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7 Best Basketballs for Kids to Up Their Game (2022 Reviews)

4 boys having fun jumping in the air
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Basketball is a fun sport that the whole family can play together. It teaches children teamwork, hand-eye coordination, motor skills and gets them physically active.

If your child has started to show interest in playing the game, you’ll need to get them a quality basketball. I’ve created this list of the 7 best basketballs for kids so you can find the right one for their age and skill level.

Best Basketballs for Kids

  • 1.

    (Most official — $$)

    Why it’s great: Wilson provides the official basketballs for the NCAA, so you know you’re getting top quality with this ball. It’s made of rubber with wide channel construction for the best grip and traction. It has a pressure lock bladder, which improves air retention and the ball’s durability. This ball is meant for outdoor use and can stand up to harsh concrete and asphalt. Also, it’s available in sizes four through seven, so you can choose the correct one for kids ages 5 and up.

    Keep in mind: It comes underinflated, so you’ll need to pump it up before use.

    Good for: Kids who want a high-quality basketball from a trustworthy brand.

  • 2.

    (Most versatile — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This basketball is made of faux leather and is great for indoor or outdoor games. It has a composite cover that offers plenty of grip, even for little hands. It also has a rotationally balanced bladder, which provides excellent air retention and durability. The feel of this ball is nicer than a rubber ball, but it’s still tough enough to handle outdoor play. It comes in sizes five through seven, so you can choose the one that you need.

    Keep in mind: This is closer to an indoor ball and isn’t as bouncy as the outdoor rubber balls.

    Good for: Kids who want a basketball they can use both indoors and outdoors.

  • 3.

    (Best set — $$)

    Why it’s great: This basketball by Senston comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one your child likes the best. It also comes with a pump and needle, so you have everything you need to inflate your ball and get your child on the court. It’s made of 100% eco-friendly natural and synthetic rubber, so it’s lightweight and bouncy. It offers a good grip with texture and streamlined lines. It’s also suitable for indoor or outdoor play.

    Keep in mind: This only comes in youth size 5, so it’s best for kids ages 9-11 years old.

    Good for: Older kids who need a pump and needle along with their basketball.

  • 4.

    (Best budget option — $)

    Why it’s great: This basketball is made of durable rubber and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play. It’s lightweight and comes in a variety of bright colors, so you can choose your child’s favorite. This ball has a nylon-wound, 2-Ply butyl bladder with excellent air retention and is balanced ideally for the perfect pass. Champion Sports is a well-known brand and offers a one-year warranty on this already highly affordable basketball. Plus, this ball comes in sizes three, five, six, and seven, so there’s something for everyone.

    Keep in mind: The size three mini-ball only comes in orange, so your child won’t be able to pick one of the fun colors if they need the smaller ball.

    Good for: Kids who need an affordable, quality basketball.

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  • 5.

    (Most color options — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This basketball comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns, so your little one can express their style while they play. It’s made of a premium rubber material that’s durable enough to handle outdoor courts but can still be used indoors. It has an aggressive pebble pattern and deep channels for the best grip and control, allowing kids to learn to handle the ball properly. It also has a butyl bladder that offers optimal ball pressure for a consistent bounce. It comes in sizes five through seven.

    Keep in mind: This basketball comes deflated and doesn’t come with a pump or needle to inflate it.

    Good for: Older kids ages 9 and up who want a fun design on their basketball.

  • 6.

    (Best for night play — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This basketball is unique in that it comes with two LED lights that make the ball glow brightly for up to 30 hours. It turns on with a bounce and automatically shuts off when it’s not in use. It has a rubber exterior, which is durable and protects the inner lights. The surface is textured for grip, and it bounces just as well as a regular basketball. This ball is perfect for outdoor use and will allow your child to play outside well into the evening and night if desired.

    Keep in mind: This only comes in size seven, so it may be too big for younger kids.

    Good for: Older kids and families who want to shoot some hoops in the evening or at night.

  • 7.

    (Best for young kids — $$)

    Why it’s great: These mini-basketballs come in a set of three with a pump and needle to inflate them. They’re perfect for toddlers and little kids’ mini-hoops and fit perfectly in little hands. The durable rubber construction is lightweight, and these balls can be used indoors or outdoors. They have a textured surface for grip and are a great size for over-the-door hoops. They’re also 11 ounces, which is the correct weight for indoor, arcade-style games.

    Keep in mind: The included pump isn’t the best quality.

    Good for: Kids with indoor basketball games or hoops and younger toddlers who need a smaller ball.

Best Overall

The Wilson NCAA MVP Rubber Basketball is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about Basketballs for Kids

  • 1. What size basketball should I get for my child?

    Basketballs come in different sizes and weights, so it’s important that you choose the right one for your child. There are mini options that are toys for toddlers, but here’s a quick rundown on the sizing and age recommendations for regular basketballs:

    1. Size 3 – 22”: Kids ages 4-8 years old
    2. Size 4 – 25.5”: Kids ages 5-8 years old
    3. Size 5 – 27.5”: Kids ages 9-11 years old
    4. Size 6 – 28.5”: Kids ages 12-14 years old
    5. Size 7 – 29.5”: Kids ages 15 and up
  • 2. At what age can my child start playing basketball?

    Usually, kids ages 7-9 years old are ready to start learning the rules of the game and playing basketball. However, that doesn’t mean that younger kids can’t learn to bounce, dribble, or make a basket, especially if they’re using a kids’ size hoop. Kids as young as toddlers can benefit from playing with a basketball.

  • 3. What kind of material should I get in a basketball for kids?

    This will depend on your child and where and how they are playing basketball. Balls that are meant as toys come in all kinds of materials. Basketballs that are meant for the court are made of either rubber or composite leather. Rubber balls are great for kids to learn the game since they’re lighter and bouncier. However, they’re meant for outdoor play. Composite leather is an indoor basketball and is a high-quality material, but it could be damaged by the concrete or asphalt if used outdoors.

  • 4. Do kids’ basketballs come inflated and how often should I inflate them?

    This varies based on the basketball that you choose, but most of them do come inflated. However, you will need to inflate them at some point, as they lose a little bit of air every time you use them. How often you inflate them will depend on how often your child uses them. If your child is playing with it every day, you may want to fill it up once every week or two.

  • 5. What should I look for in a basketball for kids?

    As with anything, you want to find a basketball that’s durable and will last your child for a long time. The size you choose will be based on age but will also depend on how serious your little one is about the game. If they’re just playing around and having fun, the size isn’t as important. If your child is serious about the game, it’s better to get them the correct size for their age, so they don’t develop any bad habits compensating for the wrong size ball.

Conclusion

Choosing the right basketball for your child doesn’t have to be a challenge. The most important thing is to get the right size. After that, it’s all personal preference.

This list has all different sizes and types of basketballs to help you find the right one for your child. Whether you buy a standard orange basketball or one that’s brightly colored, choose one that’ll keep your child’s interest in the game.