A ball pit (originally called a ball crawl, also known as a ball pool or ball pond) is a padded box or pool filled with small colorful hollow plastic balls generally no larger than 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter. They are typically marketed as recreation and exercise for children.
They are often found at nurseries, carnivals, amusement parks, fun centers, fast-food restaurants, and large video arcades, frequently incorporated into larger play structures such as mazes, slides and jungle gyms. They may be rented for parties, and smaller versions are sold for home use. Ball pits are also sometimes used in therapy and educational settings, as they can provide a stimulating and sensory-rich environment.[better source needed]
Age for ball pit
Generally, ball pits are considered safe and enjoyable for children who are at least 10 months old and able to sit up and move independently. At this age, they have better head and neck control, reducing the risk of accidental suffocation in the ball pit.
Eric McMillan created the first ball pit in 1976 at SeaWorld Captain Kids World in San Diego, as a result of his experience at Ontario Place. However, IKEA claims that they had a ball pit in the early 1970s in Kungens Kurva, Sweden.
Beginning in the late 1990s, a number of urban legends arose about children being severely injured or killed in ball pit encounters with vipers or hypodermic needles. There is no truth to these stories.
In popular culture
In the Rugrats episode "Piggy's Pizza Palace", the Rugrats jump on a costumed pig named Piggy as an act of revenge to get Angelica's tickets back. It causes the ball pit structure to split open and the balls fall out all over the restaurant.
In season 3 episode 14 ("The Einstein Approximation") of the TV series The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon seeks inspiration in a ball pit at a mall, then hides from Leonard, who spends a good amount of time and effort trying to retrieve Sheldon from the pit.
In 2014, a YouTube vlogger under the name Roman Atwood made a video of transforming the living room of his home into a massive ball pit, intended as a prank for his girlfriend who had returned from a trip. He later collaborates with another vlogger, Freddie Wong, to create a comedy video involving giant ball pit and "ball monster" prank.
In 2016, a pop-up "ball pit bar" opened in San Francisco.
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