Would your kids rather be outside playing kickball or inside playing video games? It is almost insidious how technology has slowly begun to replace outdoor fun. I am going to admit to you that my Henry is addicted to the Xbox. He could have taken it or left it until he found out about the headsets and group play. My BFF has a son who is best friends with my son but they live more than 30 minutes away. With each of the boys having head sets now and the ability to virtually play together. If I let him, he would be on that thing for 14 hours a day. Instead, we have an agreement that for each hour he plays on the Xbox, he must play the same amount of time outside (weather permitting). With Caitlin, she is a typical teenage girl who wants to be alone in her room from the moment she gets home from school until she gets up to go the next day. She will listen to her music, watch TV, play on the computer or her 3DS. I knew I had to do the same with her as I did with Henry about the equal time deal. The kids love to ride their bikes, scooters and skateboards, but they can also get bored with them pretty easily. I decided to take a look online and see which outdoor activities for kids would be fun for them. Here are the choices that were the most popular:
- #5 – Balls: Any game you can think of pertaining to balls will be popular with kids. We live on a dead end street, so we play a lot of dodge ball and kick ball. The kids also play “tennis” which is just the two of them hitting a Nerf ball back and forth with a racket. We are thinking that some softballs and softball gloves will be the next step.
- #4 – Running Games: Remember games like Red Light Green Light or Freeze Tag? Teach them to your kids and see how much fun they will have. How about a good game of Hide And Seek? Who does not love a good game of Red Rover? There are so many of these games that your kids would surely love to learn.
- #3 – Riding Toys: If you have a bike, trike, scooter, skateboard or anything else on wheels, get your kids on them.
- #2 – Water Play: Most kids are all about getting wet be it in a pool, splashing in puddles or the creek or jumping over the sprinkler. We have a really big yard but nary a flat spot for a pool. Thankfully we have a creek that runs behind the house, so the kids are always splashing around in there.
- #1 – Trampoline: The number one outdoor activity that virtually all kids loves is jumping on a trampoline. When I was babysitting a few summer ago, the family I watched had a trampoline and the kids would stay out there for hours. I never had to think up a lot of things for the kids to do because they preferred to be on the trampoline. Now that I have a house with a big yard, I wanted to get a trampoline for my kids. I knew if I was going to get a trampoline for the kids, I wanted to get the best in the industry and that would be Jump Sport.
Outdoor Activities For Kids
I was not surprised that jumping on a trampoline was at the top of the list of outdoor activities for kids. When we decided we wanted to get a trampoline for the kids, I wanted to research it thoroughly. I wanted to be sure we got the most well made, the safest and it had to come from a company that was highly respected in the industry. I was very impressed with the background on Jump Sport and what they have achieved since their inception in 1997. As with many companies that are run by parents, Jump Sport was developed over a need that Mark and Valerie Publicover could not fill elsewhere. In 1995, one of the Publicover’s friends daughter was injured when she fell form the trampoline the Publicover’s backyard. This was not the first time a child had fallen from the trampoline in the Publicover home, which prompted Mark to literally go to the drawing board. Mark began to sketch enclosures that would make the trampoline safer for the kids to play on. With diligence, prayer and faith, Mark developed an enclosure that would keep kids safe that parents could afford. Today, this invention has saved countless kids from serious injury and is a must have for many trampoline owners.
I am very impressed with the perseverance of the Publicover family in their mission to sell the highest quality products they could. While copycat products with a much lower quality were showing up all over the place, Mark and Valerie refused to cut corners to earn a profit. Another accident with a trampoline led to Mark developing another groundbreaking feature for a safer trampoline. Mark was jumping with the kids on another manufacturer’s trampoline and he broke his leg. The break was the result of a huge kick back the trampoline had and Mark knew he had to design something safer. It turns out that half of the injuries on a trampoline occur when the jumper impacts the bed of the trampoline. Mark designed a bed that out less stress on the jumper which would in turn reduce the number of injuries. This patent pending bed also absorbs more of the shock the jumper would feel in their knees and backs, which is important for me as I have had a back injury. My family was sent the 12′ diameter Staged Bounce trampoline as well as the Safety Enclosure which was a must have for my family. The features of the trampoline include:
- A heavy duty frame that is 1.8″ diameter, Cold Rolled Steel (CRS) that is powder coated with a rich jet black finish to help protect against the weather. The frame has a 1.5mm wall thickness.
- A jumping mat that is 35 inches tall, for better ground clearance.
- 8.5″ Extra-Stretch™ springs for a deeper, more shock-absorbent landing and a greater return bounce.
- Our mat has 10 rows of stitching and a UV shield (compared to just 4 rows of stitching and no UV shield on most other brands). The mat offers approximately 113 square feet of play space.
- High strength looped straps and steel V-rings for connecting the springs.
- All steel “DD” Sure-Lok™ system to prevent the frame from twisting and deforming.
- The frame pad is blue in color, over 13.75 inches wide, and 1 inch thick at the frame tapering to half an inch. Expanded polyethylene (EPE), closed-cell foam padding is used across the entire pad surface, not just at the edge. The foam is covered by a High-tenacity Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) outer shell that is UV- and water-resistant. Other manufacturers use a cheap tarp material to cover the foam, which falls apart very quickly.
The trampoline was much easier to put together than I had anticipated. We had been anxious to get started on it but 10 days of rainy weather kept us from it. Finally, on the day my BFF dropped off 2 of her kids to spend spring break with us, the weather cleared up. My husband was at work, so the kids and I decided to give it a try. The frame was surprisingly lightweight (as you can see from Caitlin’s “bull horn” picture but the frame is also surprisingly sturdy. Adam was “Lucky In The Middle” while the rest of us got to work on the springs. This was the most difficult part, but again, it was not difficult. As long as you follow the directions and have a bit of upper body strength, you will have no problem putting your Jump Sport trampoline together. Once we got the pad secured, we tied down the frame pad and the kids were ready to jump. It only took the 5 of us a little over an hour to get the trampoline put together.
If you are looking for a trampoline that is safe, fun and affordable, JumpSport has a ton of options that will fit your needs and budget. You can purchase the JumpSport products from their website. The trampoline we were sent retails for $509 and the enclosure for $229.95