Today’s Hint: 7 Easy & Frugal DIY Ball Pit Ideas Beyond Plastic Swimming Pools

There’s nothing like a good ball pit to keep little ones entertained for hours, or at least for a little bit.

The birthday party DIY ball pit.

The birthday party DIY tent ball pit.

With ball pit balls readily available at stores like, parents only have to figure out where to set up the pit.  I’ve already written about how plastic swimming pools make great do-it-yourself ball pits. But for those who don’t have little pools handy, today’s hint is seven other spots  you can easily transform into DIY ball pits.

1. A tent. I saw this clever idea recently at a 1st birthday party. The parents had set up a regular old tent and scattered ball pit balls inside it. The kids couldn’t get enough, as you can see in the picture to the left. So if you have a regular old tent around the house, there’s no need to buy a special tent marketed as ball pit tents (yes, those exist). See another DIY tent ball pit over at Learning 4 Kids.

2. A box. We all know that boxes make great playthings, but did you realize they also make great ball pits? I didn’t until I saw a box transformed into ball pit by the same clever 1st birthday party hosts I mention above. You can also see a DIY box ball pit over at Plain Vanilla Mom.

The birthday party DIY box ball pit.

The birthday party DIY box ball pit.

3. A pack-n-play. I can’t take credit for this one. The Rookie Moms share how a brilliant rookie mom “transformed the pack-n-play of DOOM into the SUPERFUN Ball pit of happiness.”

4. A bathtub. Help your little ones get over the bath-hating phase by turning your tub into a ball play zone, an idea I first saw over at And as covered over at Parent Hacks, baby bathtubs work well as DIY ball pits too.

5. A baby jail. If have a “baby jail” like this one, you can easily transform it into a ball pit.

6. A laundry basket. Laundry baskets don’t just make great in-between toddler tubs. They’re also easy to fill with balls and turn into ball pits, as Suzy Homeschooler points out over at wildflower ramblings.

7. A plastic storage bin. Over at Pudge & Biggie, you can see a plastic storage bin doubling as a ball pit for two.

To be sure, some of the ideas above, like the tent ball pit, will work better for older kids (and even adults) than others. For instance, your preschooler may not fit comfortably with balls in a storage bin or laundry basket. Finally, while at-home ball pits are easy to make, cleaning them up can be a bit more of a challenge. So, consider making “picking up the balls” a cleaning up game for your little one, assuming they’ll come out of the pit.

What DIY ball pit ideas did I miss? Share your thoughts and DIY ball pit stories below.

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  1. says

    What great ideas, I never would have thought of using a tent, such fun.
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing on Toddler Idea Tuesday. You post is being featured this week. I hope to see you over at Toddler Idea Tuesday again. I love seeing all your great hints.


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