on 22 May 2014
My 5 month old loves playing with these. They are the perfect size for her little hands and she loves gathering them up and rolling them around. The moving parts and clicking sounds fascinate her (although I have to make the clicking, she can't yet turn the sections herself). They are brightly coloured without being too unattractive or tacky, and are a handy size to pop in a bag and take with you on outings.
Even just five plastic balls will entertain a baby or toddler, but these just generate so much interest. Lots of bright colours and different textures. Generally good quality for the money and pretty robust design; they will survive being trodden on or dropped on a laminate floor.
I like the twisty balls that have different rings with different textures that click as you twist them. They are not easy to twist for a baby though and becomes more of interest at around 12 months old or so. The one with narrower rings is not as good at clicking now as two rings just spin and the one with larger rings has one stiff ring after 9 months use.
My daughter is most fascinated by the ball with a spinning tiger inside and will sit for ages just staring at it. Great distraction whilst doing a nappy or spoon feeding and easy to wipe clean! I am impressed it continues to spin freely and easily inside the ball as I thought it was bound or get stuck! The clear ball with a fish and the one with the spiral and little balls in are also good and well played with but the spinning tiger ball wins!
Well loved, well used, great value! Recommended.
on 19 June 2016
The Bright Starts Activity balls came presented in a moulded plastic packaging through which the balls could clearly be seen inside. There was a cardboard slip inside which gave all the product information, this of course should be read thoroughly before use. The packaging was completely sealed around the edges meaning I needed a pair of scissors to open it up. There was nothing securing the balls to the plastic, so once cut open they all went rolling over the floor in different directions, much to my sons pleasure.
The set contained 5 balls, each containing a different 'activity', each ball is plastic and measures approximately 6cm in diameter.
* Ball 1: The first ball is transparent, except for two pieces of red and purple plastic at the top and bottom. Inside there is a very cute looking 3D ladybird character which moves and tumbles about when the ball is moved or shook, making a rattling sound.
* Ball 2: The second ball is again transparent, this time with a blue and purple top and bottom. Inside there is circular green spinner with a few large holes cut into it, alongside around 15 minature balls of varying colours. I guess I would describe this one as a bit like a rattle, when shook the beads make a rattling sound. The ball can also be tipped side to side or upside down to feed the balls through the holes.
* Ball 3: The third ball is the last of our transparent balls. Again there are two colourful plastic pieces of plastic at the top and bottom this time red and purple. Inside the ball is a 2D plastic spinner with a picture of a cute tiger on. This spinner spins when the ball is rolled.
* Ball 4: The fourth ball made up of 7 vertical strips, this is a really bright colourful ball with each strip being a different colour - we have red, orange, purple, green and blue. 3 of the strips are smooth to touch but the others have different textures including horizontal lines, swirls and bobbles. There is a small gap between each of the strips and they can be twisted to produce a clicking sound.
* Ball 5: The final ball is very similar to ball 4, however on this one there are only 5 vertical strips this time in purple, blue, green and orange. The orange strip in the centre is larger in size compared to the other strips on the ball, it features thick grooves for texture whilst the other strips have inverted spots, bobbles and horizontal strips. There are no gaps between the strips on this ball but they can be twisted about to make an identical clicking noise to ball 4.
I purchased these balls for my son when he was around 5 months old, a month earlier than the manufacturers recommended 6 months. As far as I can tell there is no safety reason why these balls cannot be given to a baby under 6 months and my son certainly enjoyed looking at them and holding them. However, only when he was around 9 months did he begin to fully enjoy them and get the most out of them. Of course all babies and children develop at slightly different rates, if in doubt follow the manufacturers advice.
My son and I spend a lot of time sitting on his play mat playing with his toys and these activity balls are amongst his favourites, he will quite happily spend 10-15 minutes playing with them before becoming board and moving onto something else. We use the balls in a variety of different ways. My son enjoys simply holding the balls, feeling them and discovering their textures, colours and sounds. He can easily hold the balls in his hands and can pass them back and too rotating them as he stares at them intently. My son is not yet able to twist the segments on balls 4 and 5. The activity balls present an ideal opportunity for learning and I will often discuss the different colours and textures with him or the way in which the characters move or spin within the ball, at 9 months I doubt he really understands what I am going on about, but I feel its never to early to start learning these things.
Another game we play is simply rolling the balls around on the floor, he has not developed the ability to roll the balls himself but is fascinated watching me do so. He enjoys me rolling the balls to him as he kicks them excitedly with his legs and feet watching them roll of again in different directions. My son is able to roll himself onto his front and is attempting to crawl, but has not yet quite mastered this skill, however I can imagine he will be chasing after these balls in a few weeks which will certainly add to the fun! A couple of the babies at baby yoga have just started to walk independently and they seem to have a great time tottering around after these activity balls as they roll around the room.
Over the past few weeks my son has found a new game to play with the activity balls and he takes great pleasure in it, he has discovered throwing and banging. He likes to hold one ball in his hand and use it to bang into another ball next to him or failing that he just likes to chuck them and watch where they end up. Obviously, he is not able to throw them very hard, but I try and discourage it, he is only just discovering the word no but when I use it I am often met with a cheeky grin.
The balls have been well played with over the past 5 or so months and have remained in an excellent condition. They have been bumped, banged and thrown on a regular basis yet show absolutely no signs of splitting or chipping. I feel they are of an excellent quality, they are extremely durable and I can see them lasting quite sometime to come.
When I purchased these activity balls from Amazon, I noticed there were a few people asking if these were suitable for use in the bath, so I thought it was well worth covering this question here in my review. The product packaging quite clearly states that the balls are not suitable for use in water, therefore we have never tried using them in the bath. I can imagine that small amounts of water would be able to seep through parts of the plastic which would ultimately ruin them.
My son has a wide selection of different toys including plenty of expensive all singing all dancing ones, however these simple cheap activities balls are probably his favourite and most played with toy. He has great fun playing with them, they have a variety of uses plus they are educational too. I would certainly recommend Bright Starts activity balls for babies aged 6 months +.