The Beach Ball….probably one of the first water toys most of us ever played with. It’s a true classic in every sense of the word. So classic, in fact, it’s even part of our ToySplash logo! As I was looking at our extensive beach ball category I started to wonder about how beach balls came about and just what info is out on the web about this pool staple. I found interesting stuff. Time Magazine did an article in 2011 about history’s best toys and the beach ball ranked in at #11! (want to read more? Yes, I was curious as to which toy ranked #1. Click here to find out.)
According to Time magazine “ A classic beach toy, the inflatable beach ball is believed to have been invented by Jonathon DeLonge in 1938. The original beach balls are thought to have been about the size of a hand. Now the inflatable toys are sold in many different sizes, including unbelievably large. They usually feature a set of soft plastic panels, with two circular end panels, one with an inflation valve. A common design has six panels in six different colors with vertical solid-colored vinyl stripes.”
That original has come a long way since then. From light-up balls to multi-colored, crazy-print balls to gargantuan-sized beach balls, there is something for everyone. So many different games can be devised from having a simple beach ball in hand. Read on for Beach Balls – Fun Games with a Classic Toy!
Hot Beach Ball
This game is similar to Hot Potato. Everyone sits in a circle and only one beach ball is needed. Turn on some “beachy” music and start passing around the ball. Have someone controlling the music; turning it on and off accordingly. When the music stops, the person stuck with the beach ball is out. Play down to 2 until you finally have a winner.
Use 2-4 beach balls,(depending how many people are in the circle), one ball of a different design than the others. Pass the balls with the same idea in mind except that the different designed is the “hot” beach ball.
Use 2-4 beach balls but throw them across or around to each other. The last person to touch the “hot” beach ball when the music stops is out.
Beach Ball Trivia
Use a classic, 6-panel beach ball and give each panel a number (1-6) written in permanent marker.
This is a great learning game but takes a little preparation in advance. Write “trivia” questions on small sheets of paper and divide them equally between 6 plastic bags, numbered 1-6. These questions can be general knowledge, things learned in school, spelling, etc. You get the idea. Make them age appropriate for your players.
Divide kids into two teams of equal numbers. Line up teams across from each other in the pool, grass, at the beach, etc.
Throw the ball over towards one team. Only one player is allowed to grab the ball. Whichever panel the player’s left hand is closest to, is the number of the trivia question selected. Let the player reach in the bag to select his/her question and try to answer it. If answered correctly, that team earns one point. If answered incorrectly, that player is out and the other team has a chance to steal if they answer correctly.
Play continues with throwing the ball to the opposite team (even if they won the steal point). You can play up to a certain point level or until one team only has one player left who has answered correctly.
This game is great for keeping kids’ learning skills sharp during the summer months. To make the game more exciting, assign each numbered category a certain topic. Players can try to get their left hand on the number of their choosing; the topic they feel most knowledgeable about.
One number can be a “wild card” which gives the player the choice of which category to choose from.
Giant Beach Ball Battle
This looks like the best game yet. First, you will need our enormous 12 foot Beach Ball. This one is a giant!! Probably want an electric pump to inflate this baby.
This game is not recommended for small children due to the sheer size of this beach ball. However, older kids and adults will love it! Either take this large beach ball to the beach or to a local football field. Gather a group of friends and divide into two teams. Clearly, the object is to score a “goal” whether you determine that the ball needs to go up and over the goal posts or just past the goal line. If you’re at the beach, draw some goal lines in the sand and let the fun begin!!
For a little inspiration, here’s a video I found on Youtube. Enjoy!
Go to the beach and…….have a ball!!!