While current conventional wisdom suggests that we should spend as much time outdoors for as long as possible, winter is coming. Just as Marion anxiously watched the flame of her torch go out as she faced a chamber of snakes in The Raiders of the Lost Ark, parents like me now anxiously watch the last rays of the autumn sun melt into a long winter stuck indoors, where kids cannot easily participate in their favorite hobbies, like sports, without doing so in front of them. a screen. “Don’t play ball in the house!” is a maxim as old as it comes. But in this year of earth-shattering tradition, I ditched the ban and actually cheer on my boys, ages 6 and 9. play ball (especially soccer) indoors, thanks to a new toy that makes it safe.
A caring godmother gave my youngest son, Theo, the hovering soccer ball for his birthday. Designed to look like the real thing (down to black and white pentagons), the lightweight floating ball works more like a giant air hockey puck. Although there are battery-powered versions, this one charges via USB; when turned on, a small fan inside draws air in from the top and expels it with enough force to make the ball hover – or rather glide – above the ground. A well-placed kick can easily send it 15 feet along bare ground and about half that distance over a mat or rug. But no matter how hard my budding David Beckhams hit the ball, the design makes it difficult to send it too high above the ground, so they managed to avoid damaging our sofas, windows, light fixtures, or other bricks. breakable. a-brac.
My boys played a number of games in the narrow, carpeted hallway of our apartment using a door as the goal, and a few more in the longer shared hallway of our building. (Unlike the ball, my kids don’t have an ‘off’ switch, so we mostly kept the games inside our house for the sake of our neighbors.) A styrofoam ring of padding around the ball makes the even more accidental balloon-proof; in fact, i know a few parent friends who let their little ones play with similar floating balloons as this padding provides extra protection in case of unexpected facial plants. Aside from its shape, the floating ball’s LED lights are another detail that separates it from traditional soccer balls – and even allow my kids to play with it outside (on the sidewalk) after the sun goes down, the days when I want some semblance of normalcy.
If you have the space, WisToyz also sells a hovering soccer ball with two goals and another traditional ball that you can inflate, with a pump included. Either way, the set costs less than the float ball on its own, but the float ball in this set is battery powered, not USB.
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