A ball pit (originally called "ball crawl" and also known as a ball pool or ball pond) is a pool, usually rectangular and padded, filled with small (generally no larger than ~7cm) colorful hollow plastic balls. Instead of balls, other spherical objects can be used, such as balloons. It is typically employed as a recreation and exercise for children.
Ball pits are often found at nurseries, carnivals, amusement parks, fun centers, fast-food restaurants, and large video arcades. Chuck E. Cheese's and (now defunct) Discovery Zone formerly had ball pits and they were frequently incorporated into larger play structures, such as mazes, slides, and jungle gyms. In the early 2000s, Chuck E. Cheese's removed their ball pits due to safety concerns and because the pits were a drain on resources, since children would frequently steal individual balls until the pits were far below capacity and unusable.
Ball pits may be used together with a trampoline, or combining the two by filling a closed trampoline with the balls.
Beginning in the late 1990s, a number of urban legends arose about children being severely injured or even killed due to ball-pit encounters with things such as venomous snakes or hypodermic needles. However, no such report has been verified.
In popular culture
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, and then hides from Leonard, who becomes frustrated as he spends a good amount of time and effort trying to retrieve Sheldon from the ball pit, but Sheldon keeps saying "Bazinga".
In 2014, a YouTube vlogger under the name Roman Atwood has made a video of transforming the living room of his home into a massive ball pit, intended as a prank for his wife who has 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ball pits.|
- Urban Legends and Folklore: Snakes in the Ball Pit
- Urban Legends and Folklore: The Needle in the Ball Pit
- VanDerWerff, Todd (February 2, 2010). "The Big Bang Theory: "The Einstein Approximation"". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- Potts, Kimberly (October 20, 2015). "Every Inside Joke on The Big Bang Theory, Alphabetized". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- Waxman, Olivia B. (January 20, 2016). "Watch a Guy Surprise His Girlfriend by Turning Their House into a Giant Ball Pit". TIME.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.