Although conventional wisdom suggests that we will spend as much time outside as possible, winter is coming soon. As Marion watched the flame of her torch extinguish in Raiders of the Lost Ark before facing a chamber full of snakes, parents like me are now anxiously watching the last bits of autumn sunshine disappear into another long winter indoors where kids can’t easily partake in their favorite pastimes.
Game changing innovations continue to pop up in our neighborhoods, so instead of the old saying “don’t play ball in the house”, I encourage my boys, ages 6 and 9, to play soccer in the house. Thanks to a toy that makes it safe, I’m letting my kids do so indoors.
My godmother presented my younger son, Theo with the famous brand new hover soccer ball set, very similar to the real thing. This lightweight ball is more like an air-hockey puck as it moves across surfaces instead of rolling like a conventional soccer ball.
This hover max is battery powered and constantly charges by USB. When turned on, a tiny fan inside sucks air through the top of the ball, which is expelled at high enough speed to keep it floating or gliding while charging. Using a soccer kick, the ball can easily travel 15 feet on the ground or through ½ of that on carpet or rug. Furthermore, the size and design make it difficult to send the ball too high above my living room furniture, so they’ve managed to avoid causing damage to anything fragile.
The boys have played many games in our apartment’s narrow, uncarpeted hallway, with a door being the goal, and more games in our building’s longer shared hallway. (Unlike the ball, my kids don’t have an “off” switch, so we’ve mostly kept games inside our place to avoid complaints from the neighbor.) Because of the styrofoam-like padding around the ball—and in case it hits someone in the face—I know some parents who have shortened their children’s hours of play until they can completely master this intense toy. Besides its shape, the LED lights on the hover ball allow my kids to play with it outside, even in the evening when they’re meant to be sleeping; and it helps me feel like I’m still enjoying myself.
We have all found the Hover Ball to be as fun for adults as it is for kids as evidenced by its success in commercials, compared to other indoor toys. I personally find it to be an entertaining toy that is both challenging and rewarding.
For my son’s 5th birthday, he begged for a Hover Ball so we ordered one about one month in advance of his exciting day. They said on the phone it would take approximately 6-8 weeks to get the item. Knowing that it might not come in time for his birthday, we still decided to order the Hover Ball that was popularized. Disappointingly, my son’s birthday came and went without sight of a Hover Ball, so after seven weeks had gone by we contacted Hover Ball and found out that they were cancelling our order because the supplier for Hover Ball ran out of balls. Worst!
This toy is a great inexpensive project for college students who are unable to play outside in the winter. It would also be good for indoor hallway soccer matches in the dorms!