It’s fair to say that most children enjoy jumping on trampolines while soaking up the warm sunshine. There’s something so freeing about bouncing on a trampoline, soaring up into the air, and feeling so light and free. Kids just can’t resist it. Imaginative and inventive children often make up games to stay entertained for longer jumping sessions in the backyard, devising rules and stipulations to finish the game or win.
However, playing the same games over and over can become boring, and it’s at this point that kids will sometimes request parents to join in the fun or offer suggestions for different things to do while bouncing around on warm summer days. Here are a few favorite games to add some variety into your child’s regular trampoline competitions.
While this game may not be something new, it’s a childhood favorite and worthy of a spot on our list. To play the game, one player must be the egg. To do this, the child playing the egg must lie down on the trampoline mat and curl up into a ball, wrapping their arms tightly around their legs to resemble — you guessed it! — an egg. All the other players will then attempt to “crack the egg” by bouncing on the trampoline and forcing the egg to lose their grip and “crack.”
For the egg to win, that player would need to either not get “cracked” or remain intact for a set number of seconds. For 8-year-olds, a good time to start with is 10 seconds. Once children have played the game and become adept at not “cracking,” the time limit could increase, thus making the game more challenging.
This easy-to-play game requires nothing more than players, an object — preferably a ball — and some pent-up energy. The concept of the game is not to allow the ball to hit the trampoline mat and count the number of times the ball is tossed without being dropped. While the game itself seems extremely easy, the underlying ideas behind playing it are great physical-education tools. When children play these types of catch-and-release games, they are improving and strengthening their hand-eye coordination skills.
With the addition of the trampoline, their bodies must adjust to the movement of the mat while being in the correct placement to catch the ball and quickly release it with accuracy. By playing these simple games, children are working their bodies and muscles in ways they otherwise could not.
If you or your child has ever played the game of musical chairs, then musical bounce should be a breeze to catch onto. The equipment required for this game is nothing more than a radio/cd player/MP3 player. Similar to the rules of musical chairs, the leader – usually an adult or eldest child – instructs all the children to sit on the trampoline mat. Once everyone is seated, the leader begins the music. Upon hearing the music, each child will rise and begin to bounce on the trampoline.
The leader will then stop the music abruptly — after about 30 seconds or so — and the last player to stop bouncing is out. Once a player has been eliminated, the game starts over again, with the remaining players seated once again. The rounds go on until one person remains as the winner.
Like other games on our list, monkey in the middle only requires players and a lightweight ball for hours of entertainment. We recommend a simple rubber bouncing ball, an inflatable beach ball, or something similar for this game. The only other requirement to play is … players! To play, you must have at least three people. One person will be elected to be the monkey, standing in the middle of the trampoline mat. The other players will space themselves evenly on the edge of the mat in a circular fashion.
To play, each player will toss the ball to another player across the mat, trying to avoid passing it to the monkey. If the monkey catches the ball being thrown, the player who tossed it becomes the new monkey in the middle.
At the end of the day, when all else fails, or all other games have been played, there’s one final game to get the excitement flowing one last time. And that is a good old-fashioned game of tag. While this may seem silly or babyish to some, tag is a great no-brainer game for kids to play while bouncing on their trampoline. The bounce of the mat takes the game more difficult than usual, giving the players a little more advantage to sabotage their opponents, while extending the game longer for those kiddos who may not be the strongest runners.
Kids can take the game of tag a step further by introducing freeze tag — when someone is tagged, they must stop in their tracks, or link tag — each player tagged links arms — to mix things up a little.
From cracking eggs to bouncing to the music, trampoline games can be wonderful ways for your children to spend their summer outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and gorgeous sunshine. In a very digital day and age, parents are pulling their children away from their screens even more so than ever. What better way to encourage your children to bounce out some of their energy than these simple and fun jump-friendly games?
While trampolines offer fun times with basketball hoops and sprinklers, sometimes all your children need to have a good time is themselves, a little imagination, and a ball or two.
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