Kids LOVE trampolining! It’s an energetic and thrilling way to spend some time alone, with family or their friends, and many Australian backyards house a trampoline, with squeals of delight being heard by the neighbours.
Are your kids asking for a trampoline at home, or to be taken to a trampoline play centre but you’re not sure whether they’re quite old enough yet?
While there are some guidelines in place in Australia, it is worth keeping in mind there are a few factors to consider when determining your child’s trampoline debut, including not only their age, but their activity level, the size and type of the trampoline and the safety of the activity. Look at whether to purchase a trampoline for home or to make use of a fully equipped trampoline park like Flip Out.
Guidelines in Australia, including safety labels on home-based trampolines themselves, recommend children are older than six years before using a trampoline, however variables such as supervision and the type of trampoline will vary this recommendation. If children are too young, they are less likely to have the coordination or quick reaction time needed to keep their little bodies safe on trampolines. Also, their fragile bones may not be ready to withstand the repetitive pressure they are subjected to from jumping.
Don’t Dismiss the Little Ones
Most young kids have boundless energy and enjoy jiggling and bouncing, so before you rule out trampolining for your toddlers, there are other things you may like to consider if your kids are only small.
Children play very differently and this is definitely something to consider prior to allowing your child to use a trampoline. If your child interacts and responds well when undertaking physical activities and rarely gets hurt, chances are they will be well equipped to handle a trampoline. As long as you have an age-suitable trampoline and ensure it’s used safely, there are many reasons to let your younger kids have fun and enjoy the health benefits too!
Trampolines come in many sizes, so do some research for one that is suitable for the age of your child. Mini trampolines are perfect for toddlers and younger children and can be set up inside the house for close adult supervision. They can have bars for them to hold on to, and safety nets around the perimeter.
Visiting a trampoline park such as Flip Out can be a good idea for you to determine whether your child is old enough, coordinated enough and brave enough to use a trampoline. An added bonus is that trampoline parks ensure the trampolines are set up with all the necessary safety equipment and the staff can provide an extra set of eyes to ensure your little ones are jumping safely under supervision.
Benefits for All Ages
Trampolining is a great outdoor activity, providing fresh air and high energy exercise, so it increases cardiovascular fitness. It is great for improving balance, posture, coordination and muscle development and is a relatively low-impact exercise.
Trampolining improves brain and heart health, motor skills (as both sides of the body are used at the same time) and concentration. It can reduce anxiety and releases endorphins to boost happiness. Trampolines stimulate kids’ senses giving them lots of movement, and can also be a focused activity. They are found to have a positive effect on behaviour and impulse control.
Trampolining is a great way to spend time as a whole family and when you have young kids who want to bounce, older kids and family members are able to provide supervision to the littlies.
Indoor trampoline play centres like Flip Out are a great way for kids to socialise as they naturally mix with others in this interactive activity.
Always Put Safety First
Of course trampolines, as with many fun kids’ activities, do come with some risks. Children can be injured on trampolines but many of the common accidents can be avoided. If you decide to have a trampoline at home, padding over the frame and springs provides protection, as do nets around the perimeter. Regularly check that your trampoline is in good condition, particularly that there are no holes or tears in the mat or net, the springs are secure and the frame is straight and structurally intact.
Ensure the area under and around the trampoline is free from hazards such as garden beds and furniture, just in case your child does fall. Also make sure the space above the trampoline is clear for those high bounces – no clothes lines or tree branches in the way.
Read up on some further safety points on setting up a trampoline in your backyard.
Adult supervision is imperative when kids are using trampolines and only allow one child at a time to be using it. Some basic safety rules while jumping will keep everyone as safe as possible.
If you’ve decided your kids are old enough and ready to bounce their way to fun and health, visit your nearest Flip Out trampoline park where you’ll find not on trampolines, but other fun kids’ activities.