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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best toddler basketball hoop is, I’d recommend the Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set.
Is your little one an aspiring NBA player? Regardless of whether you’re hoping they’ll become the next Michael Jordan or not, basketball is a fantastic exercise for toddlers. Today we’re reviewing the top options on the market to find the best toddler basketball hoop.
Here are the toddler basketball hoops I will be reviewing:
Benefits of Basketball for Toddlers
Early childhood is a critical time for learning. It’s during those years that your little one is most willing to try new things, including physical activities.
Being active promotes wholesome growth and development for your toddler. Not only does it help them build a healthier body, but it also strengthens bones, muscles, and improves their cardiovascular fitness. Lastly, it supports the development of motor skills, concentration, and thinking skills.
When you integrate physical activities into your toddler’s life, it creates a foundation for exercise and movement. This is something they’re likely to carry with them throughout their life.
You see, children who are more physically active from an early age have a bigger chance of being more productive in adolescence and adulthood. This is a crucial trait for building a healthy lifestyle.
By taking part in physical activities, your little one may also develop emotionally, mentally, and socially, which could help them get ready for kindergarten.
Tips for Teaching Toddlers How to Play Basketball
Teaching your two-year-old how to play basketball requires patience and lots of small steps. Many toddlers go through a phase where everything is “theirs” and have a difficult time sharing. This can make the concept of “team sport” tricky for them to grasp.
Hence, it’s best to do drills where they get to have the ball as much as possible. Below I’ve gathered a few activities you can try to teach your little one basketball.
Passing is a simple yet effective way of teaching your little one how to share the ball. Begin by pairing up if there are multiple children, if not, just stand across from each other.
Get down on your toddler’s level and explain to them that you’re passing the ball by pushing it toward each other. It may take a few times until they fully understand, but stay patient.
Keep in mind that toddlers still have some learning to do. Not all are walking (which isn’t a requirement for early basketball) or talking. It’s best to use a sponge-style ball as opposed to a real junior basketball, which may cause injuries when thrown.
Dribbling is pretty much the base of basketball—players must be able to bounce the ball as they walk and run across the court. With toddlers, start slowly using a small ball—make sure that it has some bounce to avoid frustration.
Encourage them to bounce the ball in front of their feet. Let them use both hands to get the hang of it and let them keep their eyes on the ball. If your little one doesn’t stand well, then simply let them sit, bouncing the ball between their legs.
Shooting is one of the more fun activities, which your toddler will probably look forward to the most. However, this can also be the most challenging part, seeing that their hand-eye coordination isn’t that advanced yet. So, it’s essential that you offer lots of praise and encouragement to keep trying.
The best way to go about this is to use an oversized hoop and a toddler-friendly ball. Draw a line close to the net and have your wee one stand behind it.
Show them how to throw and let them have a try. Don’t focus on using the perfect form just yet. For now, it’s all about building confidence.
Rebounding is about catching the ball after it falls from the hoop. This is an excellent exercise if you’re in a group, but it can also work one-on-one. Use a soft, sponge-like ball to avoid injuries.
Let your little one stand next to the hoop, and then you’ll be shooting at it, gently. Tell them to watch the ball as it hits the rim and encourage them to catch it when it comes down.
Begin this with your toddler catching the ball flat-footed. Once they’re comfortable and confident, have them jump to get it.
How to Find the Best Toddler Basketball Hoop
Before we get to out top picks, there are some things you should keep in mind while shopping. You want to ensure that you get the best toddler basketball hoop for your little one’s enjoyment and safety. Here are a few points to consider:
Before anything else, consider the materials of the item you’re thinking of buying. Here, it’s important to reflect on the age and strength of your child. You don’t want cheap materials that’ll break easily, nor something that could hurt them.
Real basketball sets include steel as the primary material. For toddlers, however, steel isn’t the best thing to go with.
Soft plastic is your best bet—it’s also included in the majority of toddler basketball hoops. Still, ensure that it’s durable and won’t break, should it trip over, or if your little one tries to dunk.
Consider what hoop set-up best suits your needs. Do you want a door-mount with hooks? Or a more traditional setting with a tall pole?
These are all very different, and what’s best depends on the amount of space you have and your toddler.
Door-mounted hoops might be too tall for small toddlers. Luckily, you usually can hang them on other items, like the bed or even a chair for quick practice.
Traditional basketball hoops are excellent for toddlers, especially since you can get them in small sizes.
There’s also an additional category of standing hoops that rest on the ground. Such is a sensible pick with small toddlers or if you don’t have much room.
Wee ones grow quickly, so doing the math when buying a basketball set will pay off in the long run.
Unless you have younger children in the making, you don’t have to buy the baby hoop. Think of it like this: there’s no need to have your garage full of musical sets that your toddler has outgrown.
Instead, plan it thoroughly so that you can skip a few hoop increments and save some cash. If you’re starting early on, then yes, get that baby hoop, but perhaps invest in a door-mount afterward. These are suitable for a broader age range.
With children, you should always look for toys and activities that are age-appropriate. Basketball hoops for older children are going to be too tall for your toddler, which will only lead to frustration.
For toddlers, a practical height is between 2 and 6 feet—the latter may be pushing the limits. But this is where an adjustable pole is fantastic, especially if you’re trying to stretch its longevity, as I explained above.
Unless you’re planning on having it permanently sitting in the ground, having a stable base is crucial for safety. Without proper stability, it could tip over while your toddler is playing.
To ensure stability, look for a base that you can fill with either sand or water. This will weigh it down, preventing it from falling over.
Some fun features never hurt, and may only keep the little player’s attention for longer. Fortunately, many offer both music and light-up components that are very toddler-friendly.
Reviews of the Best Toddler Basketball Hoops
After thorough research, I’ve hand-picked the best toddler basketball hoops for you to see. I’ve dug deep and weighed in on the pros and cons so that you can decide which is best for your little one.
At the top of the list, we have the Easy Score basketball set from Little Tikes. This hoop set is just the right size for toddlers between the ages of 1.5 and five years. You can adjust the height between 2.5 feet to 4 feet, giving your little one room to grow.
The hoop is all about safety and fun—it could be the thing that gets your toddler hooked on basketball. One aspect that makes this set attractive is how affordable and easy it is to use. The base stays put using sand, and although it isn’t included, it’s quick to get a hold of.
Because of the weighted sand base, the hoop is less likely to tip over, causing a potential accident with your hooping toddler. Due to the extra weight, your tot can get as crazy as they’d like, trying to score a basket.
Another great feature is the plastic construction. It’s durable, and Little Tikes states that you can use it both indoors and outdoors. What’s more, it won’t hurt as much as steel if it should tip over.
Alongside the hoop, Little Tikes includes three toddler-sized balls. Now, one thing that amazed me is that these are inflatable balls—not the cheap, hard plastic ones that make a lot of noise. All you need is a pump to inflate them, and your little one is ready to go.
To minimize frustration, the manufacturer made the rim oversized, making it easier for the shooter to score. This is fantastic for building up confidence and techniques for when you move on to a larger hoop set.
One thing, however, is that the closure where you fill sand in is fairly easy to open. If your toddler likes to open stuff, consider sealing it with silicone to avoid a sandy mess in the living room.
Another model for toddlers aged 1.5 to five years, I found the Shootin’ Hoops Junior basketball set from Step2. The hoop sits approximately 42 inches off the grounds, but it’s not adjustable.
Still, it’s a sturdy construction with a four “leg” base that you fill with either sand or water to prevent it from falling over. The support, however, isn’t as significant as the one from Little Tikes, but it’s very stable and has little chance of tipping.
What’s great about this set is the backboard. It’s taller and broader than some of the others on today’s list, and it has red markings. This makes it excellent for target practice, mimicking that of a real basketball hoop.
Another excellent feature is the oversized rim. It’s broad, making it easy for little ones to shoot and score. For the hoop, Step2 includes a real woven net, offering an authentic appearance and durability.
Also in the bundle is a 6-inch basketball—a great size for little hands and not too heavy when making a shot. A small detail that’s unique on such basketball sets is the two cup holders included in the base. Here, your little players can have their drink ready for when the game is over or store the ball.
One negative that’s fair to mention is that the hoop tends to fall off the backboard. Fortunately, it’s an easy flaw to fix using additional screws or attaching it with zip-ties.
If bathtime is a struggle, having an activity to do can help distract your little one from the dreaded shampoo time. This intriguing Zoo Bathtime Basketball set from Skip Hop might provide enough diversion to get your toddler clean without a tantrum.
The set consists of a bright-colored puppy, holding a small net. At the back of its head, there are two suction cups, which you attach to either tile or glass. Sadly, they aren’t the strongest, so you may want to consider using command strips or small hooks to secure it.
In the bundle, you also receive three ball-squirts that your little one can have fun dunking and squeezing. A fantastic feature is the drawstring net. Once bathtime is over, leave the balls in the mesh to dry. This may also reduce any chance of mold growth from leftover moisture.
The set is suitable for toddlers aged one year and up. One thing I appreciate is the phthalate-free materials. It’s safe in the water with a little one who’s more than likely to take a sip. It also doesn’t take up much room—it measures approximately 7.25 by 6.75 inches.
What’s great about this hoop is that you could also use it outside the bath. With some creativity, you could hang it in the bedroom using command strips.
For toddlers who love activities, this three-in-one Sports Zone from Little Tikes is worth considering. It offers three fun sports—basketball, bowling, and soccer. Your little one can roll, throw, and kick, practicing their motor skills and coordination.
The basketball feature is the main attraction. It includes a digital backboard that lights up and can play 75 rewarding sounds and phrases. These automatically activate as the player scores a basket.
It has additional fun buttons that they can press to activate numbers and letters. You can also adjust the hoop to suit various heights and needs. Underneath, there’s a ball catcher, where you can keep it while it isn’t in use.
Besides the basketball hoop, you have a toddler-friendly soccer goal. Draw up a line and have them shoot toward it—it’s fantastic for exercise and imaginary fun.
If they get bored, have them try the bowling feature. Included are cones that they have to take down to get a strike. Little Tikes also provides a toddler-friendly bowling ball with dents for the fingers.
Once the game is up, the set folds up effortlessly by bringing both sides together. Then you’re free to store it behind the couch or in the corner of the playroom. Included are also a basketball and soccer ball. However, you’ll need three AA alkaline batteries, which aren’t provided.
If your tot has older siblings, then the TotSports Basketball Set from Little Tikes is worth considering. It’s an adjustable pole, ranging from 2 to 4 feet, suitable for children between the ages of 1.5 to 12 years.
The set is straightforward to assemble. All you do is attach the upper part to the base, and the fastening system keeps it secure. This also makes it effortless to adjust—you simply push the lever and move it to one of the increments.
Little Tikes includes everything you need to get started, including a toddler-friendly ball. It’s soft and won’t hurt if they’re accidentally hit. What’s great is the oversized rim—it increases the chances of players scoring, which builds confidence.
The base is a decent size—not as large as others—you can add either sand or water to it for stability. Little Tikes states that you need around 40 pounds of sand to fill the bottom. Your youngsters can jump and dunk without tipping it—although don’t let them climb the net.
Another good-to-have feature is the large backboard. It’s tall and bright, featuring a red square, which is excellent for target practice.
The materials used are durable, yet lightweight. You can use the set both indoors and outdoors.
If your toddler loves different activities, then the three-in-one basketball hoop from Arkmiido is worth a look. With this, they can play basketball, soccer, and ring toss.
For starters, the set is adorable—it adorns bright, toddler-friendly colors and intriguing details. It’s also available in yellow as well as blue.
The set is quite adaptable. You can adjust the height of the hoop between 2 to 4 feet. The manufacturer states that it’s suitable for ages one to 10, but it’s perhaps too “childish” for kids over age five.
Everything your little one needs to get started is in the bundle. They’ll receive one basketball, one soccer ball, rings, and one inflator. They can kick, throw, and toss, practicing various skills.
Another great aspect of this set is how easy it is to assemble. There are a few more parts than on the others, but it also offers extra activities.
To ensure it doesn’t fall over, you can fill the base with either sand or water. The set is very light and may tip over easily if you don’t fill the bottom. Fortunately, because of its lightness, it doesn’t cause significant harm should it fall over.
During the summer, you can take it outside in the garden for some outdoor play. If you don’t want to disassemble it, then simply pick it up and bring it out.
If your little one is nearing the end of toddlerhood, then I recommend having a look at the Adjust and Jam Pro set. This hoop from Little Tikes picks up where its smaller basketball hoops left off.
It’s fully adjustable but starts at the height of 4 feet. You can continue elevating it up to 6 feet, making it a suitable height for 10-year-olds.
The Adjust and Jam Pro set consists of soft plastic that’s quite gentle in case it should fall over. To avoid this, you can fill the base with sand, keeping it weighted on the ground.
One thing to note, however, is that it’s significantly larger than previous sets on the list. It requires a bit more room, so if you don’t have a large playroom, consider placing it in the garden.
Nonetheless, what I love about this set is that little ones can get crazy with their basketball skills. Little Tikes made it for slam dunks, and its sturdy makeup enables it to withstand an excited toddler.
As players try to dunk, the rim retracts, preventing it from breaking off. However, your little one might need some help getting it up again, which could be an annoyance when they become slam dunk pros.
The base is quite impressive—it offers two features: a ball keeper, for when it isn’t in use, and an automatic ball return. When the ball comes through the net, it lands on a tilted side, which automatically shoots it back toward the player.
Also in the package is a junior-sized basketball. It’s soft and only requires you to inflate it.
For small toddlers, aged 1.5 years and up, this set from GoBroBrand is fantastic. It offers six height settings, ranging from 2.6 to 3.8 feet. It provides ample room to grow and practice their balance as well as throwing accuracy.
Alongside the hoop, GroBroBrand includes three inflatable balls as well as a pump, so everything is ready to get started. It’s relatively easy to set up. All you need to do is attach the pole, and then you should be able to go.
For the base, it’s best to fill it with either sand or water to prevent it from tipping, in case your little one gets too excited. If you don’t want to fill it, you should place weights at the bottom—otherwise, it’s likely to fall.
Included also is a money-back guarantee. So, if you aren’t completely sold, you should be able to return it.
For smaller toddlers and babies, there’s the LotFancy basketball hoop. This is an interactive sports toy, recommended for ages from 1.5 years and up.
The set consists of a toddler-friendly hoop and a light-up backboard. As your little one scores a goal, it will illuminate with either 1, 2, or 3, indicating what number of goals they’ve achieved. As they score, the hoop activates clapping sounds, so they can know who’s the winner.
Besides this, there’s also a music button that players can press and activate “wake up” sounds. It’s excellent at grabbing your little one’s attention, getting them up and moving.
What’s more, this is a two-in-one toy. In addition to the hoop, they can engage in soccer or roll the ball onto the base.
Surrounding the base, there’s a dent that your little one must aim toward. Then you’ll see three ramps for the ball to roll up or down. This is fantastic at fine-tuning those motor skills as well as cause and effect.
It’s fairly easy to assemble, but you will need three AA batteries (these are included). Later, you can adjust the height to two positions, ranging from 1.5 to 1.75 feet.
The toy is also durable, made from top-quality materials that are BPA-free and non-toxic. It complies with the regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the USA.
For an option that’s more versatile in terms of set up, take a look at the basketball hoop from Number 1 in Gadgets. This is another two-in-one option—you can choose between a standing hoop or hanging it over your door. It’s excellent for all ages, starting from the toddler years.
To hang the hoop, it includes two fool-proof hooks that you can attach to any suitable surface. What’s amazing about these is that they don’t require you to drill holes or do any permanent damage to your property.
However, while your little one is small, simply remove the hooks, fold it, and let it stand on the floor. This is the perfect height for a balling toddler to build up their confidence. It has a net attached under the hoop that forces the ball back toward the shooter.
It’s effortless to assemble. Connect the parts by sliding the net through the required bars and then attach the bars to their respective connectors.
You can use the set both indoors and outdoors. Although, it’s fair to note that it isn’t the sturdiest, so if you’re experiencing bad weather, take it inside.
Nevertheless, it’s excellent for your little one to practice their fine and gross motor skills by throwing and aiming. Included in the package is also a ball and all parts needed for assembly.
The best toddler basketball hoop is the Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set. It’s adjustable and features an oversized rim, making it easier for little ones to score. In comparison to the others, it also has a wider base that you can weigh down.
Sports toys are fantastic for toddlers as they encourage them to be active. However, make sure that you consider an adjustable option and if it’s age-appropriate to avoid frustrations and meltdowns.