Just sharing a bit of history about trampolines, the first modern model was created by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in 1936. Nissen was a gymnast and diving athlete and Griswold was a tumbler, the two of them were at the University of Iowa, US.
They were inspired by the trapeze artists who use a tight net to make their performance more entertaining and they experimented by extending a piece of the canvas while inserting grommets along each side to a certain angle through coiled springs. Initially, its purpose was to train tumblers however it became popular in its own right.
The name trampoline came from the Spanish word trampolin which means a diving board as Nissen explained. He heard the word on a demonstration tour in Mexico in the late 1930s and determined to use an anglicized form as the device trademark. It became popular in the 1950s as jump centers at gas stations where young kids can bounce and have fun while their parents refill their tanks.
The trampoline has a lot of applications. It was employed by the United States Navy Flight School in its training of pilots and navigators, providing them concentrated practice in spatial orientation that had been impossible in the past. Several sports utilize trampolines to support the development and honing of acrobatic skills in training before they perform in the actual competition.
There are also different types of trampolines for specific activities that can be enjoyed by both kids and kids-at-heart in different parts of the world.
However, in this article, we will be sharing with your criteria in choosing the best trampoline for kids, the right type of trampoline for 3-6-year-olds, a safety measure that every parent should understand and know for their kids when having them play in any trampoline or choosing to buy a trampoline and which trampoline is right for them.
Which Trampoline Is Right for Your Kids?
For an untrained eye buying a trampoline isn’t easy. It should take your time and effort
to choose the right one for your kids. Just like purchasing any big addition to your home,
a clear understanding of the product’s features and component is essential to start the
buying process and avoid any regrets.
Right now we are overwhelmed by the options the market is offering us and we take it seriously
that you decide the right product. So we created criteria for choosing the
best trampoline for kids. Here are the following:
The Right Type
Determining the best trampoline is critical especially when using it for trampoline games for kids. Which is depending on what features work well for your kids, you, and your place. For your reference, please review the different types of trampolines that are currently on the market.
- Round Trampolines – these are traditionally used for recreational purposes and the most affordable ones. It is safety-net enclosure friendly which is not common among trampolines. However, when a child gets out of the center while bouncing, the belt service is uneven both horizontally and has uneven tension.
- Rectangular Trampolines – these are built for professionals and athletes. It’s unique rectangular shape helps them to fit in areas that may not be suited for a round trampoline. However, they should be placed too close to walls. It also offers a higher bounce compared to round trampolines which require better technique and supervision.
- Square Trampolines – it’s an ideal combination of round and rectangular trampolines. It is also good for limited spaces, safe, and offers a good bounce close to the round trampoline performance.
- Mini Trampolines – this is good for fitness-related uses. It’s not only affordable and compact but also a great alternative for strength and balance training indoors.
- Inflatable Trampolines – also called water trampoline. It doesn’t use any springs instead
It uses inflated tubes for better support on the water. People buy this for recreational purposes, like creating a castle on the water.
The Type of Spring
Traditional trampoline consists of springs or metal coil springs connected near the edges of the trampoline mat. This makes it harder and rugged but what made trampolines harmful to kids was the absence of protective padding on the metal coil springs. Unfortunately, many kids have fallen in between the springs and suffered injury. The pads to cover the springs are a necessity.
Today the latest technology developed another type of trampoline – springfree trampoline. Which is proven to be safer for toddlers and adults compared to the traditional one.
Here are the facts about spring-based and springless trampolines:
- Spring-based trampoline – made with a stretched mat fixed with a steel frame and metal coil. It offers the best bounce as the trampoline bed is made out of nylon or string.
There are some spring-based trampolines with low-tension springs that offer a higher bounce and less rigid canvas. Conversely, high-tension trampolines feel stiff and not very bouncy for the little ones. But for the older kid there are more risks the more rigid the trampoline is, especially if they are learning skills on a high-tension trampoline and then try to perform those on a low-tension trampoline.
- Springless trampoline – it uses fiberglass rods to hold the jumping surface. Due to that, the trampoline frame and the jumping surface are exactly parallel to each other and the ground for better safety and support. The use of fiberglass rods only makes it the safest and most effective trampoline for children and adults.
The Springfree trampolines offer comfortability and support to most users, especially for the kids.
Before deciding the toddler trampoline you are buying, double-check that it is safe, 100% kids-friendly, and durable. The leading trampoline brands are building better trampolines with safety in mind. This leads to better quality standards to prevent injuries.
When considering a trampoline with an excellent safety rating, you should look for a form-filled protective padding on top of the frame and springs (spring-based trampoline) for a safer jumping experience. While opting for a trampoline with a flexible rod or poles (springless trampoline) is ideal to avoid trampoline-related injuries with regard to springs.
The Right Size
The size must be the critical factor in choosing the best trampoline for kids. You got all the other
criteria figured out but would it fit in your backyard? That’s why you should also know the different trampoline sizes that are available today.
- 8 feet – it is ideal for tight spaces and toddlers. It measures 2.4 meters wide and
is built with flexible and durable materials. Its maximum weight capacity is 180 pounds.
- 10 feet – this is well suited for children and smaller families. Its maximum weight
capacity is 330 pounds. For better accessibility, most 10 feet trampolines include a safety ladder.
- 12 feet – considered the universal size and ideal size for active jumpers. It also has a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds but it’s more durable than other sizes.
- 13 feet and above – this is for older jumpers and all ages since it has higher jumping and weight capacity. The height of the mat is more elevated from the ground. Trampolines that are above 3 feet are ideal for heavyweight jumpers.
There are a lot more factors to be considered but determining the Right Type, Type of Spring, Durability, and Right Size are the important ones that you should always look out for when purchasing trampolines for your kids.
Toddler Trampolines for Younger Kids: 3-6 years old
Considering the factors mentioned above, the best trampoline for kids should be safe, durable, the right type, and the right size. When we talk about the right type, it should be the rectangular trampoline or the square trampoline.
If safety for recreational purposes is your number one priority, consider a springless trampoline. If performance is your primary reason for a trampoline purchase, then consider a safely manufactured spring trampoline.
When talking about durability the best trampoline for kids will be a springless rectangular/ square trampoline. Thinking about the right trampoline size for your kids, it should be 10 or 12 feet for your 3-6-year-old kids.
If you want it for the whole family to be able to use the trampoline (1 at a time) then spend a bit for a trampoline 13 feet or more but always consider the space where you want to place it.
Trampolines and Child Safety: Important Tips and Advice
Alright, you already bought the toddler trampoline. The kids are getting excited to try it. Now let’s go through the important tips and advice for your child’s safety to enjoy trampolines to the fullest.
- Choose a soft surface such as your lawn clear of debris to place the trampoline. You can only place it on concrete if you have safety mats around the trampoline.
- Place the trampoline away from fences, trees, or other structures.
- Make sure you clean the trampoline’s surface before letting your kids jump.
- Always cover the trampoline’s spring, hooks, and frame with safety pads.
- Prioritize installing a safety net around the trampoline.
- Before letting your kids play, always double-check the trampoline for tears and broken fixtures. Examine the net and the landing surface for holes if you found damaged fixtures, netting, and padding please replace them.
- Examine the springs and bolts, it should be properly placed and tight.
- There shouldn’t be any objects underneath the trampoline.
- Have your kids wear athletic clothing, remove their socks, hats, jewelry, and items in their pockets.
- Tell the kids to jump in the center of the trampoline, not along the edge.
- Always have a spotter when your kids are using the toddler trampoline.
Which Trampoline Is Right for Your Kids?
We all want what’s best for our children but we should always be mindful of what we choose to provide them. Injuries can be avoided entirely, but can be prevented with proper safety measures in place.
We can prevent injury by choosing the right and best trampoline for kids. Of all the things mentioned above, we conclude that the right trampoline depends on your kid and the environment it is being set in.
The right trampoline is dependent on your kids’ age, weight, and height. The space you intend to place the trampoline is an obvious factor. With that being said, the most reasonable suggestion that we can come up with is a springless rectangular trampoline that measures at least 12 feet with protective paddings and a safety net around it.
Springless trampolines with a durable netting are not that much more expensive than other less safe products. We assure you that it will be a good long-term investment.
It will be better to make a purchase that will stay with you longer but if you are looking to save more you can choose to start with a springless square trampoline that measures 10 feet and still have the protective paddings and safety net.
Just make sure that you take note of the important tips and advice for your kids’ safety and happiness.