Looking to entertain toddlers? This DIY ball pit might do the trick
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I couldn’t believe some of the prices for ball pit rentals for a kid’s birthday party.

Some of them were upwards of $300. While I couldn’t bring myself to do it for a 3-year-old’s birthday party, I still wanted something to entertain my daughter and our little party guests.

Being the serial pinner I am got me thinking: what if we do this ourselves? There’s a DIY everything you could think of on Pinterest, so browsing the app inspired me to make my own ball pit using a inflatable pool and ton of small plastic balls.

Finding the pool was simple. I used this one from Target, which was the perfect size for our small party. I lined the thin bottom with foam mats. The three-tiered pool comfortably accommodated six toddlers who couldn’t get enough.

My 3-year-old daughter and other party goers enjoying the DIY ball pit.

The balls were a bit complicated. My objective was to save, but I wound up spending more money on the balls than I’d anticipated. The first bunch of 200 I got barely covered the bottom of the pool. I ordered another set, and it still wasn’t enough. We wound up using about 800 total, which sufficed. Next year when I pull this thing out again, for a party or otherwise, I’ll likely add another 200 so the pit can reach it’s full potential. I ordered the balls from Amazon and got a last-minute supply from a Walmart store.

I spent about $160 on the balls, pool and accessories, and I’ll get to keep it for years to come (when my oldest daughter outgrows it, we can pass it on to our now newborn for her parties. Did I mention their birthdays are less than a month apart? Back-to-back parties forever, whew!).

All in all, the ball bit was a hit!

More ball pit fun.

It was pretty and on-theme, so I felt good about that. The kids got to jump around to their heart’s content, so I’m sure the other parents were happy it wore them out just in time for bed.

The pit was adorable, and I added a couple of large beach balls to accessorize it. We initially wanted to set it up on the grass, but it was mid-August in Georgia, so we moved it under the built-in canopy of my mom’s backyard. The pool would have easily held up on the grass since we added the pads to the bottom. Buying a canopy is also an option if the pit is going to be directly in the sun.


  • Inflatable pool (5.5 ft x 1.5 ft)
  • 800 crush-proof plastic ball pit balls
  • 2 large beach balls
  • Foam pads of choice to line bottom