Bintiva is a brand that I have seen over the years when looking into ways to get fit. I used to have a workout program from them that I absolutely loved, but the dvd got damaged by my oldest and I never got around to replacing it. It's a brand though that I think many will recognize and may not know that they make toys for children that also serve to give them that much needed outlets for expending energy. I had no idea that they made exercise toys for children, so I was happily surprised to be supplied with their Hippity Hop in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
The Hippity Hop is a rubber ball that has a handle on the top. I am sure you have seen this type of ball before, perhaps when you were a child. I remember using them in gym class. We would have races around the gym, but you had to remain seated on the ball and hop across the floor making sure that the ball left the ground with each hop. We were disqualified if our hop simply dragged the ball across the floor. It was quite the challenge when I was little. Those old balls are hard to find now, but Bintiva is bringing them back.
The ball is designed for ages 3-6, but more importantly you will need to worry about the size of your child. Age will determine if they have the coordination to use the ball, but if their size will determine if they can actually sit on it and stay on it. They have proven that using the Hippity Hop though helps promote coordination, language development, and cognitive skills as well as total body strength training. You have to use your whole body when bouncing on the ball in order to hold on, stay on, hop, and balance. The handle is textured to help keep your child's grip from slipping and big enough for them to hold on with two hands. It comes in purple, blue, and gray so you can get a gender specific color or a neutral one.
When I got this, I had it in my mind that it would be great for my daughter. She's only two and a half, but I thought I could start working with her with it now to help improve her balance. She is slightly pigeon toed and is the clumsiest kid I have ever seen because of it. She runs and falls down every time. She has a scar on the side of her nose from where she was walking, tripped on her own feet, and embedded the beak of a little toy bird into her nose. Her balance is in desperate need of help in my opinion even though doctors have told me that it isn't bad enough to worry about right now. However, when she had to get two stitches from that toy bird, I decided that she might need a little help. Unfortunately, this is where I said that the size of your kid is pretty important. She is just a tiny bit too short for it. I don't have it completely inflated because I was trying to see how much air I could have in it and still be able to get her to sit on it. You'll see her fall off of it in the video at the end of this post. We have tried a couple of times, but her legs just aren't long enough yet to sit on it. Her big brother though loves bouncing around the house on it. He's a little big for it in my opinion even though he's only five. He's very tall for a five year old. I need to pump it up completely for him because his height and weight make the ball sink low enough that he has trouble bouncing.
Really I think it is a great addition to the house. These balls are made to be used indoors so you don't bounce on something sharp and pop them. You really need to have the area clean where your kids use it. I am encouraging my son to use it daily to try to give him a little more exercise. The more running around he does, the better he plays with his sister. Otherwise, he just does things to aggravate her. I am going to still try to work with her with the ball because eventually she will be able to sit on it. She's been growing a lot lately, so any day she will have longer legs for it. Then I will be working with her daily to help build her balance and correct her pigeon toed problem.
In case you are wondering, it does come with a pump. It is made from plastic and is very simple. I wouldn't let your kids run off with it because it isn't really very durable. I used it as a hand pump, but according to their website, it is really a foot pump. There are very basic inflating/deflating instructions on the bag that the pump comes in. It also comes with two plugs and a tool to help you pull the plug out of the ball.