Category Archives for Outdoor ideas

Round Vs. Rectangular

Round Vs. Rectangular: Which Trampoline Shape Is Better For You And Your Family?

Round Vs. RectangularGeorge Nissen had no idea his trampoline would become more than just training equipment for gymnasts. Nissen was an acrobat in the circus during the 1930s. He wanted exercise equipment where acrobats could warm-up and practice their techniques.

Over time, Nissen’s trampoline would find its way into family backyards. The trampoline was also used by NASA to help astronauts regain their leg strength and balance after months in space.

The trampoline has become a popular pastime and activity for families and individuals alike. If you’re thinking of buying one, you’ll have to choose among the different shapes available in the market.

You can find trampolines that come in the following shapes: round, rectangle, square and oval. Of the four shapes, round and rectangle are the most popular choices.

But which is the best trampoline to buy for you and your family?

How To Choose The Right Trampoline Shape

Trampolines come in different shapes to fit the individual needs of the user. Your decision on which shape to buy will depend on your answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to buy a trampoline?
  • What will you use the trampoline for?
  • Who will use the trampoline?
  • Where will you setup the trampoline?
  • How much is your budget?

If decision- making appears to be a complicated process, we’ll make it easier for you!

We have listed five factors that you should consider before choosing the shape of your trampoline. By keeping in mind these five factors, you will be able to clear out all the smoke and have a better idea of which type of trampoline to buy. Compare trampolines and see which one fits your needs.

  1. Objective

    Why do you want to buy a trampoline? There are many reasons why people buy one for their homes:

    • Great fun activity for family and friends;
    • Excellent, low- impact form of exercise;
    • Wonderful stress reliever;
    • Effective training equipment for budding gymnasts;
    • Completes the backyard entertainment set;
    • Adds an aesthetic element to your backyard.

    You probably have some of these reasons as your motivation for buying one for the family. If you do, the next step is to identify which among the reasons is your priority.

    A round or a rectangular trampoline will do just for all these reasons except one. If you or your children are doing gymnastics, you should get a rectangle trampoline.

    Compared to a round trampoline, the rectangular shape has a narrower area for jumping. This means the user’s weight will result in less compression on the springs.

    The result is a more responsive bounce which will mean higher altitude. A higher jump will make it easier for your future gymnasts to practice flipping, turning and twisting techniques.

  2. Space Availability

    Where will you setup the trampoline? Traditionally, these are setup outdoors. However, it is not uncommon for some owners to have a specific area inside of the home for the trampoline. Case in point: Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.

    If you don’t have the space like the world’s richest man, just go traditional and have your trampoline setup in your backyard. Where you plan to put it up will depend on space availability.

    Outdoor trampolines have to be setup in an area where there are no potential hazards. Even with a safety net, jumpers could find themselves falling out of the area. Therefore, the area must be clear of sharp rocks and hard objects.

    You will also need enough clearance around its perimeter. Again, you don’t want your kids losing control of their jump and hitting a tree.

    When choosing the shape of your trampoline, make sure it can be accommodated by the size of your backyard or garden area. Generally, a trampoline with a larger jump area is preferred.

    The most popular dimension for rectangular trampolines is 6 feet by 12 feet which will give you a jump area that is approximately 4 feet wide. A rectangular trampoline that is one foot larger or 7 feet by 14 feet will only improve the width of your jump area by half a foot.

    In contrast, the most popular size for round trampolines is 14 feet. Factor in the space for the springs and the frame, then the 14- foot round trampoline will give you a jump area of 12 feet.

  3. Safety

    Who will use the trampoline? This consideration is a bit more complicated but you can sort it out by answering the following:

    • What are the ages of the people who will use the trampoline?
    • Will there be multiple jumpers?
    • How big are the people using the trampoline?
    • What is the purpose of using the trampoline?

    If you have children younger than seven years of age, they will not have the leg strength to get enough altitude on a rectangular trampoline. As previously mentioned, this shape offers a more responsive jump. However, there are more springs which will make the mat tighter and harder to jump on.

    Regardless of size or shape, it is not advisable to have multiple jumpers on the trampoline. Unsupervised children and inexperienced jumpers might lose control of their jump and hit one another.

    However, as we mentioned earlier, the round trampoline has a wider jump area. If it is not possible to have the area supervised at all times, the round shape would be better for you.

    It should be worth noting that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends parents to choose the round trampoline for very young children. This is because it has a wider jump area and it would be easier for them to use. The round trampoline would be the best family trampoline.

  4. Durability

    Because they are intended more for gymnastics and sports training, rectangular trampolines are made with thicker 2.5mm steel frames. In comparison, round trampoline frames are thinner at 1.5mm. This means rectangular trampolines are much more durable.

    Its thicker steel frame means the rectangular version can accommodate a heavier load of up to 450 pounds regardless of dimensions. The durability of round trampolines will depend on its size. Eight to 10-foot round trampolines can handle a load of 200 to 250 pounds, while a 14 to 16- foot model can manage a total body weight of 450 pounds.

  5. Price

    Round trampolines are more popular than rectangular trampolines. Therefore, in order to keep up with demand, they are mass produced and are priced much lower than their counterparts.

    Rectangular trampolines are usually chosen by those who want to train in gymnastics or Parkour. It is not produced in mass quantities and thus, is generally more expensive than the round variety.

Our Verdict: Rectangular Vs. Round Trampoline?

Little Girl Jumping

The best trampoline to buy for your family would depend on who will be using it and what it will be used for.

Let’s break it down as follows.

Choose the round trampoline if:

  • You have children younger than seven years old;
  • Your children are not training for gymnastics;
  • You are not planning to become the next “American Ninja” and learning Parkour;
  • You have a limited budget.

Choose the rectangular trampoline if:

  • Your children are learning gymnastics;
  • You plan to use it for regular, low-impact workouts.
  • You have a larger budget.

Whether you get a rectangular or round trampoline, make sure to run the following checks before purchasing:

  • Quality of material for the mat, springs, and frame;
  • See to it that the springs are covered by the mat upon assembly;
  • Look for cracks in the mat and the frame.

Lastly, if it doesn’t come with the merchandise, buy a safety net. When it comes to trampoline use, don’t take any chances. Always ensure the safety of its users.

10 Must-Have Trampoline Accessories: Stay Safe And Have So Much More Fun

You've made a decision on the best trampoline. You're ready for some amazing cardio sessions and your kids can't wait to jump. But, you just might have to wait if you haven't yet invested in some trampoline accessories that make all the difference in trampoline safety and fun.

Some of the following accessories are a definite yes for everyone's safety. While others are a must-have for added fun on the trampoline. If you're going to spend the time and money on a trampoline, take advantage and get the most out of the experience. Make memories and avoid tragedies with top accessories that ensure safety and fun.

The following 10 accessories are ideal for fun, safe, and enjoyable jumping. Some are for rebounders and others are for trampolines.

1 - Safety Net

When shopping for the accessories that will make it a safe and fun experience for all, you will most definitely want to find a trampoline net. This should undoubtedly be the number one priority on your accessory list. Along with a spring pad. There are plenty of different options available on the market. But here are some of the details that you will want to consider to ensure absolute comfort and safety:

  • The material: You want to find a net made out of polypropylene. This is the material that the trampoline mat is made from. Just with a wider weave so that you can see in and out of the net. While you can find some that are made from other materials, polypropylene offers long-lasting use that won't tear easily.
  • The placement: Some consider the net attached inside the springs to be safe. As many would think that springs pose a safety hazard. They do. But accidents can also be caused by children bouncing against the net frame. On the contrary, having it on the outside requires that you cover the springs to protect against accidents happening from falling in the gaps between them.
  • The closure/entryway: When shopping for this type of net, you want to consider the opening for getting off and on the trampoline. Zippers are typically suggested because they guarantee that the net will remain closed during jumping. The only issue with zippers is that they can get stuck easily if they are poor quality.
    If your child has an accident on the trampoline and you can't get to them easily, it could be devastating. Look for a net with top quality materials including the zipper. Or go for one with Velcro closure.
    Something else to consider about the entrance/exit is if you want to find a net that offers double openings. This can make it easier in some ways to allow for easy exiting and entry with multiple children.
  • Attachment/installation: If you are purchasing the net apart from the bouncer itself, you will want to make sure that the measurements and size are correct. A net that fits poorly is like having no net at all. And can be the cause of serious accidents. To make sure that you install it correctly, make sure to read instructions carefully. And that the net comes with instructions. Ensure that you have all the tools before getting to work. And check that there are no gaps or spaces anywhere and that the net is securely fastened.

2 - Spare Springs

When you buy a trampoline, you most likely want it to last for months to come. For the most part, springs last on quality options, but there are always times where a spring or two may break. This can affect your trampoline's bounce and can also cause accidents. Stay safe and have fun by always investing in spare springs.

It goes without saying but make sure that you buy the right size and style for your bouncer. Whether you get a whole set or a few for emergency replacement. This is an item that you will want to have on hand. It's better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

3 - Access Ladder

Even if your kids are older, an access ladder is always a good idea. For little ones, it's essential. Accidents often happen on trampolines when kids are getting off and on. If you have younger children who want to use the trampoline, make sure to find a trampoline ladder that attaches firmly. And that it provides a stable way for children to get on and off of their jumping mat.

If you use a net with two openings, you can place a ladder on one side and a slide on the other. Just another way to have extra fun. As always, make sure that both accessories are attached firmly. And there is no way that they can slip or tip during use.

4 - Spring Cover/Pad

This accessory is one of the most important ones for your trampoline, along with a net. Whether you attach the net on the inside of the springs or on the outside, you should always have a spring cover and pad. A trampoline spring cover can ensure that children don't get scraped by the springs. And it also keeps the springs protected from bad weather.

A pad will provide cushioning for children when a net is attached on the outside. Many accidents are caused by trampoline springs. So, a pad and cover are just as important as a net. A spring pad can also provide a comfortable seating area for your kids when they get tired. Or as they wait their turn to jump. Although, be aware that it is safer for waiting children to wait outside of the trampoline.

5 - Weather Cover

As with anything you leave outside, a trampoline can wear out due to weather. Whether from being outside in the sun all the time or due to the rainy season. The weather can cause your bounce pad to deteriorate quickly. While there are UV resistant nets and jumping pads, trampolines can still be damaged by bad storms or adverse weather conditions. This is why it's important to purchase a weather trampoline cover.

While it may seem like an added cost, it will save you the money that you would have to spend on buying a new one. Whether you invest in one that covers the entire trampoline-this is suggested-or you get one that only covers the mat. This is an accessory that will ensure long-lasting use.

6 - Safety Tie Down Hooks

As strong and heavy as a trampoline may be, windy or stormy weather is enough to lift it off the ground. This can be dangerous for your family. But also for your home. There are many instances where thousands of dollars of damage have been caused due to "flying" trampolines. A ruined roof or worse is not something that you want to consider.

To ensure that your children stay safe and your home stays damage-free, invest in safety tie down hooks or anchors. When it comes to this item, go all out for quality. It is most definitely worth it.

7 - Toys

Jumping is already a fun experience for your kids. But go a step further and invest in accessories that will make it a blast. For example, you may want to get a basketball hoop to attach to the net. Of course, to avoid accidents, make sure that both the hoop and ball are made from soft materials.

You can also invest in small bouncy balls or target practice boards with Velcro "darts" for added fun. Always be careful to avoid toys that have sharp or rough edges. Landing on a sharp point can cause serious accidents.

8 - Bounce Board

While it could be considered a toy, it's also a great accessory for practicing other sports on your trampoline. A bounce board takes jumping to the next level. While not suggested for younger children, it's a great addition for older kids and parents. It's a simple board with straps for your feet, a slip resistant material on the bottom, and won't damage your jump pad.

As with any kind of board or "sport," you and your kids will want to make sure to practice using the board carefully. If not used correctly, it could cause accidents. Avoid using this board with your younger children.

9 - Handlebar

While using handlebars on large trampolines isn't suggested due to its height and the risks associated with this, it's ideal for mini-rebounders. It can help to provide your child with stability while bouncing. If you are using a rebounder for cardio, it can also be used in some of your exercises.

10 - Exercise Accessories

If you are investing in a rebounder for exercise/health reasons, make sure to get the most out of it. You can do so by investing in exercise accessories as well. For example, a resistance cord can help you to get a great upper body workout while on the rebounder.

Another item that you will want to include is an electronic monitor to measure your calories, time, etc. For some really advanced exercising you can invest in two or three rebounders. There are exercises that involve jumping from one to another. Obviously this should only be done if you’re experienced.

Other Things To Consider

While shopping for accessories for your trampoline, here are some things you should consider when browsing options:

  • Color-If you are someone who likes everything to combine perfectly, you will want to put some thought into the color coordination of your accessories. For example, you may pick out a spring pad and cover that you love. It arrives in blue. Then, you order your net which arrives with pink borders. For some, this doesn't matter. For you, it might. Make sure to check out the available colors in the accessories that you are looking for.
  • Style-While many of these accessories are available in steel and other basic materials, if you want to have a bit of fun, look for unique styles. (Just make sure that they are equally as safe.) Instead of using your regular ladder, look for plastic ladders and slides. This is a lot more fun for your little ones, but of course, may not be as ideal for older kids.
  • Quality-Always consider quality when shopping for items that have to do with your children's safety on the rebounder or jumping pad. Quality sometimes means a higher price, but you won't regret spending a little bit extra if it means keeping your child safe.
    Another thing to consider is that quality also usually means durability. The better the material and product, the more use you will get out of it. And that way it’ll last more than one season.

In Conclusion

There is a excess of accessories that you can invest in to make the trampoline experience an unforgettable and safe one. The above 10 items are a great start to ensure you and your children's safety, as well as a fun and enjoyable experience.

Whether you are investing in a trampoline for personal exercise and cardio or you want to provide your children with a fun option for getting their energy out before bed. These accessories make a world of difference.

If you feel that you may not be able to install any of the above accessories properly, don't hesitate to call a professional. Safety is of the utmost importance when using a trampoline and its accessories.

make your backyard kid friendly

12 Ideas To Make Your Backyard Kid Friendly

make your backyard kid friendly

Kids today and their technology! In this day and age of the Internet, social media and portable video games, it’s hard for parents to separate their kids from various mobile devices. While it may seem that device and human are co-joined at the hip, it really is not that hard to get your child to appreciate free time like you did back in the day when you were a kid. It all starts at home! All you need to do is make your backyard kid friendly.

Curiosity is an important quality in developing the child’s intellectual ability. It encourages them to find answers on their own. For Generation X parents, the backyard was the classroom of life. Because of the influence of multimedia, it will take more effort to entice today’s children to drop the mobile device in favor of the Great Outdoors.

But it can be done! You just need to focus on fun and creativity. Here are cool ideas to make your backyard kid friendly:

  1. Trampolines – What backyard would be complete without a trampoline? Children of all ages love it! Even Mom and Dad can use it as an outdoor fitness activity. If you want higher jumps, look for trampolines with the highest number of springs. Check the stability of the trampoline. Legs that are made of galvanized steel are very sturdy. Make sure that the trampoline material is UV-resistant. It may be a good idea to consider setting up a net around the trampoline.
  2. Sandbox – Bring the beach to the backyard! A sandbox is one of the most popular places for children to play with. They can make castles and other figures with sand, a bit of water and a few containers of different sizes. A 7 foot by 7 foot area will be large enough to set up a sandbox. You will probably need around 20 bags of sand to fill up a box this size. Make sure you provide the sandbox with shade.
  3. Swing – You can’t make a backyard kid friendly without a swing! Kids always enjoy the thrill and excitement of a swing. You can surely buy a ready- to- use swing set from a toy store. But why not flex your creative muscles and build one yourself? You can make a swing out of an old tire or a skateboard. Your child can even get involved in the building process!
  4. Water Table – If you have a Sandbox, why not complete the outdoor experience by building a Water Table! This is basically an outdoor bathtub for kids. They will certainly let their imagination run wild when playing with battleships, submarines and scuba diver action figures. A Water Table can be Do-it-Yourself project. All you need is a plastic cement mixing tub or a larger sized rubber coated washing bin plus some sturdy plywood.
  5. Zip Line – If your backyard space is large and wide enough, you might be able to pull off a Zip Line fun ride. This is definitely a more complicated project that should be handled by an experienced professional. You should also check with your neighborhood association if there are laws that you need to be aware of when building a high speed attraction like a Zip Line.
    And obviously you will need quite a bit of space to install one in the first place.
  6. Outdoor Movies – Why should kids have all the fun? An outdoor movie set not only saves you money from buying expensive tickets at the nearby theater, but it also makes for great bonding time for the family. This is very easy to make. All you need is a stretchable, Matt white (1.2 gain) fabric, a movie projector and a sound system. Find an area in the backyard where you can control the amount of light. Fire up the popcorn maker and you’re ready to go!
  7. Tree House – The classic backyard favorite! A tree house is the place where kids shared ghost stories and comic books. It can be a “members only” tree house where your child can let his imagination run wild and get free of the real world. Just make sure there is no Wi-Fi!
  8. Streams and Waterfalls – If your backyard has the size and the natural amenities, why not create man-made streams and a waterfall? Not only are streams and waterfalls beautiful but it makes your backyard kid friendly and peaceful! Set up a small but sturdy bridge for the kids to cross the stream or watch the waterfall.
  9. Veggie Patch – One of the best ways for kids to eat their veggies is to help them understand how it is made. By learning the process of growing vegetables, kids will know why they are good for the mind and body. Identify an area in your backyard which you can set up as a vegetable patch. Their natural curiosity will fuel their desire to sow, care and water their vegetables every day! Watch their eyes light up as the seed slowly grows into an edible, nutritious plant.
  10. Lawn Games – There are many popular sports and games that you can play outdoors. Find a place where you set up a net and you can play badminton or volleyball. If you have a smaller backyard, you can have an area for a thrilling game of horse shoes. How about a game of darts? All you need is a tree and a dart board. The family can have its annual Olympics every summer!
  11. Hammock – After an entire afternoon of play, a hammock can provide a welcome respite from the heat of the sun. Make sure you have a spot with good shade. If the kids don’t have the energy for play, the hammock can be a place to read a good book, play the guitar or enjoy sipping an ice cold glass of lemonade.
  12. Jungle Exploration – All you need are tall grass, weeping trees, giant sunflowers and a stone path to usher your child through a manmade jungle. Make sure to frequently de-bug the grass and weeping trees to keep away dangerous insects.

Making your backyard kid friendly is a fun activity that you can do with your children. Ask them to contribute ideas and get them involved in some of the work that needs to be done. Of course, if your handyman skills are limited, don’t hesitate to hire the services of a carpenter or landscape artist to get the job done. In time, your kids will prefer to slide in the backyard than on a touch screen with just their fingers. It’s a win win and so much healthier as well.


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