Making Indoor Use of That Outdoor Pool

Now that summer is officially gone, it’s time to put away those outdoor games until spring. But believe it or not, there is a fantastic indoor use for that blowup pool that typically gets stashed away during the winter.

In our house, it’s called the ballpit. My three-year-old refers to it as “the ballshit!”  – not intentionally of course. I have to admit I’ve called it that a time or two as well, mostly when I’m trying to dig balls out from under the couch. But I digress.

The concept is simple. Fill that pool up with plastic balls and watch the fun begin. We first discovered this treasure of an idea from our friends whose daughter goes to occupational therapy. When my son Jake tried it out at her house, I couldn’t get him out. So, the next day…we took a trip to Target, bought 300 balls for about $30, and filled up the pool. Turns out we needed about 600 balls to make it nice and full, so we added to it over time.

My friend bought a huge bag of balls at a flea market for about $10. That’s definitely the better way to go. Or look on eBay for a good deal. Target sells 150 for about $15. Walmart was more expensive believe it or not. Check around at garage sales too.

Our ballpit resides in our dining room. We sold our dining room table with plans to buy a newer, nicer table for the room. The intention was to put the ballpit there temporarily until we found a new table. It’s been a year. Our dining room is still filled with you guessed it…a ballpit. No, I’m not bitter.

If you have a playroom or basement, that is the ideal spot for the ballpit.

And do be prepared to fetch balls out of every corner of your house… but I’ve found that to be a small price to pay for the amount of joy the ballpit has brought our family.

The ballpit is perfect for reflecting…

It’s even great for Dad’s…

Sometimes the three of us get in it and play musical instruments.


Don’t tell anyone I said that!



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  1. Ame Dyckman says:

    LOVE! You = coolest Mom EVER!

  2. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    I knew a family with a ball pit in the play room! They had all the balls in the house in there as they collected the matching ones. She ended up buying a new pool for the back yard summer, because the kids didn’t want to give up the ball pit.