smarTrike is a company that is best known for producing a series of transformable “trikes” that grow along with children. However, the company is also behind one of the most unusual, unique, and utterly delightful playthings I have ever seen: a “3-in-1 Trampoline/Ball-Pit.”
True to its name, this is an item that can be used as a trampoline or a ball-pit. In fact, it even comes with forty-two balls, in seven different colors, to populate the pit. The item is hued blue and gray with a playful hot-air balloon and cloud pattern added. The multi-functional center is intended for year-round activity for children under 55 pounds (aka children approximately ten months to around five or six years of age). smarTrike’s patented trampoline gives kids an even, amazing bounce. The elastic UV-resistant mat, strong springs and ultra-elastic bungee give an excellent quality for bouncing. There is also an option to add a “safety bar” to the trampoline so children can keep a firm grip on the bar as they bounce to ensure that they won’t fall.
How to Play
The 3-in-1 Trampoline/Ball-pit slides easily out of the box and is more-or-less ready to be played with from the moment it is unpackaged. All you have to do is decide which side you want to play with first: the trampoline or the ball-pit. To use the ball-pit portion, simply snap the “legs” outwards and they will automatically raise a “fence” of blue material. From there, pour the two bags of colorful plastic balls that come with the set into the ball-pit and let a child have fun kicking them around and/or rolling in them. If you add more balls, the effect and play experience is even better. To access the trampoline section, simply empty the balls of the pit and literally turn the entire item over. Automatically, the trampoline is before you and ready to be jumped on…unless a child is still quite young and unsteady on their feet. At that point, you will have to snap in the “safety bar” which is lucky very quick and easy to secure (although not nearly as easy to remove).
Pros and Benefits
This is, without a doubt, the best item I have ever reviewed from smarTrike and it easily makes my all-time “Top 10” toy list…considering that I have been reviewing toys for several years, that is saying quite a lot. There is, frankly, very little wrong with this plaything. It takes less than three minutes to set up. It works exactly as advertised. It is safe and will provide hours of fun. It comes with forty-two balls in seven vibrant colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink). It is entirely gender-neutral. It is also easy to fold it flat and store it somewhere out-of-the-way, like under a bed. The trampoline section enables children to jump quite high and the ball-pit section is spacious and expertly padded so it is extremely comfortable for children to sit on or lie down in. For $99.99, this item is also an incredible bargain. While smarTrike might be famous for producing carriages, trikes, and bicycles, this is easily their most spectacular item and they will hopefully think up more such uniquely enchanting items in the near future.
Cons and Drawbacks
Most of the “drawbacks” of this item are simply the result of zealous safety features (which is a positive thing, not negative). For instance, once you adhere the safety bar to the trampoline feature, it can be difficult to remove it. Likewise, it can be hard to snap down the “legs” of the trampoline (aka the “walls” of the ball-pit) to lie it flat for storage when not in use. Other than that, the only true “complaint” I have is that forty-two balls do not nearly cover the ball-pit. My suggestion would be to buy an additional bag of plastic ball-pit balls and put them in with the forty-two provided. Having an additional fifty or so balls would really enhance the experience and, lucky, they are quite inexpensive (sets of fifty to one-hundred balls can be purchased online for less than $20 and found via a quick Google search).
Fun Additional Ideas
This item is intended to be used as advertised and it subsequently promotes exercise during playtime. A way to enhance this kind of play is to keep a record of how many times your child jumps and then see if they can continuously defeat their own record. As per the ball-pit, your child can close their eyes, grab a ball, and then try to guess which color they have selected.
The 3-in-1 Trampoline/Ball-Pit is a must-have item for active children between the ages of one to six years of age (or any child under 55 pounds). Retailing for only $99.99, it is one of the best-priced toys on the market and easily one of the best playthings of 2017, period. To purchase the “3-in-1 Trampoline/Ball-Pit,” visit the Toys R us website. To learn more about the company that created it, visit the official website of smarTrike.