A few months ago, probably approaching a year now, I got introduced to XKCD. An amazing webcomic. Well, I went through the history, and one of the more memorable comics was this one. At the time I thought it was funny, but it didn’t spark any renewed childhood interests. Well, a few months ago I was looking around on the XKCD blog, and came across this entry. For some reason, it really was interesting to me. The concept was appealing, and I thought a few friends and I could easily have a lot of fun in a ball pit. I began looking around, and quickly discovered that ball pits were very expensive, and rather hard to find. I passed the idea along to a handful of friends and none of them really seemed super interested, so I dropped it, unable to fund on my own. Well last week sometime, I got re-introduced to the thought of a ball pit.
A few months after XKCD’s original ball pit they expanded upon it to a very large, and quite enjoyable ball pit. I saw the blog post at the time, but it didn’t spark any new interests, or renew the thought. About a week ago, however, I got re-introduced to the idea, and was determined to purchase my very own ball pit for my room. I quickly began researching ball pits, and discovered that there are a handful of other people who have installed their own ball pit. The notable mention is Mike Machenry.
The most important thing that I learned from Mike’s installment, and the information he gave to XKCD is that crush-proof balls are a must, and it takes over 1000 balls to have an enjoyable ball pit. I did my research on purchasing balls at that point, and after several hours, I had discovered that the cheapest place to purchase was from Tinker Tots who has a package of 500 crush-proof balls for $99.99. After much thought, I placed an order for 500 balls and decided I would order an additional 500 in the next few days, after the original shipment arrived. It was now time to construct a frame.
After a few trips to home depot, and lots of thinking, I ended up with 8 PVC frames that measure 24″ wide and 28″ high, and have plastic coated chicken wire bodies. The frames are held together with bailing twine. This provides for a quite capable frame, while able to adjust the shape, or size, with great ease.
After I completed the frame, I still had to wait for the shipment of balls to come. In reality, it shipped quite quickly, but it seemed like a long wait. I had them 4 business days after the order was placed. For such a large box, that was quite acceptable to me.
Once the balls arrived, I was quite pleased. I knew that 500 balls would only fill up my frame a few inches deep, and I knew I woudln’t be able to swim in them quite yet. Regardless of the shallowness it was still quite fun to hang out in. I have already spent a lot of time just sitting in the ball pit. It’s surprisingly comfortable.
Still on the to-do list:
- Order 1500 more balls, in 3 phases of 500 balls each.
- Place foam at the bottom of the pit
- Place a few pillows throughout the pit to add to the comfort when leaning against a wall
- Once the total is up to 2000 balls, decide if more need to be ordered.