Trampolines get a bad rep. Understandable. Lots of broken arms and sprained ankles all due to trampolines.
And the only positive argument we ever hear in favor of trampolines is, “they’re fun!”
But trampolines are more than just good risk-filled fun, they can be especially helpful for children!
When LittleMan was just turning 2 years old, we got him a little indoor trampoline. It was meant to be a healthy outlet for all his toddler energy, a place where he could get his wiggles out when going outside wasn’t an option.
Four years and a three year old sister later, that trampoline still gets a lot of daily use from one child or the other. LittleMan jumps on it while reciting math facts and vocabulary words. Did you know that exercise and gross motor movement before and/or during studying helps children retain more information?
Many occupational therapists use small trampolines with the clients. Trampolines are especially helpful for children with autism or sensory processing disorder who may have deficiencies in their vestibular and proprioceptive sensory systems and therefore struggle to walk normally.
Despite all these benefits, safety precautions are still necessary for any trampoline play. Larger trampolines should have a net around them. Smaller trampolines are for one child at a time.
In-ground trampolines can be especially beneficial for a number of reasons.
– If a child falls off an in-ground trampoline, they have a shorter drop to the ground.
– You don’t have to worry about moving the trampoline every week to mow the grass underneath of it.
– The trampoline won’t tip over if the child jumps awkwardly on one side of it.
– There is less risk that the child could trip trying to climb on/off the trampoline.
Having an in-ground trampoline is pretty simple, all you really need to know is how to dig a hole and how to handle a screw driver.
And if your children are anything like mine then you’ll have a lot of help with the digging process.
We went with a small trampoline because we didn’t want to commit that much space in our yard to full-sized trampoline, especially since we had so many other things we wanted to fit into our outdoor classroom. If you opt for a larger trampoline then you may want to consider hiring someone with the proper equipment to dig the hole for you.
All Things Thrifty has an excellent tutorial of a full-sized in-ground trampoline that they DIY’ed for a fraction of the cost that a in-ground trampoline kit would have cost them.