Suppose you’re tasked to take your kids to an indoor trampoline park, for either a birthday party or to let them go nuts for an hour or two and burn off some of their energy. You have a very simple plan, which consists of your kids bouncing for a while as you get a little work done or catch up on the news. But your kids, as they so often do, have other ideas. “Please please please jump with us!” Reluctantly, you agree.
We see this all the time, parents staring into the middle distance as they take their shoes off, psyching themselves up for an hour of…jumping. But time spent bouncing with the kids can be about more than just going up and down. Keep reading, and we’ll share seven games from childhood that have been repurposed for the trampoline.
#1 Bounce Battle
A great game for 2 is the Bounce Battle. It seems easy, but it’s all about endurance and willpower. Simply put, both players face each other off and do seat drops. Seat drops are every time when you land on the trampoline, you are in a sitting position. When you bounce back up you have to launch yourself with your whole body to keep the momentum going. If you stop bouncing, you lose. If you slip and go down, you lose. To succeed in bounce battle dominance, you need to have the patience to pace yourself, the coordination to not fall, and the endurance to keep going.
#2 Simon Says
For smaller kids, and groups of 3 or more, “Simon Says” is not only a classic, it’s also a great way to get the giggles out by acting silly. One person is Simon, and they give a series of commands while saying, “Simon says.” Everyone else must follow the command, but only if Simon says, “Simon says.” After the kids get the hang of it, we recommend that Simon say the commands faster and faster, for maximum humor.
#3 Hot Potato
We’re not sure exactly why, but kids absolutely love playing Hot Potato. Get a group of kids together with a big and bouncy ball. The ball has to be passed around while jumping. You can’t hold the ball for more than 2 seconds, and you must always be in motion. If someone drops the ball, holds the ball or stays still for too long, they’re out. The last one with the ball wins. Factoring in the trampoline makes things really fun.
#4 Dance Battle
Once you get on a trampoline and start jumping, you’ll start to notice a rhythm. You can take that rhythm to the next level by throwing in some dance moves. More and more, trampoline parks have music nights, where guests can enjoy fast-paced beats while bouncing. Encourage your kids to dance like nobody’s watching. Better yet, encourage everyone to watch and challenge them to a dance battle.
#5 Poison Ball
For groups of children on a trampoline with a larger surface area, Poison Ball (or stuffed animal or balloon) is a fun game to keep the kids moving. Simply put several soft objects, such as squishy balls into the middle of the playing area and have all the children stand in a circle around. When you yell start, everyone has to start jumping, and naturally the objects will start bouncing! But they are poison, you must not touch them! If someone gets tagged by an object, they have to sit down until someone else can come over and “revive” them with a high five
#6 Crack the Egg
Children of all ages seem to respond well to Crack the Egg, also known as Pop the Popcorn. One person sits down in the middle of the trampoline in a sitting fetal position with their arms wrapped tightly around their legs. (Safety note- instruct the egg not to tuck their face into their legs, lest they take a knee to the eye!) Everyone else jumps around the egg trying to bounce them into breaking the hold on their legs. At first it may seem easy, but when everyone gets to jumping, the egg will bounce, and attempt to catch themselves. Once the egg is cracked, they can’t help but flail about! When the egg is cracked, pick someone else to try.
#7 Dodge ball
When it comes to trampoline games, there’s one game that stands above the others, and it’s the game that trampolines were probably designed for. We are, of course, talking about dodge ball. But trampoline dodge ball takes it to another level because it combines hand-eye coordination, balance, and spatial recognition. You have to be able to jump, aim, and throw a foam ball, all at the same time you are dodging your opponent’s throws. If you haven’t played, divide up your group into 2 teams, and line up on both sides of the trampoline court. Pass out the foam balls and start hurling them at the other side. If you get hit, you’re out, but you can catch a ball and throw it back. Last person standing wins for the team.
There are many games to play on a trampoline, but be mindful of safety. It is not a good idea to play games that require someone to close their eyes, jump over another bouncer, or tackle opponents. If you are playing on a backyard trampoline, it is a good idea to keep the number of players to a minimum and have a trampoline net to help catch stray jumpers. Indoor trampoline parks are much safer than backyard trampolines for playing the games we have listed. At Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena in Grand Rapids, safety is our main concern. We also have areas for additional team games such as a trampoline basketball court. Call us to reserve your group’s spot today!
Check out some other fun game ideas our sister arenas suggest: