Do you want to go play outside? Blow up a few beach balls before you head into the sunshine. People of all ages have been happily bopping these lightweight toys since they were invented in 1938.
Custom beach balls make up !0% of all outdoor items sold at Quality Logo Products. People order them for beach parties, sports games, and end-of-the-school year picnics. They ask us all the time why a beach ball floats.
Put on your straw hat, bathing suit, and sunscreen. It’s time to learn more about how beach balls work and why they’re so awesome!
What is a Beach Ball?
A beach ball is an inflatable toy that is often used outdoors. It’s played with like a volleyball, but because it’s waterproof, it’s also safe to bring into the pool or ocean.
What Are Beach Balls Made From?
Beach balls are made from polyvinyl chloride resins, better known as PVC. This soft plastic is known for its flexibility, density, and durability. Because of these traits, you can whack a beach ball with all your strength without it popping!
Every manufacturer is different, but for the most part, latex is not used to make beach balls. If you have an allergy, always read the product description carefully, or ask for a list of materials.
How Does a Beach Ball Work?
In order to learn how beach balls work, you have to go back to high school physics! Beach balls are inflated with your exhaled breath, which is made of 16.4% oxygen and 4.4% carbon dioxide. These gases are denser (or heavier) than air, which is why the ball floats before gravity pulls it back down.
Why do beach balls float rather than sink? The answer comes down to differences in density. Beach balls are less dense (lighter) than water, so you don’t have to worry about losing them under the water. Just watch out for sharks!
Do Beach Balls Bounce?
With enough force, a beach ball will bounce once before it stops its motion. This movement can only be achieved with the right amount of air pressure and push from the object (the wall, floor, hands, etc.).
You can volley a beach ball into the sky, but you can’t dribble it on the floor. This has to do with the strength of the air pressure in the atmosphere. Ultimately, the higher the ball is in the sky, the more bounce it will have.
What is the Standard Beach Ball Size?
An inflated beach ball has an average 16” diameter. You can also find small beach balls for tiny hands or jumbo sizes that are bigger than your head!
These pool toys come in all kinds of interesting shapes, colors, and patterns. Beach balls filled with confetti, for instance, are great for celebrations like weddings and graduations. Football or baseball shaped beach balls are fun at tailgates. You can also buy custom beach balls printed with any text or image you want!
How Heavy is a Beach Ball?
Few items are lighter than a beach ball! In fact, these inflatable toys weigh less than a quarter (1/4) of a pound. Even little kids can carry one around without any trouble!
How to Inflate a Beach Ball
Take a deep breath – it’s time to inflate your beach ball! Follow these steps to do it properly:
- Open the plastic spout.
- Briefly wash the spout with soap and water.
- Blow up the ball using your breath or an air pump.
- Close the spout when the ball is inhaled.
- Have fun playing with your beach ball!
The first step is to find the plastic spout on the ball. This is usually located on one side and can be pressed up or down, so it doesn’t interfere with playtime.
Before you put your mouth on the spout, you should give it a good cleaning. Use warm water and a mild liquid detergent. Rinse thoroughly so you don’t get a gross, soapy taste when you’re blowing up the ball!
Take a deep breath and blow into the spout to fill up the beach ball. This will likely take 4 to 7 exhales. Between each exhale, block the hole with your tongue so air doesn’t seep out.
Your other option is to use a small air pump like the one you’d use for volleyballs, balloons, or bike tires. Stick the needle into the spout and give it 5 to 7 pumps until the ball is firm.
After the ball is inflated, remove the spout from your mouth and block the hole with your finger so air doesn’t sneak out. Press the spout back down into the ball so it’s closed.
Your beach ball is all pumped up and ready to go. Now you can start an epic game of sand volleyball!
What Can You Do With a Beach Ball?
You can have a lot of fun with a beach ball! Not only are there great games and activities to play, but beach balls are also great for teambuilding, learning, and even physical therapy!
Beach ball volleyball is a fun, cheap, and easy activity for barbecues and picnics. You don’t even need a net to have a blast!
Set up cones as the goals, and use a beach ball for soccer on the beach. It’s going to be more challenging to score when you’re running and kicking in the sand.
Hula Hoop Basketball
Even if you’re not over six feet tall, you can still get a slam dunk! Just play your next basketball game with two hula hoops and a beach ball. You can set this up indoors or outdoors, and play with one to ten people.
Do you need an outdoor game to play with your toddler? Toss a beach ball back and forth. The soft material is easier on their little hands.
Towel Toss is a classic game of catch, but with a twist! A pair of partners each hold a beach towel and try to catch the ball inside.
Pretend like you’re in The Big Lebowski and create a bowling lane using bottled drinks as the pins and a beach ball as the ball. Bowling shoes are optional!
Walk with the beach ball between your knees and see how fast you can go. Once you hit the finish line, switch with a friend and have them go back. The first team to cross the finish line without losing the ball wins!
On a hot summer day, nothing is better than a water gun fight! Use the powerful blaster to shoot at a beach ball and get it moving. You can even turn it into a race if you need a group activity.
Are you hosting a kid’s birthday party? Use a beach ball for a game of hot potato. When the game gets intense, the ball will fly everywhere, making for a lot of giggles and great pictures.
Monkey in the Middle
This game requires at least 3 people to play. One person is the “monkey” and stands in the center. The monkey’s goal is to intercept the beach ball as everyone around them tosses or hits it to one another.
Everyone stands in a circle holding the end of a parachute blanket. Fill the middle with beach balls and toss them up into the air. This is a great game for kids.
Are you looking for a cheap icebreaker game? A beach ball could be your answer! Use a Sharpie to write a question on each panel of the ball. Have everyone stand in a circle and toss the ball to each other. The question facing them is the one they answer.
You can use a beach ball at almost any grade level to teach almost any subject. Write vocab words, math equations, or even symbols for music class. Students can then say the answers out loud as the ball is tossed around the room.
If you’re looking for a way to mix up your workout, write fitness challenges on each panel of a beach ball. Toss the ball in the air and perform the challenge that comes up, whether it’s 20 pushups or 30 squats. Personal trainers can also try this activity with their clients.
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability has a list of beach ball games and activities for rehabilitation. One of their recommendations is called “Toss and Turn.” The patient tosses the ball in the air and does some kind of physical movement like jumping in place or touching their toes before the ball hits the ground.
Dolphins and seals play with beach balls for live shows at zoos and aquariums. You may even be able to train your dog to hit a beach ball into the air with their nose!
Why Are Beach Balls So Fun?
People love beach balls because they are associated with the sunshine. In fact, 92% of America loves warm weather as spring and summer were voted the favorite season in 46 out of 50 U.S. states.
Playing with a beach ball is also said to improve motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and heart strength. Overall, we may be obsessed with our smartphones and Netflix subscriptions, but an old-fashioned beach ball will never go out of style!
The Bottom Line
Cue up that Beach Boys playlist and head outside to enjoy the nice weather. As long as you have a few beach balls, you’re in for a day of fun in the sun!
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