Root for the Home Team
- What: T-Ball Set
- When: Ages 2 to 7
- Why: Build skills, fits small spaces
- Where: Amazon
My son got a t-ball set for the holidays when he was two years old, and it remains a huge hit in our household. He loved having it inside the house, but we moved it into the backyard once his skills advanced to actually hitting the balls.
The set comes with five large plastic baseballs, which means you have to do less fetching. Your child can hit five balls and then you go collect them, instead of having to pick them up or go find them every ball or so.
The lightweight plastic works great for little hands, but my seven year old loves it, too. He’s progressed to tossing the ball up in the air and hitting it with the bat, but still loves to play. He can toss the lightweight balls with one hand while holding the bat with the other to improve his hand eye coordination and speed up his reflexes. He can play on his own, or with someone pitching balls to him, thanks to the practice with the stationary tee. You don’t even need a glove to catch the oversized white plastic balls.
The solid balls don’t collect rain water or other gook, but do float, so they can double as water toys in the wading pool or bath. They can get stuck in trees and bushes, but come out easily enough that my kids can retrieve them. Because we have a small backyard, this set works well. It prevents the balls from going as far as they would with actual baseballs or bats, but we get the same practice and a lower risk for injuries.
It also works well for camping trips and other car travel, or quick trips to the park. You can separate the tee and toss all the lightweight pieces into the trunk and keep the kids entertained while you set up camp, plus the balls are less likely to end up in someone else’s campsite. Once you take it apart, all the pieces fit easily into our storage bench. Though in all honesty, it gets so much use, we rarely bother storing the tee, and instead just toss the bat and balls in during the off season.
The tee can adjust heights to fit a variety of kids’ ages and stages thanks to a screw in attachment. You can also store this set by hanging it on the wall, though we’ve certainly never done that, either. I don’t see the point when they play with it so often. The Little Tikes T-Ball Set also comes in pink for the same price.
As an added bonus, the lightweight material not only means you can take a risk and use this indoors if you feel confident about your ability to remove all breakable items from the playing field. But it also means if young ones accidentally whack you or another family member, it packs much less of a punch.