Spring is here. Longer days, warmer weather and green grass hint that summer vacation looms. As a child, you couldn't wait for the long days of lazy playtime. And then you became a mom.
As your kids' excitement about summer break increases, your own thoughts of summer vacation turn to panic as you ask yourself how on earth you'll keep your people entertained for an entire summer without breaking the bank.
That's where your backyard trampoline comes in. When you have a backyard trampoline, the options for free and easy ways to entertain your kids are endless. So, grab a few sheets, a hose and some sidewalk chalk. And get ready to get the most out of your trampoline — and your summer— with these ideas for the best ways to entertain your kids on the trampoline.
Go Backyard Camping on Your Trampoline
Backyard camping for kids is a great way to make memories. But let's be honest. A weekend away can take serious planning and serious cash.
Ditch the campground. How about camping adventures in your backyard instead? It's simple, really. Let's start with a tutorial on how to use a trampoline as a tent.
1. Grab some pillows and blankets, and spread them out over the surface of the trampoline. Hang a few sheets around the sides to make it feel like a cozy fort or, if you love embracing DIY backyard camping ideas for kids, sew four king-sized sheets together and then drape them over the top and down the sides to create a tent. If you want to incorporate stargazing into your camping experience, make sure you leave the top uncovered.
2. Once you've got your tent set up, light up your nearby firepit or fire up the grill, and get to cooking at a safe distance away from the trampoline. Hot dogs and marshmallows are always a hit as standard campfire food— what's a campout without a s'more or two! — but since you're at your house and still have access to a stove and fridge, the sky is the limit for what you can prepare.
3. Employ some of the best trampoline games for sleepovers to keep your family amused. You may want to tell funny ghost stories while you are all in your sleeping bags or have a bouncy pillow fight.
Materials Needed For Camping Out On Your Trampoline In The Backyard:
- Clothespins to secure the sheets in place
- Sewing machine if you plan to sew the sheets together
- Grill or firepit, and favorite camping foods.
- Stay safe while camping in your backyard by putting out the fire in the pit before you go to sleep.
Set up a DIY Movie Theater on the Trampoline
Movie night on the trampoline is a great activity to do in tandem with a campout or on its own. Grab a large white sheet and hang it securely across one side of the trampoline's mesh siding.
Set up a projector connected to a source to play the movie, aim it at the sheet and wait for it to get dark, at which point you can switch the projector on and show the movie on the sheet.
Don't have a projector nearby? You can project videos, images, and games from your smartphone using this Smartphone Projector.
You can even amplify the sound on your smartphone using some common household items!
For the cherry on top, don't forget some homemade popcorn. To get the authentic theater feel, you can make movie theatre popcorn at your own home using butter, coconut oil, popcorn kernels, and salt.
Not only is this a great family activity, but using the trampoline for seating means you'll have enough space for your kids to invite friends over, too.
Materials Needed To Set Up A Movie Theater On Your Trampoline:
- White sheet
- Laptop or DVD player to connect to the projector and movies
- 2 Plastic Cups
- Cardboard Tube
- Smartphone Projector
- Homemade Theater Popcorn
Water Play on a Trampoline
The combination of water play and trampolines is a touchy subject. If children are left unsupervised or a trampoline is in poor condition, water can quickly become a safety hazard. However, if your trampoline is in good working order and there's a trusted adult watching over all the activities, a trampoline can be a great way to keep kids cool when the mercury starts to rise. Try these games:
- Grab your sprinkler and place it beneath the trampoline. Adjust the water to come through the trampoline, and let the kids cool off in the spray.
- Instead of a sprinkler, turn on the hose. Have or an adult spray a stream of water into the trampoline while each child takes a turn jumping through the spray. If you angle the water to catch the sunlight just right, it will create a rainbow for the kids to jump through.
- Fill up a bucket of water balloons for a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight on the trampoline. This is sure to keep kids busy, especially if you have them fill up the balloons before playtime and take care of cleanup after. The mess will be contained to the trampoline, and you won't find broken balloon pieces around your backyard for months.
- Water balloon jumping can be great fun. Fill up a large batch of water balloons and place them all in the middle of the trampoline. As the kids jump around, the water balloons will bounce and pop unexpectedly.
- Blowing bubbles can be a great trampoline activity as well. Have an adult stand outside of the trampoline and blow bubbles inside for the kids to jump over and pop. Have the kids compete to see who can pop the highest bubble. This can make the trampoline very slippery, so make sure children are very careful when bouncing.
- Water balloons
- Bubbles and various bubble wands.
Non-Water Games on a Trampoline
Water play and trampolines can be a messy topic — both literally and because of the safety debate. So, if you're looking for games that err on the side of caution and won't need as much cleanup, we've got you covered. Again, all require proper adult supervision.
Do you have a group of kids of different ages? Here are some of the best trampoline games for toddlers that older kids can also enjoy:
Remember the old pool game Marco Polo? Revive it on the trampoline by having one child stand in the middle with their eyes closed while the others fan out around them. Have the one in the middle yell "Marco!" while the others take turns yelling "Polo" and moving around the trampoline to avoid being touched by the kid with closed eyes. The first one to be "found" becomes the new "Marco."
Trampoline Twister™ takes a classic board game outside. While you can certainly use the actual Twister set, we think it's more fun to use sidewalk chalk to draw the colored dots directly onto the trampoline. The traditional game has five dots each of yellow, blue, red and green. You can either use the spinner from an indoor version of Twister or let the kids take turns calling out directions to the group.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Just like the old-school hand game, Rock, Paper, Scissors is a way for kids to one-up each other on the trampoline. Instead of using hand motions, kids perform a different "trick" on the trampoline depending on the item they choose. The "rock" is landing on your knees, the "paper" is landing flat, and the "scissors" is landing in a seated position.
In Trampoline Popcorn, one child sits in the middle of the trampoline hugging their knees to their chest. Instruct the other children to jump around them and try to make the one in the middle "pop" up into their air. As with all trampoline play, avoid allowing too large a group of children to jump together at the same time.
Toss traditional latex balloons or beach balls onto the trampoline. Kids will love chasing them around and jumping up to hit them through the air.
- Colored sidewalk chalk
- Optional Twister game
- Latex balloons
- Beach balls.
Making Chalk Art on a Trampoline
Trampoline play doesn't have to be all about jumping around, especially if you have several kids to entertain at once. Turn the surface into a giant blackboard, hand your kids a few sticks of sidewalk chalk and see what happens. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
HOPSCOTCH: Draw the traditional hopscotch board on the trampoline and let them hop their way from 1 to 10.
TWISTER: As we mentioned earlier, Twister is a great game to play on the trampoline. Use chalk to draw the colored dots and watch your kids twist themselves silly.
TIC TAC TOE: X's and O's abound in this old-school game. Use a damp cloth to wipe the "board" and start fresh.
MURAL ART: Let your little artist decide what to create. The trampoline is a blank canvas ready for their pictures and stories to come to life.
- Sidewalk chalk.
Non-Traditional Ways to Use a Trampoline
Besides outdoor camping and movies, there are a lot of non-traditional backyard fun ideas for kids that your family can enjoy with a trampoline, such as:
- Stargazing: Similar to camping, but less of a time commitment. Grab a pillow and blanket, and meet your family outside under the stars. Everyone can lay comfortably on their backs on the trampoline to gaze up.
- Board games: Having a large, flat space to spread out on is perfect for Monopoly or Risk or even a card game or two. And there's always space for extra players.
- Dance parties: Turn up the music and bust a move on the trampoline. The flexible surface can spice up the moves of even the most reluctant dancer. You can also string lights around the trampoline in advance and turn it into party central.
- Board games
- Music player.
Educational Uses for a Trampoline
Just because it's summertime doesn't mean your kiddos should stop learning. Use your trampoline to keep their minds sharp and be the mom who can brag to her friends that her kids spent the summer learning. Start by writing the entire alphabet around the periphery of the trampoline. Add numbers inside of the letters. Then let the games begin:
- Jump from letter to letter. Call out a letter and have your kids jump on top of it. To make it a little more challenging, add an additional instruction. For example, say "Find letter B. Now jump on it five times!"
- For the older kids, give them a word and have them jump from letter to letter to spell the word.
- Instead of having them spell words, call out a combination of numbers and letters and have them repeat the combination by jumping on each one.
- Sidewalk chalk.
Pool Noodle Trampoline Hack
Pool noodles are a fun and safe addition to trampoline play. But, besides being a great toy, they're actually a helpful tool to use to make your trampoline safer.
If the springs of your trampoline are exposed by a worn or missing mat, pool noodles are a great way to easily and cheaply cover them up. For this project, you'll need approximately 10 pool noodles (depending on the size of your trampoline) and box cutters or a pair of scissors. Then follow the instructions below:
- Before you start cutting the pool noodles, measure the length of the spring. Make sure you account for the fact that the springs stretch out while in use, and adjust your measurements accordingly.
- Measure off each noodle to match the length of the springs and cut them to the correct length. Repeat this step until you have one piece of pool noodle for each spring.
- Once all of the pieces are divided, cut along one entire side of the noodle to create an opening you can use to wrap the foam around the springs. If you don't want to cut into each piece of foam, you can remove one spring at a time and slide the piece of pool noodle over the spring until the spring is completely encased in foam, then put it back in place.
- Once all of the pieces have been cut, slide them onto each spring until they cover the entire trampoline.
Not only does this protect kids from the dangers of trampoline springs, but it is a great way to make your trampoline look more fun.
- Pool noodles — the number will vary depending on the size of your trampoline
- Scissors or box cutter.
Easy Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free With a Trampoline
When all is said and done, a trampoline is a great way to give your kids a memorable summer vacation without spending a fortune. All it takes is a little advance planning and creativity. Is that intimidating? Nah — it shouldn't be. With our guide to summer trampoline fun, you're all set.
By the way, in case you haven't noticed, some of these games would be pretty fun for adults, too. We promise not to tell if you and your friends head out to the trampoline after the kids are in bed.
See the Fun You Can Have With SkyBound USA Trampoline and Accessories
SkyBound USA has been providing trampoline parts since 2009. Our Orange County-based company has expanded to include premium trampolines, and we love designing quality, high-performance trampolines and providing customers with award-winning service and support.
Standardizing safety and excellence on every level, SkyBound USA combines a desire to promote an active lifestyle for children with nurturing the inner-child in everyone by designing innovative products the whole family will love. Our Orion trampoline features a safety mat to cover the trampoline springs and also act as a secondary safety barrier under the safety pad. We use this feature to protect jumpers from falling in between the springs or pinching themselves.
Trampoline safety is a very real worry in this day and age. SkyBound USA understands the concerns that surround trampoline play, and we work tirelessly to promote safety through our quality products and education of our users. For more on our safety advocacy, read our blog.
Now that you've seen how much fun a trampoline can be, don't miss out on all the summer entertainment. Whether you're in the market for your first trampoline or you're rekindling a love affair with this backyard entertainment that harkens back to your own childhood, give us a call. We can help you make the right selection for you and your family. For more information, visit SkyBound USA or call us at 888-891-4689.