Safe, reasonable ways to meet kids' jumping needs? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids keep wanting to jump on the beds and sofas, which is not OK with me. I'm concerned both about safety issues and about treating the furniture with respect and taking care of it (also, the sofas and one of the beds are borrowed and do not belong to us).

I ask the kids to jump on the floor, but they complain that it's not bouncy enough.

Neither DH nor I are comfortable with the idea of a trampoline, because we have family members who have been seriously injured on trampolines.

I've thought of getting an old mattress to put on the floor just for the kids to jump on, but I'm highly allergic to dust mites and all I can think of is dust mites spewing into the air with every bounce, LOL.

Are there any other options anyone can think of that would be relatively safe, inexpensive, and not too hard on my allergies?
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#2 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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i wouldn't want a large outdoor type trampoline either. but a small exerciese type might work.
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#3 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 04:36 AM
 
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We have a springfree trampoline with an enclosure as they are safer than traditional trampolines.

http://www.springfreetrampoline.com.au/

IMO, I feel that if you follow the safety instructions like having only one child on at a time and supervise your kids, I can’t see the harm in having a large trampoline

Sam, mum to: Ian, James, Lottie, Maddy, Jack, Ruby, Bronte & Sophia and Nate
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#4 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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We have one of these:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2334365

I don't find it to be unsafe. DS holds on to the handlebars.
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#5 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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we have a regular exercise trampoline. A wholistic medicine person (I have no idea what she is officially. She is family so we just call her by her name ) gave me a lesson in how important bouncing was for children (something to do with their immune system and inner ears . . . ) and the benfits seemed to outweigh any risks. Lets face it if kids are not inclined to follow saftey rules they can get hurt playing with a nerf ball in padded room. My kids know the saftey rules, what few they are for the trampoline) and follow them. big ones i am iffy about but they are just so gosh darn fun. I just supervise while they are on them.

other things to jump on . . . . bounce house, pogo stick, open gym at your local gymnastics center

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#6 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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Yep- get one of the little trampolines. The safety concerns about big ones (and I agree!) don't transfer.

-Angela
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#7 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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Could you take them a soft play centre? they have bouncy bits.

Sam, mum to: Ian, James, Lottie, Maddy, Jack, Ruby, Bronte & Sophia and Nate
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#8 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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We have a mini trampoline and a chair that has broken legs which the kids are allowed to jump on (DS still jumps on all the rest of the furniture : )

I'm glad to read it has benefits as DS jumps constantly. He's also the healthiest kid I know, lol!!
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#9 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas, folks. Trampolines really aren't an option for us. Even if we could afford one of the big "springless" trampolines with a net around the edge, I feel the risks still outweigh the benefits.

We have a niece who broke her leg (twice!) by landing wrong on the surface of the trampoline. Kids can break limbs or even their necks that way, even without springs and side dropoffs to contend with.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,

Quote:
Somersaults and coming into contact with other persons on the trampoline's surface likewise resulted in many serious and crippling injuries as well as death.
My kids are ages 2 to 7 . . . I don't want to have to count on them remembering rules like "no jumping in ways that bring your head and neck in contact with the trampoline".

and,
Quote:
A surrounding net may decrease the injury rate but this has not been extensively proven yet. There is netting now available around the perimeter of trampolines. This netting has been shown to reduce the number of injuries from falls off the rampoline but should only be used with the following warnings: 1) Netting is not a substitute for adequate adult supervision; 2) Netting will not reduce nor eliminate crippling injuries and death on the surface of the trampoline itself. It has been shown to retain users in the trampoline area and for that reason alone is recommended.
As for the small trampolines, studies have found that, while injuries on the small trampolines were less severe, they were no less frequent than injuries on the large trampolines.

Small Trampolines Just As Dangerous As Large Ones.

Also, with a small trampoline I would have the issue of needing to closely supervise the activity and make sure the kids take turns. A trampoline--ANY kind of trampoline--should never be used without very careful adult supervision.

Supervision itself isn't necessarily a problem, but I'd hate to create a situation where we have an appealing toy that can't easily be picked up and put out of sight/reach, but which the kids aren't allowed to use without adult supervision. At least something like a pogo stick could easily be put away when not in use.

Thanks for the other suggestions--I'm thinking maybe a foam pad (like a foam mattress or camping pad) might be an option. It doesn't need to be something that provides a ton of lift (in fact, I don't want something that provides TOO much lift), just something pleasantly cushion-y to jump on.
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#10 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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An inflatable mattress!!

You can get one for about $20 (I think). They're new, so they don't have the dust mite issue. You will have to repair it occasionally, but they're very bouncy.

We have a mini-trampoline (exercise), and I'm having a hard time seeing how it's not safe. I understand your concerns, but for me the risk/reward ratio is definitely in favor of the mini-trampoline.

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#11 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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The study you linked says that most injuries on small trampolines are cuts and scrapes. That's just life with a kid. ANYWHERE they're jumping they can get cuts and scrapes.

I am totally paranoid about big trampolines. A HUGE safety person in general. We have a small trampoline with a handle that has been wonderful.

We have had kids of assorted ages play on it and really none have even thought of doing anything dangerous on it. Once they understand only one person at a time (and I'm strict about that...) it's no big deal.

I would suggest you find somewhere with one you can look at in person. They're really a whole different creature than big trampolines. And in general it's going to be safer to be jumping on a product designed for such use than making something else work.

-Angela
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#12 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The safety issues with a mini-trampoline don't really bother me as much as with a big one. It's the fact that only one person can use it at a time and it would be difficult to store out of the way that seems like it would be an issue.

We have 13 kids (ages 2 to 9) in our playroom for 3+ hours every Sunday afternoon. One little trampoline would be hard to share among that many kids, and it might just plain be in the way. I don't really have a place to store something like that out of the way (unless the handle can be collapsed down--then it might be possible, perhaps). I guess I should look at them and see how big they actually are.

The kinds of games my children want to play with the couch cushions and mattresses involve imagination and all of them jumping together at once, so I'm just not sure a mini trampoline would meet that need adequately for them. I suppose I could ask them what they think of the idea.

I'm kind of liking the idea of a foam pad that could be stuffed under a bed or rolled up and put in a closet, or something like that.
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#13 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I got an inflatable thing to jump on from Target - not this (ours is flat with no sides, but intended for jumping), but it looks fun:

http://www.target.com/Intoyz-Jump-o-...latable&page=1
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#14 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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If you are concerned with trampolines, pretty much all jump-type things will pose the same issue. (including mattresses or furniture)

The other option is to use a mattress on the floor with a waterproof cover on it and then just put a fabric cover over that. No dust mite issue that way.

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#15 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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Any time kids are jumping together things get dangerous. be it a mattress or a trampoline. Single jumping is really the only safe way. and if you are going to introduce more than one child to the jumping area its going to have to be some where big.

if you get the mini exercise tramps (the ones without the handles) you could get several - they are fairly inexpensive . I think we paid $20 for ours new and you always see them at rummage sales and they store pretty compactly. mine will fit under my bed or lean up against a wall in the play room. If you really need space you can pop the legs on and of pretty quickly and then they are only about an inch high. you can stack 4-6 of them and slide them under a bed.

and seriously this thing sits lower than my bed and has less spring. no less safe than jumping on a couch or bed. well our springs are exposed but they didn't come that way. they were completely covered when we got it and pinch proof. . . .

if you think your kids will be doing something dangerous I would hope you would supervise them. I am guessing the majority of all trampoline accidents could be prevented with proper supervision by a responsible adult.

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#16 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
The safety issues with a mini-trampoline don't really bother me as much as with a big one. It's the fact that only one person can use it at a time and it would be difficult to store out of the way that seems like it would be an issue.

We have 13 kids (ages 2 to 9) in our playroom for 3+ hours every Sunday afternoon. One little trampoline would be hard to share among that many kids, and it might just plain be in the way. I don't really have a place to store something like that out of the way (unless the handle can be collapsed down--then it might be possible, perhaps). I guess I should look at them and see how big they actually are.

The kinds of games my children want to play with the couch cushions and mattresses involve imagination and all of them jumping together at once, so I'm just not sure a mini trampoline would meet that need adequately for them. I suppose I could ask them what they think of the idea.

I'm kind of liking the idea of a foam pad that could be stuffed under a bed or rolled up and put in a closet, or something like that.
There ARE small trampolines that fold up. Perhaps that would work well for your set-up.

good luck!

-Angela
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#17 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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Do you have a gymnmastics center close by that does classes for them? My son was dangerous about jumping off of things, but going to gym once a week and learning about safety there has really helped, and he's only 2. They make a big deal about the surfaces he can jump on and how close he can jump to other kids. Hearing it from someone other than me has helped since they are soooo serious about safety.

We also take him a few times a month to a local pay-to-play place that has a whole room of inflatables. You cannot believe what an hour or jumping in there does for a kid's energy level! It sort of curbs the need to launch himself off of things for a couple of days!
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#18 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we just had a conversation about jumping options as a family. We discussed a number of different ideas, including a small trampoline, a big trampoline and why DH and I thought that wouldn't be the best solution, an old mattress, a big foam pad or gym mat, secondhand couch cushions, etc.

What we decided is that we'll look for a big foam pad of some sort, and some cushions or foam blocks that the kids can use to pile up and jump off of onto the foam pad or built forts out of.

I think that will be a great solution, and the kids are excited about it. They didn't like the idea of a little trampoline, because there wasn't as much versatility in what they could do with it.
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#19 of 32 Old 05-17-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
Thanks for the ideas, folks. Trampolines really aren't an option for us. Even if we could afford one of the big "springless" trampolines with a net around the edge, I feel the risks still outweigh the benefits.

We have a niece who broke her leg (twice!) by landing wrong on the surface of the trampoline. Kids can break limbs or even their necks that way, even without springs and side dropoffs to contend with.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,



My kids are ages 2 to 7 . . . I don't want to have to count on them remembering rules like "no jumping in ways that bring your head and neck in contact with the trampoline".

and,

As for the small trampolines, studies have found that, while injuries on the small trampolines were less severe, they were no less frequent than injuries on the large trampolines.

Small Trampolines Just As Dangerous As Large Ones.

Also, with a small trampoline I would have the issue of needing to closely supervise the activity and make sure the kids take turns. A trampoline--ANY kind of trampoline--should never be used without very careful adult supervision.

Supervision itself isn't necessarily a problem, but I'd hate to create a situation where we have an appealing toy that can't easily be picked up and put out of sight/reach, but which the kids aren't allowed to use without adult supervision. At least something like a pogo stick could easily be put away when not in use.

Thanks for the other suggestions--I'm thinking maybe a foam pad (like a foam mattress or camping pad) might be an option. It doesn't need to be something that provides a ton of lift (in fact, I don't want something that provides TOO much lift), just something pleasantly cushion-y to jump on.

They could also fall wrong and break their leg on a foam matress. I think no matter what surface they are jumping on they could get injured. I think their would be just as much a risk jumping on a matress as their would be on a trampoline.

Sam, mum to: Ian, James, Lottie, Maddy, Jack, Ruby, Bronte & Sophia and Nate
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#20 of 32 Old 05-18-2008, 02:00 AM
 
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Ahhh.....jumping. My kids think the furniture is their playground, too. It drives me insane. I HATE seeing kids jump off furniture - for both reasons you state. It's just waiting for an accident to happen and it disrespects the furniture.

Happily, we have a nice big play room and bought one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Intex-48267E-8.../dp/B00004NKJ0

So far, it has lasted us over a year, and the kids use it daily.

Also, foam is not bouncy. It will absorb their impact too much and likely bore them. (There's not enough spring in it to jump back out, unless it's a nice, firm foam.)

I second the idea of an inflatable mattress - those are wonderfully springy! And when the kids want to slide instead, simply propping it up against the sofa makes for a nice slippery slide.

Target also sells an inflatable jump mat (in the outdoor play section) by the wooden bowling pins, jump ropes, swings, etc.

Going to a thrift store and finding a nice, cheap sofa then removing the seat cushions (put them on the floor) also works.

DH brought out an end table from the attic and the kids jump off it into a pile of pillows.

Never-ending jumping in this house. DS even hops all the way to bedtime every night.
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#21 of 32 Old 05-18-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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We posted on freecycle and got several old couch cushions. When we pull off the other cushions too, they can cover the whole living room. We also got the mattress from a sofa sleeper that way for the reading corner (sometimes jumping corner But we let them jump on the beds, too- just too tempting with a queen and single pushed together in one giant bed.

Old folks get small trampolines, dig a hole in the yard, and bury it to prevent injuries.
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#22 of 32 Old 05-18-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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We have constant jumping over here -- up to six little boys under six at a time playing here (2 are mine) and a very active 10 yr old girl and her friends.

The best jumping toy we've found for age 1-5 is the Rody horse

http://www.rodytoy.com/

VERY sturdy. The youngest ones just sit on it and bounce, and as they get older they can hold the ears and hop across a room with it. It is great to have two if you have lots of kids playing together. THe kids also play with the Rodys imaginatively, stabling them, "feeding" them, etc.

We also love the hop balls for older children, mostly on the back lawn but also in the playroom if we clear the floor:

http://www.hippityhopball.com/

We have the largest size, which dh and I can also use. They are not so good for younger children as one needs pretty good coordination for these.


We use salvaged couch cushions with covers I've sewn for them -- don't know if this would help the dust mite issue. They came from a very springy couch.

We also have a giant beanbag chair that zips out into a king-sized flat foam mattress, the king-sized chair fand footstool from this company:

http://bagthebed.com/

It was pricey and takes up a lot of room in our playroom, but is totally worth it. Children jump off our playroom couch or a low stool onto the chair (with our cushions surrounding it on the floor, and supervision, always, to ensure one-at-a-time and no toddlers trying to jump from the chair to the stool, like my youngest tried to do once).

You can kind of flatten it like a pancake, which makes it lower to the floor or you can fluff it up and it becomes a great big marshmallow of a thing that kids love to jump on and sink into, depending on age/safety needs. We also enjoy sitting on it, lol!

I often set up a course -- jump from stool onto beanbag chair, hop off onto couch cushion on floor, climb slide and go down it, crawl through play tunnel, back to line up at stool to jump on chair again.

Sometimes we unzip the whole mattress and make a great big jumping area.

We used to have a couple of play couches in the playroom and our "jumping place" was set up by pulling the cushions and our spares off the couches and making a couch-cushion mat between them. The children would jump on the low couch frames (springy) and off onto the floor cushions.

A friend used a kingsized mattress on the floor between two couches with foam mats lining the wall between the couches. It was the best jumpy place, ever.

I had one of those inflatables. It lasted me less than 2 months before ripping unrepairably at the seams. Not a good investment for my crew, unfortunately, but fun while it lasted. Also had an excercise trampoline for a while, but it didn't last well either. I'm considering one of those with the handle, my dd's playschool had one like that that was big enough for 2.

The key for me is NEVER EVER EVER to let the toddler and preschool-aged little ones jump ANYWHERE without parental supervision. By the time the reach the age of my 10 yr old dd, they know enough about safety rules that supervision can become intermittant. I'm one of the moms who doesn't let her kids go on full-size trampolines, which are big in my neighborhood, btw. I really believe that jumping is important though, so I suck it up and supervise, and put a lot of time and money into fun alternatives...

And we do go to playgrounds , outdoor and indoor, a lot. And drop-in at a gymnastics club.

I agree with the poster who said that if you make it a point to give the children jumping time, it really takes the edge off their need to do it when and where they shouldn't.
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#23 of 32 Old 05-18-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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We moved dd2 from her crib to a twin bed recently, and the crib mattress is now used for jumping on. It works great!
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#24 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Find a place like Pump It Up to go to once a week...place the cushions of the couches on the floor...place pillows on the floor in a huge pile...do a mattress on the floor (you can encase the mattress with an allergy cover or a vinyl cover--then put a fitted sheet over it)...get thick foam core and put on the ground...
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#25 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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We have a mini trampoline in our family room for Ds to jump on. He also has a hippity -hop that he rides all around the house. We frequent pump-it-up and other jumpy house play places. Now this year Ds (they don't start lessons until kindergarten) was able to start taking trmapoline classes at a kids gymnastics gym near us. He is being taught by a professional trampolinist. One of the things he told us was that the round backyard trampolines are actually dangerous for all the flips and other things. You really need a large rectangular one for that. Ds LOVES the class!!! It is fantastic excercise and he is under the watchful of of two pro trampolinists.

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#26 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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My son wore out two crib mattresses when he was a baby,lol he has always jumped! He can jump on the couch, He is more important then a piece of furniture that will not last forever but his happy childhood will. But since yours is borrowed,redirection is good. I redirect him to something else when he wants to jump on our bed because that is something that's not stable. I love those bouncey houses that you can blow up, we had one in our living room. We have a small kids tramp with a cool bar that he does flips over. He's always climbed too and we have a metal bunk bed frame in the backyard that has the bottom bed part up against the top for a ladder. We have sheets around it as a fort. He loves it.
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#27 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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does anyone's kids have those moon shoes? Are they good or bad?
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#28 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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does anyone's kids have those moon shoes? Are they good or bad?
oh man! when i was a kid I lived in my moon shoes, they were awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

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#29 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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We have one of these:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2334365

I don't find it to be unsafe. DS holds on to the handlebars.
I have one like that and a toddler moonwalk that is inclosed. Since I got them my DD doesn't jump on the furniture anymore.
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#30 of 32 Old 05-19-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Like others have said, an inflatable mattress.

DD loves to jump, bounce, flop, and somersault on these. We saved a queen sized one that had a tiny leak (you know the one you only know about because your butt is on the ground by morning). It the official jumping mattress in our house. Every once in awhile I get it out and blow it up for a day of jumping fun. Then by the next day it's flat so I either blow it back up for more fun or put it away till the next time we need a fun treat.

One happy momma joy.gif to a very spirited little girl dust.gif, her tough little brother superhero.gif, and a happy little suprise late April 2012 stork-suprise.gif. Wife to an overworked and under paid husband geek.gif.

AbbieB is offline  
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