Ball Pit Play Ideas

We needed something new to do around here.  I think we are both going crazy with this way too long winter.   I’ve probably been to the mall a few too many times.  I decided to take the plunge and invest in some balls for a ball pit. We tried several different activities to try to find a way that I could utilize the balls and C would enjoy them!  Here are a few of our favorite ball pit play ideas!

Does your baby boy love to play with balls? Does your baby girl enjoy a sensory experience? Check out these ball pit play ideas for your little one! Ball pits are awesome from baby on up!

I love ball pit balls.  They are a toy that can be used for a long time during a child’s development.  I purchased these ball pit balls (affiliate) and have been very happy with them.  We have been having fun playing with the ball pit balls!

Ball Pit Play Ideas

1.  First up the put the baby in the close basket and fill it up with balls.  This initially brought tons of smiles and giggles but got old fast.  This boy likes to move and in the clothes basket he was a little too contained.

2. Put the balls on the floor and let the baby explore.  This was a great activity for encouraging crawling or creeping.  In the physical therapy world we call crawling the motion where the baby scoots on their tummy and creeping when they are on all fours moving.  Don’t ask me why we have to make that so confusing.  The only fall back for us was C could not grasp the balls obviously and they would keep getting away from him causing a little frustration on his end but overall it was a great activity.

ball pit play - Pink oatmeal

3. The put the balls in the muffin tin.  This was just too frustrating.  At 7 months C’s fine motor skills don’t allow this activity to be fun for him.  An older child may have fun moving balls in and out of the muffin tin!


4.  Throw all the balls in a pack-n-play and let the baby play in there.  This was a good one.  It kept C busy for quite a while.  He would roll in the balls, push the balls, and kick the balls.  It kept them contained enough but still gave him the room to move.  We have the Chicco Lullaby Playard (affiliate) and have been very happy with it so far!


5.  Throwing the balls in a swimming pool for play.  We haven’t actually done this activity yet but when I ordered the balls this is exactly what I had in mind, especially for this summer.  Getting to be outside comfortably just sounds glorious right now.

I would encourage you to try these different activities and see what works best for your individual child.  As with any activity on this blog, I recommend adult supervision for play!  What other great ideas have you come up with!  Have a fabulous weekend!

What are your favorite ball pit play ideas?


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My store at Pink Oatmeal is full of ideas to get the kids moving at home, in the classroom, and in therapy!  If you prefer Teachers Pay Teachers you can find me there too!

6 thoughts on “Ball Pit Play Ideas”

  1. Janice Herman, PT

    As a pediatric PT I think a set of balls is a staple for play. If I had only one toy at work it would be balls. Infants visually track a ball and begin to reach for it, especially if it lights up. For beginning sitters or on tummy, develop weight shifting and core strength. Tempt baby to lift one support hand to bat at a ball and send it skittering across the floor, Big applause! We call it “arm bowling”. Also great eye-hand coordination. But If you do this while lap sitting in a restaurant other guests will stare at you. On baby’s back, suspend a ball on a string for baby to reach up and whack at, awesome core strengthening. Fun with balloon also. Make sure it is easy enough for success or the motivation dwindles fast. (caution: string and balloon plastic can be choking hazard so supervise). For beginning graspers I like the knubby or squishy balls. Play tug of war to work the arms and upper trunk. Strengthen the legs and trunk of Cruisers (kiddos who still hold on while standing and side stepping) by picking up balls from the floor (squat) and putting them on the table (lift). Older kids love to sort and categorize the colors, line up balls in size order, and even count the balls. Preschoolers begin math with “Here is another ball; how many do you have NOW!” “Are there more red balls or green balls?” And my all time favorite … Clean up time! “Get a GREEN ball and put it in the basket! Get a BLUE ball…” Yeah Ball Play.

    1. I totally agree with you. When I work with my kiddos at school my number one go to is the ball. I had to laugh at the clean-up because I always thought when we were doing ball activities how it was so nice that I could have the kids do it for therapeutic benefit! Be watching for more ball posts as my little guy gets to cruising and squatting!

  2. I have filled a laundry basket with balls and popped kiddos who are bottom scooters/pivoters in it so that they have to rotate at the trunk to drop the balls into a bucket on either side–the balls provide support and proprioceptive input too. ..and they’re fun!

  3. I love the ball pits with aha shelf vibrator in them for my toddlers to give them fantastic input. We do translation in all directions and rock in the basket for vestibular input too! Fantastic therapy tool!

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