one makes when played with.
The balls are small enough for your little one to grab with their hands, and the smooth plastic allows for fun playtime, making the balls bounce, spin and roll easily. This smooth plastic also allows for an easy clean toy, as we all know how messy little ones can be.
VTech Bright Lights Soccer Ball
This ball is excellent for babies ages 6 months to 3 years. This ball is a great introductory toy for helping your baby learn, grow, and develop. It’s designed for your child to have an engaging playtime.
This ball toy plays happy songs and helps to introduce your little one to colors, numbers, and opposites. The friendly face, its different bright colors, and “hands” offer different textures and welcoming hugs! It could be said that this toy’s most attractive feature is the playful and encouraging phrases it produces and the music that it plays when the ball is thrown or shaken.
All in all, it is one of the best playtime companions.
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Cutie Pie Butterfly Kickball
This cute little ball is designed to help your little one improve some of their coordination skills. Melissa & Doug understand that toddlers tend to be tougher on their toys while still developing their motor skills. During this time, your little one is also learning their own strength; as such, toys don’t usually last as long.
As such, Melissa & Doug have designed the ball to be durable and hold your toddlers’ attention. It’s tough enough to last while your toddlers develop fine motor skills.
This ball provides a cute twist to playtime, encouraging your toddlers to practice kicking and catching games, which will also help with their social skills.
VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball
This particular ball is specifically designed to encourage your young one to engage with it during playtime. Its many features would attract even the most distracted babies, designed for those between 6 months and 3 years.
The ball moves on its own to encourage your kids to follow it; this helps when they learn to crawl and lean forward. The ball’s animals and numbers also help teach your baby about numbers and different animals using songs, phrases, and various sounds.
The bright flashing colors help hold your babies’ attention, while the button features will teach them cause and effect. The animals aren’t just plain “push” buttons; your baby will learn to slide, spin, and twist some of them as well, each action bringing a different response.
In summary, the VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball was designed to bring hours of educational fun for your little one.
How does playing with balls help Toddlers
Using balls during playtime with babies and toddlers is a simple and fairly inexpensive way to bring a lot of joy to your child.
Playing with the ball has many benefits when a child is only a few months old; balls can help your child build upper body muscles. This will help them when they start to learn how to crawl and sit and when they begin to pull themselves up to stand on their own.
When they are still young, it’s found that babies prefer to play with balls as they can help them feel in control. They can use them to help them become familiar with their surroundings, i.e., the ball stops rolling because the couch is in the way.
Later, you could use balls to encourage learning how to crawl, stand, walk, and run. Rolling a ball back and forth will encourage your baby to learn and reach forward, thus helping your little one with their balance while learning how to sit; this would be beneficial later on when they have to bend over to pick up the ball while standing. Using brightly colored balls of varying sizes can help your little one develop hand-eye coordination skills.
Using balls during playtime can also help your little one develop social skills, such as taking turns and sharing. It also helps them develop their language skills, more so during playtime.
This can be done through repetitive phrases such as “Daddy’s turn” and “Pass it over.” Basic playground manners can also be taught this way, “Please pass the ball” is an example.
Which balls are safe for your little one? How old should they be to play with balls?
The criteria above will help you choose the appropriate ball for your little one to ensure safe playtime. Keeping this in mind, you can play with your baby as soon as 3 months old; the best indication of playtime is when they start lifting their heads by themselves.
In conclusion, using balls during playtime is beneficial for your child’s development in various areas such as motor skills, social skills, basic education, and language! So much to learn while having so much fun; truly the best of both worlds for you and your little one!
Different ball designs help with different areas of your child’s development, allowing them to learn and develop at their own pace; together, you will know what is best.