What do you do with a two-year-old in a tiny one-bedroom apartment?
Construct a ball pit, of course.
I built a simple frame out of 2×8’s stacked together. They are just connected with some braces so that they are easy to dismantle.
I sized the pit to fit exactly the size of a twin mattress. There is a piece of 1×2 Douglas fir screwed on both long sides to support bed slats (purchased from IKEA) and then the mattress goes on top.
I wanted about 12 full inches of balls. Some simple math: 1500 balls. Ordered!
But, when they came, two problems emerged. One, I put the balls directly on top of the carpet. This somehow doesn’t feel right. So I pulled them all back out and stuck two yoga mats underneath. Removing all the balls is a hassle, so yoga mats should go down first.
The second issue was that while the kids were having a blast adults would sink to the bottom. This ruins the ball pit experience – you need to have at least one layer of balls to feel buoyant so back on the phone to order some more. I actually was able to score an extra 300 from various parents eager to get rid of the balls (they are far less fun when you just have 100). 1800 is the critical number, but it does overflow with adults.
Rules of the ball pit: no eating or drinking. Those balls are hard to clean!
Thumbs up for this project. I use it more than the boy!