10 Best Basketballs for Kids Reviewed in 2020
Who doesn’t want to be like Michael Jordan? Encouraging your child to play basketball is a wonderful tool to get them excited about getting active. While this sport was originally created to help athlete's workout during colder weather it still remains one of the most popular sports in the world today. When your child plays basketball they are running, jumping and enhancing some of their leg and ankle muscles while also improving their endurance. With dribbling and throwing their basketball, it helps your child develop strength in their grip and their gross motor skills. We know that your child will be shooting around the hoops with one of the highest rated basketballs on our list below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 25 hrs of research
Made of foam, making it light and easy to throw
Quiet for indoor play
Bounces for dribbling
Small size is good for little hands
10 Best Basketballs for Kids Reviewed
1. SKLZ Pro Mini Swish Foam
Made of foam, making it light and easy to throw
Quiet for indoor play
Bounces for dribbling
Small size is good for little hands
The coating may peel with use
When it comes to sports, the earlier you start, the better. To get your kid off to a great start, the SKLZ Pro Mini Swish Foam Ball is ideal. The foam ball is firm enough to have some bounce, giving young children the chance to learn to dribble and toss the ball. It’s quiet, making it ideal for playing indoors without disturbing other family members or neighbors. It fits into mini hoops, and it’s easy to maintain as it doesn’t require any inflation. It’s light and easy for small, young hands to handle.Read more
Ease of Use
If your little one is ready to try shooting hoops, then the SKLZ Pro Mini Swish Foam Ball is a great place to start. It’s the perfect size for young kids. The foam is firm and has some bounce to it, so young kids will be able to shoot hoops with no problems. They can dribble or shoot hoops without a problem.
The foam makes it quiet, so it’s perfect for indoor play without endangering your belongings or annoying your neighbors. This versatile ball can be used with mini basketball hoops or for a simple game of catch. It is durable and doesn’t need to be inflated like a traditional basketball.
Kids will find the SKLZ Pro Mini Swish Foam Ball irresistible. Play, in general, has a number of benefits for children. Play helps develop children’s self-confidence as they master skills, such as making a basket. Physical play develops children’s motor skills, flexibility, and balance. It also helps develop their muscles as they dribble and toss the ball. Basketball, in particular, helps to develop both fine and gross motor skills, provide ankle stability, develop hand/eye coordination, and agility. As children begin to play in teams, it also teaches important social skills such as teamwork and compromise.
2. GlowCity Light Up
Impact-activated dual LEDs
40-second automatic shut-off
Official adult-size and weight number 7 ball
Arrives deflated and will need to be filled before use
Black paint on lines can flake off over time
This trendy basketball looks and feels like the real thing during the day and becomes an all-star when the sun goes down! Paired with a glowing basketball hoop, this ball will provide exercise and enjoyment far into the night!Read more
Ease of Use
Unless you happen to live somewhere that is sunny 24 hours a day, it's likely that your child has had their play time cut short by nightfall. Once dusk falls it would difficult and unsafe to continue playing basketball as a missed throw could result in a lost ball or, even worse, a broken nose. Thankfully GlowCity has stepped in to solve this problem with their revolutionary Light Up Basketball! This illuminated ball has been carefully crafted to maintain the proper weight and size of an official adult-level basketball
The balance has also been adjusted to compensate for the two internal LED’s that provide a full-bodied glow with zero wobble. This bright ball would make the perfect addition to your child’s backyard basketball games and could even steal the spotlight as a talent show or trick shot performance.
This glowing globe comes pre-installed with two bright LEDs situated in individual internal casings that provide a full almost fire-like glowing experience. The LEDs are impact activated to ensure that the light turns on with the very first dribble. It also contains an automatic shut off mechanism that will power down the ball after 40 seconds on non-use, preserving battery life. Three AG13 batteries on each side of the ball will provide power for up to 30 hours of gameplay and can be easily replaced using the provided tool once depleted.
3. Dunnrite Pool/Water 8 inch
8-inch diameter, 25-inch circumference
Color-matched and sized to pair with Dunnrite Jr. Hoops
Fade and chlorine resistant
Easy to inflate
Slowly leaks air and may need to be reinflated often
This ball is the perfect size to toss around in the pool. Whether you have the Dunnrite Junior Hoop set or you are using another child-friendly water basketball hoop, this basketball is guaranteed to provide hours of aquatic entertainment!Read more
Ease of Use
In the summer there are few things that beat the heat like a good dip in the pool. Floating and swimming can be relaxing but ultimately rather boring. Spice up your next pool party with the Dunnrite Pool/Water Basketball! This blue and white basketball has been specifically designed for water play.
Its small 8-inch diameter makes it the perfect size for small hands to grasp and throw. The durable exterior won’t fade if it's left in the sun or even if it’s forgotten in the pool. Chlorine doesn’t even faze this ball! This ball was designed specifically to pair with the Dunnrite Junior Hoop Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop but its small size makes it ideal for any brand of floating or poolside hoop.
Swimming is a heavily aerobic sport that can help burn body fat and improve muscle tone. Water is 12 times denser than air and the extra resistance translates into more calorie burning with less strain on your joints. Studies have also shown that swimming can release the same endorphins as traditional exercises which can have a positive effect on your sense of well-being by providing relaxation. If you combine aquatic exercise with the cardiovascular workout of a sport such as Basketball, you are providing your child with an enjoyable way to improve their flexibility and maintain an overall better fitness level. Plus, its a lot of fun!
4. Baden SkilCoach Heavy Trainer
Increase strength and ball handling efficiency
Intermediate size (28.5 inches, 36 to 40 ounces)
Improves dribbling and passing skills
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
May develop warping over time
Bounce is very loud
This basketball is ideal for children between the age of 10 and 14 to help strengthen their off hand and improve their overall basketball skill level. Baden has also created a series of Youtube videos designed to help your child train effectively.Read more
Ease of Use
If your son or daughter plays for a school basketball team or private league, it's likely that they have sought ways to help improve their overall basketball skills. The Baden SkilCoach Heavy Trainer Rubber Basketball was designed specifically to assist young players to train with an appropriately sized, weighted basketball. This ball can help improve your child’s strength and shooting range as well as ball handling skills.
The high-quality rubber construction is durable enough to hold up to exhaustive hours of training. A plethora of training videos and drills exist to help direct your child in the proper way to utilize this ball in order to help build their basketball skills while still providing the look and feel of a traditional ball. Best of all it arrives fully inflated and the thick rubber coating will prevent leaks.
This basketball is designed to be heavier than a traditional basketball to assist with strength training. While normal intermediate size basketballs weigh a little over 1 pound, this ball provides between 2.5 and 3 pounds of playing weight. This extra weight is perfect to help strengthen your child’s off hand, increase their muscle memory, and extend their shooting range. The extra weight will make this ball bounce a bit flat which can be frustrating but if overcome will highly improve your child’s dribbling ability when switching back to a standard weighted ball. It can also curb bad habits in young players such as one-handed rebounding and the official-size version of this basketball is utilized by professional players daily for their training regimens.
5. Spalding Rookie Gear
Bright colors to appeal to little ones
Weighs less than standard youth balls
Good grip for better ball handling
Suitable for indoor and outdoor play
May deflate with use
The lighter weight of the Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball makes it easier to throw, dribble, and pass, while still giving children the experience of using a “real” basketball. It has good grip, giving them an advantage while they learn the skills needed to play. It’s bright colors are fun. It’s a great choice for children ready for the challenges of a bigger ball, and it can be used both inside and outsideRead more
Ease of Use
Looking for a lightweight basketball to start your little one off right? The Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball is a bright, fun ball that’s specifically designed for children age eight and younger. This ball weighs less than standard youth balls, making it easier for young children to throw, dribble, and pass.
It’s made from durable, high-performance leather and has excellent grip, which is ideal for learning basketball basics and developing confidence. It has good bounce and is designed for indoor or outdoor play. It’s perfect for children just learning the game or for children who have a bit of experience but want a ball that’s lighter and easier to shoot and pass.
Basketball is a great way to enhance your child’s development. The Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball helps your child develop important physical, emotional, and social skills. Learning the skills of dribbling and shooting help your child develop strength and coordination. The running involved in a game of basketball also builds up their physical endurance. Learning a new skill can be frustrating, giving your child a chance to learn to manage their emotions and bounce back from challenges. The team aspect of the sport gives your child a sense of belonging and confidence. They learn to interact with others and how to be a good team player, supporting and learning from others.
6. Spalding NBA Mini
Small size to fit small hands
Lightweight and easy to throw
Bright and appealing colors
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
May require additional inflation with use
When your child is ready to learn the ins and outs of basketball, the Spalding NBA Mini Basketball is a great way to start. It’s brightly colored and has the NBA logo, making it appealing and fun. It’s small size and light weight makes it a good starter ball. Younger children can handle the ball easily and focus on learning skills like shooting and dribbling. It’s durable and has a one year guarantee. It can be used indoors or outdoors, so it’s flexible enough for whatever kind of play your child most enjoys.Read more
Ease of Use
Got a future NBA star in the making? The Spalding NBA Mini Basketball is an excellent place to start. It has a traditional rubber cover, giving it the feel of a real basketball while being light and small enough for smaller hands. It’s just the right size for learning the basics of the game without the awkwardness of a larger ball.
It has good bounce, so your children can learn to dribble and rebound. Its bright colors make it distinctive and fun, and it has the official NBA logo printed on it. It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use and comes inflated. It’s durable and has a one year warranty.
The small size of the Spalding NBA Mini Basketball makes it perfect for introducing children to basketball. It’s light and easy to handle, so your children can learn to dribble and shoot, which improves their hand/eye coordination and gross motor skills, in addition to building strength. The pivoting and movement of the game improves your child’s balance. The running involved during the game builds up their aerobic endurance and stamina. Playing with other children teaches them teamwork and gives them a sense of belonging. Learning new skills gives children a sense of achievement and pride, which boosts their self-esteem.
7. Mikasa BX1008 Junior Size Rubber
Tacky grip for better ball handling
Wide channels for improved ball control
Durable enough for repeated play
Not fully inflated when shipped; will need a pump to fully inflate
Even though it’s a smaller ball, the Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball has a traditional look and feel. It’s durable and perfect for outdoor play, which is important for children’s health and development. Its wide channels give your children better control over the ball. The ball is grippy, so children are able to learn fundamentals such as dribbling, passing, and throwing. It has good bounce, so it’s effective for play. Its lighter weight makes it easy for children to manage.Read more
Ease of Use
If you’re looking for a traditional ball in a smaller size, the Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber is a great choice. With a durable rubber cover, it’s designed for heavy use in a game after game. It’s primarily for outdoor use, but it can be used indoors as well. It has wide channels for ball control and a tacky grip, which helps to control the ball for better shooting
It’s perfect for older children who are just learning basketball, or more experienced players who are improving their skills in the game. Its interior is strong as well, holding in the air to keep it firm and bouncy.
Enjoying a game of basketball with the Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball provides children with numerous health, emotional, and social benefits. Playing basketball helps children develop their gross motor skills as they learn to throw and dribble. The quick starts and stops of the game develop their agility. The running up and down the court helps children develop their overall endurance. Learning a game gives children a healthy outlet for emotions. The team aspects of basketball provide children with important social skills, including sharing, working as a team, and compromising. They learn how to express themselves verbally and build relationships, giving them important social tools for the future.
8. SportimeMax Hands-On
Durable to last game after game
Bright colors to appeal to kids
Shows correct hand placement
Perfect for indoor or outdoor play
Ships deflated; will need a pump to inflate
The SportimeMax Hands-On Basketball - Junior Size is more than just a basketball. It’s a teaching tool for showing children how to shoot with proper form and hand placement. It also shows whether they are releasing the ball properly. Having proper form improves the odds of their making a basket and seeing success while playing, which gives them confidence. It’s durable, and the bright colors make it fun to play with. The smaller size makes it easy to grip and handleRead more
Ease of Use
For a ball that also teaches your child how to play, try the SportimeMax Hands-On Basketball - Junior Size. It’s bright and fun, with alternating colors to show whether the ball is rotating correctly when it’s released. Correct hand placement for shooting is shown in red for right-handed children and blue for left-handed children, with black for common hand contact positions. All children need to do to develop good technique is to line their fingers up with the outlines on the ball and shoot. It’s also suited to dribbling and passing.
It’s made from durable rubber. It has good bounce and is good for indoor or outdoor play.
Learning good technique is important for mastering any sport, including basketball. The SportimeMax Hands-On Basketball - Junior Size helps children learn good basketball technique for shooting. This, in turn, helps children develop dexterity, muscle strength, and good hand/eye coordination. Passing and dribbling also provide children with muscle development and dexterity. Being able to shoot the basketball accurately gives children a sense of accomplishment, improving their self-confidence. Basketball builds overall endurance and flexibility as children run with frequent starts and stops. Basketball gives children a fun outlet for play. As they learn to play with other children and as part of a team, they develop important social skills such as assertiveness and negotiation.
9. Chastep Pro Mini Foam
Made from non-toxic polyurethane for safety
Antimicrobial to keep your child healthy
Good bounce for learning to dribble
Quiet enough for indoor play
The cover may peel over time
Children need a basketball that’s the right size and shape for them. The Pro Mini Basketball, Chastep, 6 Inch Foam Ball is the perfect size for young children. It’s light, has good grip, and bounces well. It’s ideal for young children learning the basics of shooting, passing, and dribbling. It’s quiet, so it’s good for indoor play without annoying neighbors. It can be used outside as well. It’s the perfect size for child hoops. It’s non-toxic and antimicrobial, making it a healthy choice for your child.Read more
Ease of Use
It’s small enough to work with a children’s basketball hoop. Since it’s soft foam, it’s quiet and suitable for indoor play as well as outdoor. The soft foam also makes it safer for play, since it’s less likely to cause injury. The company also offers a money-back guarantee.
With its adorable pink and blue color scheme, the Pro Mini Basketball, Chastep, 6 Inch Foam Ball is a fun way to learn basketball. It’s made from non-toxic polyurethane and is antimicrobial. It has a good grip and it’s lightweight, making it easy to throw. It had good bounce, so little ones can begin learning the basics of the game such as dribbling and rebounding.
While learning to play basketball with the Pro Mini Basketball, Chastep, 6 Inch Foam Ball, children develop gross and fine motor skills as they learn to shoot, pass, and dribble. Basketball helps children develop stamina and endurance as they run around. Their strength develops as they use their arms to shoot and dribble and their legs to run, stop, start, and pivot. As children learn the team aspects of the game, they develop important social skills such as negotiation and communication. Mastering new skills also helps children gain confidence and self-esteem
10. Little Tikes Replacement
18.5-inch size perfect for small hands
Compatible with most Little Tikes Basketball sets
Hollow plastic material easy for beginners
Arrives fully inflated
This ball is not an exact duplicate of the original Little Tikes basketball and varies slightly in texture and color
The ball may leak air or pop over time and is not suitable for dogs
We love the lighter weight and softer texture of this ball that makes it perfect for toddlers to bounce and play!Read more
Ease of Use
When you have a toddler, you learn quickly how little things that might be insignificant to you can leave your little one absolutely devastated. Nothing can be more heartbreaking for a 2-year-old than the loss of their favorite basketball. Whether your previous Little Tikes ball took a dirt nap after the puppy got hold of it or simply disappeared into the same unknown void that claims socks and Tupperware lids, your child will be the first to let you know that just any old ball is not going to replace it. It has to be the SAME ball. Fortunately, Little Tikes prepared for this eventuality with their Replacement Ball.
This soft plastic basketball is an exact replica of the one that comes standard with most Little Tikes basketball hoops. It features a bright orange appearance that makes it very easy to find in tall grass or shrubs, perfect for backyard play. It's softer and more lightweight material lets your little one grip and hold it just like a big kid. Get ready to be your little one’s hero with this replacement basketball!
This basketball is only a little over 18 inches around, the perfect size for small hands and fingers to grasp and build gross-motor skills. The material is more lightweight and soft compared to traditional basketballs which makes it easier for your child to bounce and throw. This ball is perfect for encouraging outdoor play which can help your little one develop muscle tone and reduces the likelihood of developing childhood obesity.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
One important thing when it comes to basketball is that you need to make sure that these balls have a good enough bounce, otherwise you’ll be playing more like soccer instead of the sport your children want to play. These balls should have a grip like a feature to them so that they’re easier for children to hold, shoot, pass, or dribble.
Durability is extremely important for any children’s toy which is why for this specific subject we paid extra close attention too. If the ball isn’t durable, it won’t stay inflated, having inflation is important because it will require your basketball for the proper bounce, dribbling, shooting and rebounding. Any kinds of tricks that your child wants to do or learn will have to require the perfect basketball. For younger children, parents are going to want to look into basketballs that are made of foam as they’re a little bit softer and a bit more vulnerable if they’re chewed on so it’s best to keep them away from any kind of animal or teething toddler.
It’s no secret that when it comes to dribbling and bouncing, bouncing is pretty much essential when it comes to the game of basketball. If the ball doesn’t bounce, your child won’t be able to learn skills such as dribbling, layups or rebounds. Having the perfect bounce is key. Each ball on our list all have been recommended by other customers and all have a good bounce making them 100% durable and excellent for your child to learn any of the tricks and skills that come with this wonderful active sport. Of course for rubber balls over time or after shipping you may need to add some extra air into them but otherwise, they’ll be good to go for your next game.
This means that if a ball happens to hit your child during playtime, parents won’t have to worry as much of any sort of injury as the foam is softer then rubber.
Foam balls are also wonderful to have for a rainy day because they’re better for your children to play with indoors as they’re not likely to break any expensive household items.
These balls are also lightweight so you won’t have to worry about how heavy the basketball might be for your active child.
Foam balls are typically best for young children. These tend to be smaller (around 5 inches in diameter). The small size and light weight make them easier for little hands to grip and bounce. Foam balls on this list are the SKLZ Pro Mini Swish Foam Ball and the Pro Mini Basketball, Chastep, 6 Inch Foam Ball.
Any basketball may appeal to girls. The best guideline is to find a ball that’s suited for her hand size. A mini ball would be appropriate for a toddler, while a size 5, or “youth,” basketball would be appropriate if she is a bit older. Size 6 balls are good for girls aged 12 and older and are used by women’s college and professional teams. Some balls have extra touches that might provide extra appeal for girls. The Pro Mini Basketball, Chastep, 6 Inch Foam Ball, for example, is available in a fun blue and pink color combination.
Other Factors to Consider
Gripping is also a key factor when it comes to basketball. Unfortunately, this factor is something that parents sometimes often forget about. Having a good grip on your basketball is important because without a good enough grip the balls slip easily, and your child may have a bit more difficulty in learning how to play the game.
The last thing we took into consideration when coming up with our list of the top ten highest rated basketballs for kids was safety. Each ball on our list is specifically designed for toddlers and children on the younger side because they are made of foam.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Which basketballs are best for older children?
Older children will benefit from playing with “youth” balls. These balls are typically 27.5 inches in circumference, making them large enough to help children master the game, but small and light enough to be handled by growing children. Youth balls on this list include the Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball, the Mikasa Junior Size Rubber Basketball, the light-up basketball, and the Sportime Max Hands-On basketball.
q: Does it come inflated?
Foam basketballs don’t require inflation, so they are shipped ready to play. Rubber balls vary, but even when they are shipped “inflated,” they may require additional air for maximum bounce. It’s good practice to have an air pump, as basketballs lose air over time and require inflation for continued play.
q: What material are the basketballs made of?
Basketballs are made from a variety of materials. Mini basketballs for very young children are typically made from foam to make them safe and easy to grip. Larger balls are made from rubber for grip and bounce.
q: What size is the basketball?
The smallest basketballs are 5 to 6 inches in diameter and designed for toddlers and very young children. Larger basketballs come in standard sizes. The smallest size is size 1, which is 16 inches in circumference and designed for ages 2 to 4. The next size is size 3, which is 22 inches in circumference and suited for children ages 4 to 8. Size 4 balls are 25.5 inches are suitable for ages 5 to 8. Size 5 balls are 27.5 inches are suited for children ages 9 to 11. Size 6 balls are 28.5 inches and ideal for boys ages 12 to 14 and girls and women ages 12 and above. Size 7 balls are 29.5 inches and ideal for boys ages 15 and above.
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