Keeping kids entertained and off the couch can be a challenge. In our world of 24/7 digital entertainment, it’s often difficult to get children outside and active. One great fitness activity that helps kids acquire new skills while having fun is trampolining. Playing on this springy surface, even for just a few minutes a day, provides incredible benefits. Plus, it is the perfect backyard addition if you have kids who are taking gymnastics. If you’re shopping for the best trampoline for the money, our editor share their picks for the top 10 trampolines on the market below. But if you’re still undecided, skip further down the page where we share some of the main benefits of a trampoline for kids.
Top 10 Best Trampolines for Kids in 2016editor rating based on quality and value
Top Reasons Your Kids Need A Trampoline
If you’re considering the main benefits your kids get from one of these, let us share what we believe are the main benefits of trampolines for the kiddos.
- Persistence. Children have so much fun jumping and incorporating gymnastic stunts that they’ll usually practice their routine until they get it just right.
- Self-Esteem. As young children master new skills on the trampoline, they gain confidence.
- Motivation to Learn. Increased muscle control and coordination lead to improved learning in other areas, too.
- Motor Skills. Since trampolining requires coordination, both sides of the body have to work together. Bilateral brain function is necessary for that to happen. Increased, streamlined brain activity, in turn, increases spatial awareness and advances motor skills.
- Flexibility. Jumping on a trampoline encourages muscle development, which leads to increased flexibility. Balancing on bouncy play equipment is a form of “physical multitasking” that improves range of motion without putting extra strain on joints, as running does.
- Cardiovascular Exercise. All that movement increases kids’ heart rates.
- Posture. Children must always be aware of their center of gravity when negotiating a springy surface that’s constantly in motion. Maintaining good balance helps improve posture.
- Exercise incognito. It’s especially beneficial for kids who resist sports activities and other more “traditional” forms of exercise. They’re having so much fun jumping and flipping, they don’t even realize they’re getting a workout. What’s great about jumping on the trampoline is that it’s lower-impact exercise, yet it develops the core muscles and burns calories.
Benefits for Children with Special Needs
Educational authorities report that jumping on a trampoline is especially beneficial for children with poor coordination, as they can still participate in physical activity that is enjoyable and helps them make considerable strides in improving muscle control.
Other research points to the advantages of trampolining for autistic children. Teachers who incorporated the fitness equipment into educational settings found that, after jumping around on the bouncy apparatus, children with autism were better able to settle down and focus on learning. This is likely because the up-and-down motion on the trampoline has a positive effect on the lymphatic system, reducing stress and anxiety. Helping autistic kids reach a relaxed state helps them better tune into their environment. Occupational therapists also note that improvements in hand-eye coordination assist in learning and contribute to overall improvements in behavior.
Success for Budding Athletes
The skills gained from trampolining transfer to success in other sports, especially extreme sports, gymnastics, wakeboarding, skiing, skating and diving. Cheerleaders and team-sport athletes find they, too, can improve rhythm and timing by practicing on the trampoline. Some forms of exercise, such as bicycling, only allow you to perform one task. On a trampoline, kids find themselves in so many different positions that they develop the agility that allows them to be more successful in other sports.
Installing a trampoline in your backyard is an excellent way to provide entertainment and exercise for the whole family. Many, pediatricians and parents alike, cite concerns about safety. It’s important to keep in mind that all physical activity involves some risk of injury. Follow safety guidelines and be sure your children have adult supervision while playing on their bouncy apparatus. Taking common-sense precautions and keeping an eye on kids will help keep injuries to a minimum. Meanwhile, your kids (and you, if you’re up to the challenge), will enjoy the many long-lasting benefits of exercise disguised as play.