Kids these days don’t get out much. According to a 2016 study, roughly 1 in 4 kids in US gets the daily recommended 1 hour of exercise. Kids from Canada and Australia don't fare much better either. So why are our kids becoming sedentary? After all, aren't kids naturally active? Researchers are starting to come to the conclusion that it's because kids have an overly scheduled lifestyle.
As parents, everything we do is for the good of our children. But we are limited to our boring, agenda driven, adult thinking. The best way for kids to grow right and be active is for them to act like kids. That is why kids love jumping castles. They bring out the wild ones out of children, and it will get them the exercise they need.
A tight schedule slows a kid down
Aside from our TVs, laptops, tablets, and phones gluing us to the couch, it appears the modern day household is busier than ever. Parents have to go to work. Kids have to go to school and do their homework. Kids then have sports, hobbies, play dates, birthday parties, visits to the grandparents. The list goes on and on.
Even though after school sports clearly provide physical activity, the issue seems to lie in the tight structure of it all. No matter where they go, an adult is there barking orders. Kick that ball. Take a lap. Listen Up.
Structure isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but keep in mind that kids need to experience the world as they see it; not as someone tells them to see it. Unstructured playtime is crucial for kids. They need to run around, hoot and holler, twist and shout. That kind of thing encourages creativity and high self-esteem, which leads to a larger willingness to go out and try new things in the world.
So it seems there is a balancing act between keeping our children safe and allowing them enough space to be free. That perfect equilibrium is an inflatable bouncer.
Safe yet wild
It may not seem like the first answer, but a bounce house is the most obvious.
You want your kids to be active? Let them jump in there until they pass out. You want them to be safe? An inflatable jumping castle cushions all of their horseplay.
Do you want your kids to have the space to hoot and holler while developing social skills? An inflatable bounce house is like a mini-kid mixing pot. They’ll all be bouncing out of there as new friends.
Not just for kids
Bounce houses have added benefits for the parents. While it's not "hands-off" parenting (you should always be nearby and keeping an eye out on the kids), parents can sit back and relax and bit.
Not only that, parents can make it a social event. Timmy's parents are cool and interesting like you? Perfect! Setup a barbecue and crack a few beers while the kids have a blast. Unlike other types of games, bounce houses are quick to setup and wrap up. No mess to clean up or small toys to run around the yard and put away.
As we grow older, we look back fondly on the days of our early childhood: riding that intense hill on your bike, snowball fights, climbing that dead tree in the woods.
With a bounce house, you will be creating memories you children will look back to as a simpler time; back in the days when their parents blew the bouncy house up every Saturday and all the neighbors came to play.
Is it worth buying a bounce house?
If your immediate concern is the cost, then think of it as an investment. For $200 to $400, you have safe and on-demand fun in your yard for at least 3 to 6 years. Depending on how rough your kids are with the structure, their shelf life depends on your kids growing up more than the materials wearing out.
Buying the right jumping castle
With safety in mind, it’s important to note that you don’t want to bargain hunt too rigorously. When buying one of these inflatable structures, it’s one of those “get what you pay for” type of situations. And you definitely don’t want to pay for a faulty jumping castle.
It’s a safety issue. Buying used instead of new always carries its own risks. You don’t know whether there’s a tear or if it’s moldy. It goes without saying that a torn bounce house is a deflated bounce house. And a moldy jumping castle means staff infections.
So where’s the trust?
Well, nowadays the internet is connecting knowledge to everyone. Sites like Kids Party Centre know the right structure for the right occasion.
Jumping castles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are even used as water slides. Some get pretty elaborate, and some can even be inflated for indoor use (intended for smaller children only). Kids Party Centre will break down the specs, the price, and give you a full breakdown of the structure.
Take Blast Zone Superstar Inflatable Bouncer for example. With just a quick glance, you can tell right away that 5 to 6 small children can bounce without restraint because of the protective netting. That’s 5 to 6 potential friends alongside vigorous cardiovascular activity. That is well worth the $240 investment.
Boiling down to safety
Skeptics may think that a bounce house is too much maintenance. To an extent, they aren't entirely incorrect. Bounce houses require tender loving care. You have to clean them once in a while and deal with set up and storage.
However, there is a very large trade off for routine maintenance, and that is safety. It may be easier to just buy a trampoline. They are generally the same price, but a trampoline doesn’t offer the same safety nets.
Some trampolines have nets, but it's not unheard of kids hurting themselves in all sorts of ways. A jumping castle transfers the force of impact differently than a trampoline. The springs of a trampoline rebound the fabric underneath your kids’ feet. That creates driving force conflicting upwards against the gravity of the fall. A bounce house absorbs the impact and spreads it out across a cushion of air.
Both capture the same concept that kids will love. They want to jump, hop, flip, and trick. Except a bounce house is better when it comes to safety.
Keep your kids active. Keep them safe.
A structured upbringing is healthy for any growing youngster. There is nothing wrong with keeping your children safe. However, kids have a lot of energy, and they need outlets. For parents, this requires a little bit of finesse.
A jumping castle creates a veil for your children. You know personally that your children are safer playing in one. You will also know that you kids will be developing much needed social skills and burning the calories to help their bodies develop in a healthy way.
To the kids, all they are thinking is, “Let’s play in the bouncy castle".