Is It Better To Have a Trampoline or Play Set

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What to buy?   A trampoline or a playset for my kids?  Ugh!  It’s a big choice as both are not cheap.  What do you pick?

Here’s my simple answer:
If a majority of your Kids are 4 and under: Playset.
If a majority of your Kids are 5 and up: Trampoline.

A playset is a no brainer.  It’s like a giant beaming light sabre attraction for kids.

Put one in your backyard and all the other neighbor kids will flock to it like green mold to a week old orange.  Playstructures are also an invitation for other moms w/o a playset to have the ‘gathering’ at your house, specially when kids are small and moms want to talk in comfort with a cup of coffee while the little ones stay occupied.

My Story:
Like a diligent reporter, I asked everyone I knew their advice.  Playset vs trampoline?  I even asked my kids.  They were no help-as they want everything.  I tried asking other families who had both trampolines and play sets and those with play structures said the decision making statement, “My kids stopped playing on it within a week-now they only play on it when friends come over.”

People with trampolines also added, “My kids are on it constantly….and they fight to get time on it, it’s a good bargaining tool with homework and chores!”

DONE.  We are getting a Trampoline!

Oh wait…my kids are still young.  So I went with my above listed rule and went with the playset at Costco.

Downside to the PlaySet:
3 weeks and $1,299 later ($999 for the structure at Costco, $300 for some guy we found on Criagslist to put it together) (Advice: Do not Build it yourself or divorce will look like a pleasant option), the playset had been in our backyard for a mere 5 days when my kids stopped playing on it.  Two years later I could count the number of times they played on it citing loudly, in front of guests, “UGH!!  Spiders live there!”  “The swing is wet!”  “Is that cat poo?”

So..do we do the trampoline???

Trampoline or playsetNightmare Warnings:
Here was my problem:  I didn’t want to worry about anyone getting hurt.  That’s all I thought about.  That is why I originally said “No” to a pool, even though I grew up with an underground pool in our backyard as a kid.  It’s just too much stress and worry to have an open body of water waiting for someone to make an honesty mistake resulting in injury or even death.  And I wanted none of it.  Also, in regards to a trampoline, I did not want injuries (my oldest broke his leg on a trampoline when he was four) in my own yard on some bouncy thing that I agreed to put there.  And the mere thought of some other kid, not belonging to me, getting hurt on my watch and me getting sued gave me so many nightmares, we settled on a play structure.  Turns out, if you keep the kids on the trampoline to a minimum at the same time, you will save many broken bones.

So, we sucked it up and invested in a trampoline on the other side of the yard.  Big difference. My kids were on that thing night and day. They jumped in their jammies, in their school clothes and one time I caught both boys (3 & 10) laying on there naked.  (it was summer) They loved the trampoline, making up games and trying to do massive flip rotations in one jump.

Then one day, a boy, who has a trampoline at his own house, was jumping on ours for a mere 3 minutes, by himself, waiting for my oldest to join him, before he did his first flip and smashed his knee into his lip.  The boys came in laughing but was also holding his mouth as blood poured over and through his fingers.  I raced to help him as my mind thought, “This is it!  We are losing our house!” followed by a prayer, “Dear God, Please let him be okay?”

He was.  Bleeding was minimal and after ice (actually a bag of peas) and a few jokes, he was laughing and ready to jump again.  Oh God.  Does the Mommy fear ever go away?  I heard it does not.  It’s just a pure torture we get for birthing people into this world until we have to leave it ourselves.

Benefits from Owning a Trampolines you realize only after You buy one:
1) On hot days: get a hose and let the kids use the water to create new games.
2) On days when you have adult parties:  Have a friend or two for your kids to keep them busy and out of site in the back yard.
3) When they reach dating age, 12ish, the trampoline net makes them feel like they are ‘hidden’ – I’ve seen a few snuggles and overheard many conversations from kids/teens just hanging out on the trampoline talking.

If you have The Money?
Stop reading and get both the playset and the trampoline!  You will be the talk of the town!  You want to be the house that kids want to hang at because when they become teen-agers, you will get to see your own child more.

Whew.  So Tramp or Play Structure?  Kids can get hurt on both.  But there are playgrounds all over kids play on that will always be better than yours.  Trampolines are hard to find unless you have a friend that has one.

Want to see a CAT trapped on our trampoline!  It’s weird, because it’s not our cat.  I don’t know who’s cat it is.  But I will warn you – this is funny.  I hope you enjoy it.  Laughter is the best part of life.  So anytime it makes itself available to you – stop, watch and LAUGH.

If you are looking to make your family more fun, this is a great website to subscribe to and come back often.  Becuase that was my motto a long time ago.

How To Make Your Family Fun

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