My life with a kids indoor trampoline
Living in a medium-sized apartment, kids' toys are generally a constant part of the interior design. If you enter a home with young children and see no toys hanging around corners and inside crevices, not to mention spread all over the place, something very peculiar is afoot. So, when the idea came to me that we should add a full-blown indoor trampoline to the innumerable number of floor dangers that were already a part of our lives, it took some considerations. But are we happy we did? You betcha.
Entertaining kids indoors
While having two boys surely means that we spend most of our weekends and afternoons outdoors, it's not always the case. Sometimes you just have to stay indoors and find new and fun ways to keep them excited and engaged. And without breaking any delicate items, such as the dishwasher or a wooden plate. Puzzles- done. Bricks and Lego construction- done. Painting and crafts- done. And yes, some TV time of course- done. ("I said done!")
So what now? Is the kids indoor trampoline truly a magic device that can they can safely use indoors and that will get them exhausted? Yes, but it is an idea most commonly associated with public indoor attractions.
Public ball pits and trampoline parks
Drive a few miles, open your wallet, and your kids are in color/noise/stimuli heaven. Where else can you see dozens of kids storm Bootcamp-level physical challenges, while parents seat idly across the room, reading emails and sipping coffee? Heck, some parents have a subscription to these places, and I totally get them. But these are still, sadly, not at home. And sometimes, you don't feel like getting properly dressed to meet other kindergarten parents. Sometimes, your pajamas' comfort resonates stronger than your kids' raucous. When that's the case, I praise our kids indoor trampoline.
If you followed so far, you may recall I mentioned two boys. One is 4.5 years old, the other, a little over a year. The older is brawnier, the other more athletic. Spending money on individual toys and games is in our routine. But that raises 2 issues:
- Double the money- you spend more for the pleasure of seeing them enjoying a new toy.
- Double-space- we do like to get hand-me-down toys from friends and family, but our place isn't big. And even the dedicated playroom is getting crowded.
And what about the added benefit of seeing them enjoying the same game together? At that age difference, it is a highly improbable option. But such a solution exists within smarTrike's kids indoor trampoline.
Let's speed things up. We bought it, got it, unboxed it and there we had it- a ball pit for kids in our home. The baby was exhilarated, crawling in and out of it, smiling and cheering. At the start, some balls "splashed" out of the pool, as he threw himself in and out of it. Later, he started throwing the ball pit balls at us and his big brother, who in turn started throwing them all around the room, while he impatiently waited his turn to use the kids indoor trampoline.
It was I who came up with a brilliant solution to this: If you want to use the trampoline, you'll have to pick up and collect all the balls! Ingenious, I know. The surprise is that he did. But what do you collect them into? Luckily, the good guys over at smarTrike thought of me, and made the ball pit pool collapse onto itself with a fastening cord that holds them all at once. Ok, they may be more genius than I am.
The health benefits of a kids indoor trampoline
We've all seen lion cubs play in nature documentaries, with the narrator telling us that this how they learn to hunt and use their bodies. Well, it shouldn't surprise you that human kids are the same, and game activity is extremely important to their development.
According to a NASA study, ten minutes of trampolining is a better workout than thirty minutes of running!
Trampolining improves digestion, blood circulation, internal organs stimulations, promotes lymphatic activity and strengthens the immune system. The improved circulation of oxygen to your children’s brains can help make them feel more alert, refreshed and improve their concentration. The increased oxygen circulation also stimulates the release of endorphins – neurotransmitters that can reduce stress and anxiety and promote happiness!
The list of benefits goes longer:
Whether being gently bounced or repeatedly jumping, a trampoline for kids provide an abundance of brain activity, aiding the development of vision, visual-motor skills, hearing and auditory-motor skills.:
The vestibular system is centered in the inner ear, controlling the sense of movement and balance, and plays a very important role in child development.
Improved kinesthetic awareness
Information about movement and navigating one’s body through space can advance greatly by using a kids indoor trampoline.
Good body awareness
Knowing where my body parts are and how they can move.
Where I am in space, what direction am I moving in?
Processing these multiple stimuli encourages the brain to organize incoming messages and integrate the body’s systems to respond appropriately.
Motor skills, coordination, and balance
Jumping on a kids indoor trampoline creates a constantly changing center of gravity. Our babies and children learn to sense these gravitational shifts and to respond accordingly by adjusting their positions. The balance, timing, agility, and rhythm developed during these movements improves overall coordination and assists the development and acquisition of new motoric skills.
…what happens when they both want it?
Sometimes, a toy is so good that both boys would like to use it "first". Patience is a virtue, but not of the young, and definitely not of the very young. The 4.5-year-old wants to bounce while the baby is in the ball pit. So, he either whines or jumps in there with him (which looks like utopia for exactly 30 seconds before shouting starts). And the baby, who has just now left the ball pit that turned into a small trampoline for kids, wants to go on the mat and bounce gently while holding the handlebar, if not really jumping yet. The solution is that I don't have one yet, but if you have one for me- please let me know.
Fold it up!
My spouse was very happy with the kids enjoying the indoor ball pit and little trampoline, less about the space it took in the house. I already mentioned to her that the thing folds nicely for storage, but I didn't really follow through with that added benefit.
When asked repeatedly like a good male, I finally took on the task. It was a bit wonky of a process the first time, you have to use some minimal force in certain key pressure points, but once I got it, it was very easy. The thing folds out-of-sight pretty quickly and doesn't take almost any space, just the way we like it.
Here's a tip: The kids indoor trampoline's padded handlebar, which lets kids practice jumping while holding on to a safety bar, comes off when folded. Make sure you keep it out of your child's reach, as it a bit heavy and maybe more than they can handle, when they try to coerce you to set it up for them or help you bring the trampoline with handle out of storage.
Grow with me value
Back to discussing value, I can say that having a product that will grow with my kids, offering an entertaining solution that adapts to their needs, is what makes a product great. Boomers always describe appliances that would last for decades, when manufacturers were thinking of creating the best product for your family. Nowadays, you're lucky if something survives past the 3 or 5-year mark. By declaring a product is in its core 'multi-age', you can rest assured it is built to last.