On a whim one afternoon while shopping at Walmart, I decided to purchase a trampoline for our backyard, and it has been one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made! We are entering the third year of owning this trampoline, and I don’t think we’ve gone one day playing outside without using it. All five kids love jumping together, and it’s even good exercise for Scott and I when we jump on it with them.
Purchasing a Trampoline
We got ours on sale at Walmart, and it was almost half off, so I would be on the lookout for a deal like that. Some of the Walmart reviews are terrible, but we haven’t had any serious issues. I have seen some trampolines online that have the net on the outside of the springs, and I’m not sure what the advantages would be, but it doesn’t seem very safe in my opinion. I recommend purchasing the type that has the net on the inside of the springs like this. We have the 14 foot option and really like it, but you could get a 12 foot option as well.
This 7 foot hexagon trampoline might be a better idea if you have smaller children, or this little indoor trampoline with a handle (that also collapses into a ball pit) might be more up your alley especially if you have a toddler.
If you have little ones, I highly recommend getting a little step stool so they can get in and out easily. Our kids also like jumping with huge balls. I usually buy the cheap ones from the dollar store and they all eventually pop, but this exercise ball would make a far more durable option.
Setting Up the Trampoline
Wow, this took a lot of trial and error because the instructions were horrible, but after taking it apart and setting it up a couple times because of the move, I think we’ve finally figured it out. Well, at least I thought so until I just watched this tutorial on how to set up a trampoline! So rather than me telling you everything not to do, please watch this very helpful 6 minute video. The trickiest part is putting together the part you jump on, so at least skip to that part.
I have heard many horrific tales of broken bones and other terrible trampoline injuries, but besides the occasional bump or bruise, we’ve had nothing serious even though seven of us jump regularly together. None of us do flips or anything, but we do try jumping really high and play a variety of games that involve physical contact. We have a few rules that help with safety.
- Close the Opening: The number one rule we have is to zip the entryway closed when everyone is jumping. I remember one time Scott and I were jumping with Julian, and Scott gave him a super bounce which launched him right out of the little opening and onto the ground. Thank goodness he was okay!
- Stop Jumping: Whenever someone new comes into the trampoline, everyone must stop jumping until they are in and the door is closed.
- No Shoes: We let Jack, who is 3 years old, wear his shoes because he’s so little, but everyone else has to wear socks or go barefoot. When it’s really cold outside, many of them choose to wear double socks.
- In Case of an Injury: If somebody gets hurt and especially if someone is crying (I will warn you, this happens just about every time they jump.), everyone must stop jumping and someone must go over to the injured person and say, “Are you okay?” and then try to make them feel better. No one can jump again until the person is done crying.
Favorite Trampoline Games
It truly blows me away that they still enjoy jumping on the trampoline every single day. Their imaginations are incredible, and they are constantly making up new games to play. Here are some of their favorites.
- Knee Pull Game: One person jumps on their knees in the center of the trampoline while everyone jumps around them. The person on their knees tries to pull everyone down. Once they pull you down, you stay down until there’s only one person left, and that person gets to be in the center.
- Spider Tag: One person closes their eyes and walks around trying to tag people. Once you’re tagged you sit down until only one person remains, and then they are the spider. Elliot said his favorite thing to do during this game is to stretch his arms out and spin around in a circle going around the inside of the net.
- Ball Fighting: The kids said I shouldn’t share this one because it’s too dangerous, but basically they put one giant ball on the trampoline and everyone wrestles and fights to get the ball. I’ve also seen them all sit on balls and bounce.
- Simon Says: Someone starts off as Simon and directs everyone to do certain a action for example, “Simon says do a booty-bounce” (which is where you bounce on your butt and then immediately pop up to your feet again). This repeats until the person doesn’t say “Simon says” before the action. If someone does the action we say, “Simon didn’t say!” and then that person is the next Simon.
- Static Tag: Wear socks and rub your feet on the trampoline, run in a circle, and try to zap people!
We’ve been currently trapped inside due to the horrible weather and confined to our homes due to the Covid-19 quarantine, but I’m happy to say that we may be stir crazy, but we are definitely not bored! I’m so glad that the kids have a way to get their energy out when they play in our backyard, and it is truly the best money we could have spent to entertain our children. I know the weather is crummy, but spring and summer are truly right around the corner and what better way to enjoy it than with your very own trampoline. I share many more ideas for entertaining your children in your backyard this summer here, including how to set up your own stock tank pool! If you’re going to be stuck at home, you might as well enjoy it!