Spring, summer, and warmer weather are all around the corner now, so it’s time to look forward to giving that trampoline a heavy workout again.
Looking to get your kids back out there, shaking off the winter hibernation and having fun outside while also getting all the health and fitness benefits of trampolining? Why not point them to some of these activities, and let their imaginations, creativity, and boundless energy run wild.
Trampoline games are a way to structure play on a trampoline in such a way that people can have fun, for longer periods of time, without really realising that they are doing some pretty substantial exercise at the same time.
Oz Trampolines offers a wealth of resources when it comes to trampoline games that you can play, with some of the highlights including:
Do As I Do
One person is the leader. The rest must copy the leader’s movements in the air while jumping together, keeping their bounces together. Those who fail to follow are out of the game.
The first player gets onto the trampoline and does a simple move. The second player does the simple move plus one other, the third player does the first two moves and adds another move, and so on. A player who gets the sequence wrong is out of the game.
Dodge Ball 1
One person is on the trampoline bouncing, the rest around the trampoline throw light weight balls (eg soft baby balls) at the jumper until the jumper is hit.
Dodge Ball 2
Instead of anyone throwing the balls, the trampoline is the thrower. Place a football or soccer ball in the center of the trampoline, the rest of the jumpers around it. All start to jump on the count of three and must avoid getting hit by the ball. When a player is hit, he is out and the game continues until there is an ultimate winner – the last person jumping.
Star-Jump War – A competition to see who can do the highest and widest starjumps, best to do the best out of three.
If games are out of the question; for example, no one is around to play them, it’s still possible for your child to have a lot of fun on a trampoline all by themselves. Simply encourage them to learn tricks.
Not only are tricks teach a child the value of persistence (i.e. practice hard and what once was hard becomes easy), but it’s also great fitness, and encourages the child to make the trampoline part of their daily routine. And you never know… this could lead all the way to the Olympics, with the trampoline being one of the most competitive events in the gymnastics calendar.
Of course, it’s important that you carefully supervise your child in the early stages, and it’s a good idea to get netting around the frame, and protective pads on the springs to prevent injury. It’s also important to monitor your child’s condition; with many tricks, if performed badly, there is the risk of physical injury. Start your child on some of the beginner’s tricks, below, before letting them move on to the more advanced tricks, and if they show enough interest and progress, consider signing them up to a gymnastics class so that they can learn proper technique and further minimise injury risk.
Beginner Trampoline Tricks
The Tuck Jump
This basic trick involves bringing your knees up to your chest during a jump, and then use your hands to grab below the knees – into a “tuck.” It’s as simple as tricks get, but an essential one, as it forms the basis of the technique for many other, more advanced tricks that you’ll do later – you’ll need to be able to tuck to do a somersault, for example.
The Straddle Jump
The Straddle Jump involves spreading your arms and legs into a star position, while also lifting them at least 90 degrees. This, too, is an essential trick in order to develop a good spatial awareness of the trampoline, understand how to gauge the height of the jump necessary to pull off a trick, and so on.
The Seat Landing
Jump up high, then move the legs straight out to a “seating” position as though you were going to sit on the floor, and then allow yourself to land on the trampoline in that position, before bouncing back up and returning the legs to a standing position. This incredibly simple trick is an important step in understanding that trampoline tricks don’t always involve landing on your feet.
Advanced Trampoline Tricks
Once you’ve mastered all the basic tricks above, you’ll move on to somersaults and other intermediate tricks. Once you’re at the advanced level, you’ll be able to pull off a reverse somersault, or a backflip.
The Front Handspring
Bounce, do a flip forwards into a handstand position, and then push off to land back on your feet. Once you get to this point you’re becoming a truly advanced trampoline expert!
Oddly enough, this is actually harder than either the backflip or the frontflip, because with a sideflip, you need to put additional exertion through one side of your body – it’s effectively bouncing from an unbalanced position, and that requires a great deal more core strength to effectively pull off.
Remember jumping on your trampoline regularly, is not only fun but it also is great exercise for both the body and mind. Making that process fun, however, is the real secret in ensuring that your child is out there bouncing on their trampoline every day.