My son was bought this ball as a present when he was about six months old. At that point, he didn't really have a lot of toys, and even fewer that were bought for him rather than hand me downs! The ball itself is just the right size for little hands, and not too squishy. It's malleable enough to be interesting in texture, but if baby really wants to roll or throw it, it holds its form. There is a hard caterpillar around the centre, and this can make the roll not completely a straight line, but it also helps keep the ball spherical. Being a mesh, with large holes, the ball is very easy to pick up and hold, and equally easy to use for a beginner user. The colours are bright and cheerful, and the caterpillar's smile always gets an answer, and there's no noise to detract from the play. Five months later, my son finds it easier to roll where he wants it to go, and he can throw and catch it, which is great at eleven months old! This toy has been very educational for him, and he loves it.
I bought this toy for my 6 month old son from Tesco for around £4. I got it when he was 4 months old and just starting to grab things and learn to hold on to them. I notices this one as the ball has lots of holes in it, so I thought it would be easy for my baby to put his little fingers in the holes and help him hold it. This ball is about the size of two tennis balls, but a perfect size for a baby to hold. It is lightweight and not too hard, if your baby hits themselves in the head with it, like mine always does with his toys when he is waving them about. Quite a few of them have hit his head hard and he gets really upset, but this one is not hard enough for him to hurt himself, but a good quality, and it still feels sturdy. It is made of plastic, and I don't think it would be broken easily by a baby, it feels well made and strong. The outside has a caterpillar going round the middle of the ball, and inside is a ball with a bell in it, so it makes lots of noise when it is shaken. My baby loves waving this about and rarely drops it now due to it being so easy for his fingers to grasp it. He loves to chew on it too, and its nice and easy to just wipe clean. My baby gets really excited when I wave this ball above him, he reaches both arms out to try and grab it, it's definitely one of his favourite toys, it's so simple but keeps him amused every day! He spends ages just feeling the ball, and turning it round in his hands and looking at it. This ball is nice and colourful for young babies to look at and attract their attention, and I am sure this toy would be good for older babies too, for example, rolling the ball around, crawling after it. The only criticism I have about this ball, which does not matter at all really, but it is suppose to be a bendy ball, and this toy is definitely not bendy in the slightest. The plastic is hard, not soft enough to bend, although I don't know why you would want to bend this ball, my baby just seems happy to play with it as it is. I would highly recommend this ball for younger babies, it is small enough for them to handle, the holes make it so easy for them to grasp, it isn't too heavy, makes noise which babies love, its bright and colourful and will keep your baby amused for a while! My baby loves it!
This is yet another toy that we first had for our little girl and now I have passed to my little boy. It was a gift and to be honest it's not something I would ahve bought for my kids and its not one that my little boy plays with all the time but he does like it and you can see his little mind working in the way it is meant to when he is playing with it. This is not just a regular ball to thrown or roll around, its a ball with lots of different aspects to it. According tot he manufacturer, ""Colourful and flexible, this 4"-diameter ball inspires interest, stimulates the senses and fosters beginning social interaction. The visual appeal combined with the auditory input from the concealed rattle encourages children to pick up the ball and explore the brightly coloured sections. In addition, the easy-to-grasp design allows children to lace their fingers through the holes or hold it with two hands. The Bendy Ball provides an entertaining way to motivate continued play and learning." The ball has a plastic band which runs around the whole middle of the ball. This is made of hard plastic and has a cute little caterpillar face on it as well as lots of different coloured plastic circles to make up the body of the caterpillar. In fact, the whole ball is very colourful and includes yellow, blue, purple, red green and orange. In terms of being bright and colourful and appealing to little eyes this ball definitely ticks all those boxes. Either side of the band there is a bendy web/netting to make up the shape of the ball. One side is red and one side is blue and you can squish this and move it as its very flexible and the spaces it in make it very easy for little hands to pick it up. I often see my little boy with his fingers intertwined in this netting and often find him trying to poke another toy through the holes too. There is a ball inside as well as I think he is also trying to get to the ball inside and you can see his mind working, trying to figure out how to get to the middle. Well, the ball in the middle does not come out but what it does do is provide some noise as it has a little chime/rattle in it so when you pick up and move this ball it will shake and make a really fun noise for a baby. I think the only thing I don't like about this ball is that because of the plastic band around the middle and the soft sides this doesn't roll like a proper ball would do, you can't really roll it and if you try to it just stops on its side because it is not perfectly round but as it has other learning aspects I would call it more of a toy than a ball. I have a photographs of my kids playing with this if you wish to see it up close and in use. I can probably see my little boy playing with it for a few more months so I would recommend for about up to 18 months. As it was a gift I obviously didn't buy it but a quick search on Amazon shows one on sale for £3.99 which I think is a fair price.
**The ball** While I was looking for toys for my little boy who was only 7 months old, I came across this little Einstein's ball on Amazon. I decided to order it, and I am so glad that I have as it has been hugely loved by my two youngest children. It is a simple soft plastic ball. The difference from other rattle we own is the design of it. The whole ball has hexagon shaped holes cut out of the main body of it. This means even small babies can grab at the ball with ease, as no matter where they hold the ball there fingers can tighten around the frame of the ball. The ball is made up of many bright colours making it appealing too even the smallest of children. It's easy to hold design, and the small rattle inside the ball that jingles every time the ball is slightly moved make it very appealing. All of these factors make it perfect for small babies just learning to use their hands. As the child gets older they will find the soft plastic of the ball bends between their fingers. This is great for little hands that are learning about different textures, and what they can do with their new found freedom of using their hands. The ball is very engaging with its bright prime colours attracting little ones attention straight away. **In use** My little girl is currently using this toy and she loves it as much as my son did. She is only four months old, but she can hold it very easily. It is very light so she can even grab it with just one finger, and as it is not too heavy it will not hurt when little one manages to catch their face with it. We have found this is the only toy she can actually play with independently at this age, and for that reason it is a fantastic first toy. My daughter is starting to put everything to her mouth. As she is still learning what her little hands can do this means sometimes she brings it far too quickly to her face. The soft plastic does not hurt her at all, and she actually just giggles even though I was terrified she may hurt herself. It is of course designed for smaller hands meaning there is nothing that can hurt her at all as it is all rounded. There is a friendly little caterpillar face pictured on the ball, and of course it acts as a rattle so little one is rewarded with the sounds of a bell as they learn to move it around. My daughter really does love this toy, she thinks it is fantastic and of she manages to knock it out of reach she tries to sit up to move towards it. Her little face lights up whenever she sees it, and she never seems to become bored with it. I was a little confused about the bendy description as when it first arrived I found it rather robust. On closer inspection I found it did bend under a fair amount of pressure but it was not until my son was older he was able to do this. As the child grows a little and is beginning to learn to crawl, again this ball can be used to encourage them. By dropping the ball it rolls across the floor creating a jingle sound. This encourages little one to move towards the noise, and the bright colours visually invite little one to follow. We found this ball was better than the lights, and sounds ball we owned despite being much simpler. I was a little worried that maybe it may be a little heavy for younger children. I was unable to find an age recommendation for this toy so I guessed that it would be ok for my seven month old baby, and my daughter is happy playing with it at a much younger age. I found not only was it fine for my young baby, but it actually grows with little one as they develop and learn fine motor skills. My children never seem to become bored with this ball. Although it is very simple, they find different ways to play with it so it adapts well. It is very durable lasting two children so far with no signs of wear and tear at all. I like to drop this in with some sterilising tablets every now and then as my little girl does put it to her mouth, and it is very easy to clean. My only downside is the packaging that comes with the toy. It is very minimal with hardly any information at all, and the plastic pieces that attach it to the small cardboard hanger are very difficult to get off. We needed to cut it off with scissors and I am not sure why toy manufacturers make it so difficult to remove packaging. **Summary** I would highly recommend this toy to for anyone that has a young child. It is very simple, but the bright colours and rewarding sounds make it perfect for young children. It helps develop find motor skills, and really is a fantastic engaging toy that is very simple. It is very durable as my son used it from when he was seven months old right up until now. He still enjoys rolling it around although he does become a little bored with it after five minutes. Now my youngest daughter plays with this toy, and at such a young age it is the only one she can actually grab on to. I have only ever come across this on the Amazon website, and we paid around £5 for it. I believe this is a fantastic price for such a well loved toy, and would highly recommend it to anyone.