Best Inflatable Balls
- What: Gertie inflatable ball
- When: 6 months until they can sit still
- Why: Packable entertainment, easy to catch
- Where: Amazon
If you booked summer travel and might end up spending time at the airport with young kids, consider investing in a Gertie ball. I kept one of these awesome balls in my travel bag to entertain my kids in a pinch.
It inflates and deflates in minutes, and unlike regular beach balls, it comes with a straw to help you inflate it (and keep your mouth out of contact with nasty airport floor germs). It deflates just as quickly once your delayed flight starts boarding. It can keep three kids entertained while you yell on the phone about not spending a night in the middle of a country you never intended to visit.
I took my kids to a mostly unoccupied gate nearby, and let them at it. With connecting flights, it allowed them to run off some steam before having to sit still for five to eight hours on a plane. With delays, it let me save their busy boxes for the actual plane ride, but kept them active and entertained.
The color changing balls use body heat to change from purple to blue. Kids can press their fingers, hands, or even breath on it to make it change colors, and it will gradually revert back. These balls works equally well inside and outside. I went for the magic color changing one, which added an extra layer of entertainment, but any of them work great.
The original size measures 9 inches, about the size of a basketball, and holds up remarkably well. We had ours for almost five years, before my six year old held it in his mouth and shook it back and forth like a dog, ripping an unrepairable hole in it. I still haven’t quite forgiven him, so I haven’t replaced it. I also find it easier to entertain my kids with rides on our Jetkids Bed Box since they have grown. I do still have a beach ball tucked into a pocket of my bag, but it doesn’t hold quite the same appeal.