Grandma buys Best Balls and Games with Balls for Grandchildren

Balls are the best gift for grandchildren of every age.  Balls come in every size and shape. If you want to buy a soccer ball, or basketball, or football, for learning the sport, look on the internet for information as to the best to buy for your age grandchild.  Otherwise, if you are looking for a present to bring your grandchild, I always go to the Oppenheimer Toy Awards first.   Have you ever seen a child that just doesn’t love a ball?  Now balls, also includes toys with balls.  Here is Grandma’s favorites:

Babies and Toddlers

The first is a perennial favorite for all grandchildren, even up to age 8!


Kidoozie Super Spiral Play Tower. $27.24

International Playthings is the best.  Here is the newest version (but old version is great) reviewed by Oppenheimer Toy Awards specifically for toddlers:


Earlyears Roll n Swirl Ball Ramp. $19.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Use the big yellow base and then stack these round chute pieces in almost any order. Baby will be ready for making things happen. Put one of the three see-through balls on top and watch it whirl round and round till it reaches the bottom. This ball drop stacks up over 12 ” tall and has balls with colorful beads inside.   It is a basic for learning about cause and effect. Babies and toddlers love the repetitive action here and the sounds of the balls dropping. Chances are you will need to do the stacking at first, but you can depend upon their unstacking it.   Most of all tots love the repetition of making that ball roll down every time!   9 months & up.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 

SNAP: Sing a little song as you play with this ball drop classic. Try it to Wheels on the Bus…”See the balls go round and round, round and round, round and round. See the balls go round and round all though the day.” Now switch to ” See the balls go down, down, down, down, down, down,etc. Make up other verses about the sound of the balls going plunk, plunk, plunk.

To reinforce color concepts sing about the color of the ball that is in action.

These kinds of made-up songs reinforce concepts such as color, action words,and sensory language in meaningful ways that are more memorable. It’s not a quiz game, but a playful way to use language and interact together.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. 


Wimmer Ferguson Wimmer Learn and Play Ball. $17.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Amazing play value has been rolled into one fabric ball. For newborns, the high contrast images printed on the fabric ball will be interesting to gaze at. They have used faces, targets, and patterns that will attract the visual attention of infants. The panels of the ball are piped with bright satin with lots of colorful ribbon taggies. Give it a shake to hear the jingling bell. This is one of those wonderful fabric toys that plays to all the senses and invites you to play early socializing games with your sitting up baby. A terrific gift for a baby shower or first visits.  Marked for 6 months but this will be good as visual stimulation long before baby can reach out and touch.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2012.

Sassy Loopy Ball Attachable Ball.  Sassy. Target $5.

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

A bright colored ball has a quiet chime inside. It has multiple patterns and six easy-to-grab loops. Several of the loops have rings that can be fingered and that make a quiet clacking sound. Attach it to the stroller with the black and white plastic loop that baby will enjoy grasping. This is a perfect little toy for all the senses. It will attract newborns gaze and then be ideal for reaching out and touching, hearing and tasting. It’s bound to grow on as baby begins to crawl and can chase it. Newborn and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011.

Sassy Sensory Ball Set. $9.56

This is an Oppenheimer Platininum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Looking for something to play with your sitting up baby? One ball has interesting fabric textures to touch (and taste), another has another smaller jingle ball safely enclosed – with slates so that babies can pick it up and turn it, and the last ball has bumps all over it–also interesting to explore. This set can be used in so many ways! You can use them for first games of roly poly. You can also play peek-a-boo games by placing one of the balls under a blanket and then watch as your baby pulls it off! Balls are also great ways of encouraging babies to crawl!! For more activities take a look at our book Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. 


Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
.  $8.95

This is an Oppenheimer Platininum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Roll this bumpy ball and it will wibble-wobble as it goes. Covered with easy to grab soft fabric knobs, this jolly looking fabric ball has many patterns for visual interest. There are stripes and polka-dots in bright contrasting colors. It also has two see-through plastic knobs on either side that turn. Inside of both knobs are small mirrors and colorful beads that are reflected as they rattle. This just says, come on, roll it, toss it, and turn it. 6 months and up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. 


Kids Preferred Label Loveys Chime Ball, Little Diva. Kids Preferred. $13.39.

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

A marvelous Diva fabric 8″ chime ball with a jolly jingle safe inside and plenty of surface textures to explore. There are colorful satin knotties, textured loop to hold, a crinkle velour patch, ribbon tabs and furry no-shed fringe. Each segment of the ball has a different fabric–high contrast black and white, velour with stars and another with hot pink splotches, silvery dots, and corded lavender velour.A perfect toy for first social games. Rolling the ball back and forth or crawling after it.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011.

Kids Preferred Cute as A Button Chime Ball (see above) $13.19

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

A marvelous Cute As a Button fabric 8″ chime ball with a jolly jingle safe inside and plenty of surface textures to explore. There are colorful satin knotties, textured loop to hold, a crinkle velour patch, ribbon tabs and felt fringe. Each segment of the ball has a different fabric – printed velour with stripes and another with dots, another with cotton knit stripes and others with corded and dotted velour.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011.


Hairy Beastie Ball 5″ by Rich Frog. $8.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Covered in a soft terry cloth like material, these colorful fabric balls have stitched on features and knotties that baby can grab and probably chew on. There are lots of zany looking choices in many color combinations and in two sizes. One is a little bigger than a baseball the other is slightly bigger than a softball. All are soft, washable and have a nice rattle sound. Use them with infants for tracking. The bold black and white eyes will catch their attention–and the sound will not startle. Older infants will like crawling after them and for early social games of roly-poly. Preschoolers will find these easy and soft enough for learning to catch and throw. All Ages.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. 


Fisher-Price Cruise and Groove Ballapalooza.  $60-70

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Finding toys that are just right for sitting up babies and toddlers can be difficult. The Cruise and Groove Ballapalooza fills the bill.  You’ll need space for this large “making something happen” toy that both older babies and toddlers will enjoy exploring.  There are two different ways for the big balls to go from the top of the structure to the base. Of course at first, you’ll be making it happen–but soon enough your toddler will enjoy making the balls drop again and again.  The small green “gate” will be another aspect of the toy your child will enjoy pushing back and forth.  There is also an arch for babies to go under.  There is music that happily you can turn off and still enjoy the toy. A definite plus in our book. The tripod design of the base makes the toy steady but of course a cruising baby will still need a watchful hand. Our older toddler twin testers loved how the ball could be placed at the top so that it bounces off a platform onto the ramp: “high marks for innovative design.” Comes with 8 oversized balls so if two end up under the sofa, you’re not out of business. 

SNAP: This is big enough to satisfy slightly older kids who may not have the dexterity for more complex ball runs and tracks. Though our testers found this pretty steady, you may want to stabilize it with some tape to the floor. This is not just a good social toy that two or more can use, it is a great hands on setting for dexterity, tracking, color concepts and language. Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. 

Preschool and School Age


Original Gertie Ball. $5.56

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Blue Chip Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Preschoolers need soft, lightweight, easy-to-catch balls that will not bend back a finger or hurt when they hit. Gertie Balls are gummy and soft enough for kids who may be scared of big heavy balls coming toward them. Also fun, Supersized Gertie Balls ($13), really oversized and great fun for this age group and next.  There’s also a super cool Magic Gertie Ball that changes color with hot and cold water. 3 & up. 

SNAP INFO: These colorful balls are soft and slightly sticky to the touch, making them easier to catch and hold onto. They come in a variety of sizes and with different textures. Testers especially liked the knobby one which gave kids an extra way to grip and hold. These are not for toddlers because the air tube can come out and could pose a choking hazard. ACTIVITY: Getting control takes practice. Hang a big hoopla hoop from a tree branch and try to get the ball through the hoop.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

Fun Gripper Balls. $8 and up

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Designed for beginners, these balls are covered with nylon and no slip grips. There’s a lightweight bat and baseball, football, soccer, or volleyball. These are a good choice since they are lightweight and non-threatening to inexperienced players. 4 & up. SNAP INFO: Getting the hang on catching and throwing can be tough. These nylon fabric covered balls can be a help with their nonslip grips. There’s a lightweight bat and baseball, football, soccer, or volleyball. These are a good choice since they are lightweight and non-threatening to inexperienced players. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1998.


Franklin Hopping Balls. $10 and up

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Our testers liked the sports theme of these classic 18″ ball hoppers. Comes either as a basketball, baseball or soccer ball. Parents also liked the fact that they comes with their own air pump. Activity Tip: Use these hopping balls for races across the lawn but be sure to give everyone a prize for playing.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

Maui Skyball Slammer.  Maui Toys. $14.95

http://www.mauitoys.com

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

The ball promises to bounce 75 feet in the air. We wish we had videotaped our testers (of all ages) working on getting their balls to bounce the highest! The company’s new Slammer set comes with a suction cup – so you can have fun catching the ball.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

Rubbabu Funky Ball Assortment.  $6 each.

https://www.rubbabu.com

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

These balls come in many colors and interesting shapes. Some like the Crater ball has finger holds while the Bubble ball has bumps. You might also like the Fashion balls with swirling indents that make them easier to grasp. Or look for the ones with alphabet letters, geometric shapes, or numerals molded into their surfaces. These come in many primary bold colors and they are rubbery with soft flocking. Babies will like them for roly poly social games; toddlers will like chasing them and they are soft enough so that preschoolers will like bouncing and trying to catch them. They are the size of a softball and make a nice impulse toy that leads to active play. All ages.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2010.


Seedling Color The Earth.  Kid O.  $29.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

A globe/ball for all ages. How kids use it will depend on their age. Some will like boucing it and simply playing with it. Others will love the fun of labeling the countires or color coding them. Inflate this jumbo 16-inch ball that comes with a set of permanent fabric markers. A word of warning, this has a strong odor when it comes out of the box that disappears in time. It’s the size of a big beachball, though not intended for the water. It does bounce well. This ball is marked 3 & up, but will be of more interest to school aged kids.

Activity idea: Kids can add a dot or star to the globe as various countries win medals during the Olympics.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012.


Small World Creative Bouncing Balls. $19.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Kids can make eight small sparkly bouncing balls with this easy to do kit. It comes with an easy to fill mold and water bowl. You pour some of the colorful beads from one of the five packets. Add water to the water bowl and let them stand for two minutes. Wait another two minutes and open the mold! Voila! You have a bouncing ball the size of a Jacks ball to play with. Our tester said you can buy a bouncing ball that will bounce higher, but that is not the same as making one. This is a little bit of chemistry, reading to follow directions and a finished product for active play. A good choice for play date or nice birthday gift. Finding craft kits to appeal to boys as well as girls is rare. This is one of those gender free products. For 6 and up. Adult supervision will be needed.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. 


Alex Toys Bouncy Ball Blast.  Alex. $8.97

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

This science kit comes with enough ball powder to make six bouncy balls. There are three different molds. A fast project with a great payoff! It takes approximately 2 minutes to soak the ball in the form, 3 minutes to dry before you can take it out  – and then you’re good to go. A fun science lesson of what happens when you combine water and a powder to form a solid –that bounces! Pretty amazing.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. 


Franklin Sports Intermediate Bocce Set.  $24.99

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

Good family fun for the backyard with this inexpensive Bocce Ball set. It comes with 8 large bocce balls, two in each of four colors and a small white pollino ball that you will be aiming to hit. This comes with its own storage bag so you can bring it along to family parties. It might become part of your family party tradition. 2-4 players can join the fun. There are pricier sets, but this set sold at Target is a good way to find out if your family loves it. Great for multi-generational crowds. 6 & up

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012 

Hearthsong BIG Outdoor Playball.  $29.98

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

When they say BIG, they really mean it. This ball is 52″ in diameter! We highly recommend that you buy the electric pump they sell ($29.98) if you don’t already have a pump. Each chamber of the blue and green ball must be inflated separately. The ball will be enjoyed by early school aged kids. EDITORS NOTE: Because the ball has two openings that a child can climb into (it was the first thing everyone wanted to do)–this toy requires complete supervision. The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

Later School Years


Franklin Sports Advanced Badminton/Volleyball Set.  $29.99-$45.49

This is an Oppenheimer Toy Gold Award toy.  See www.toyportfolio.com.  Here is what they say:

How about a family tournament for your own home grown Olympics? Play badminton or volleyball with this set; a surefire crowd pleaser for backyard summer fun, especially if you have a multi-generational crowd. This set includes the net (poles), 4 racquets, 2 birdies, a volleyball, pump, rules (always good!) and it all zips up into a carrying case. There are pricier sets that may be sturdier, but for a short season of fun, this will probably be quite sufficient. We reviewed this Franklin set from Target. All Ages.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012.

Comments

  1. Of course! Thanks!

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