Trampolines are usually considered a source of entertainment, but for our family the trampoline is also a tool. When my daughter was diagnosed with hypotonia (low muscle tone) at one year old she began seeing a physiotherapist. While she never mastered the crawl, she was walking by the time she turned two. Developing leg strength was a big challenge for her, making stairs difficult. She wasn’t able to jump off of the ground even at 3 years old. Our physiotherapist suggested getting a trampoline for her to practice jumping and we obliged.
At the time, we didn’t know a lot about trampoline safety. We chose a spring trampoline with a net and padding. It did what it was intended to do. Jumping helped her develop leg strength and she was able to jump off of the ground in no time. The trampoline proved even more valuable when our youngest was also diagnosed with hypotonia. With a younger diagnosis and some fun tools at home to help him get strong, his progress was even faster than his sister’s.
Despite my love for the trampoline and all it did for our family, it proved to be a bit of a hazard as well. The padding quickly tore and wore away, exposing the springs. Rain and snow rusted the springs over time and I was always concerned about the number of neighbourhood children who frequented our trampoline. I didn’t want to be responsible for any injuries but I couldn’t always be watching to supervise them.
Eventually we had to make the decision to say goodbye to our spring trampoline. We went a year without a trampoline and the results weren’t great for the kids. They started staying inside more often and their friends didn’t come over as often. The trampoline played an important roll in our kids’ outdoor play that we had to replace it.
This time we were prepared to deal with the safety issues. We chose a Springfree Trampoline because it is a springless all-season trampoline. They also send technicians to install it for you, which made my husband very happy. The two installers had it set up and ready to bounce on in no time, and they even helped us set up tgoma for the kids to enjoy.
Most kids don’t need any encouragement to get on a trampoline. I know this because ours is rarely empty, even when my own kids are not home. However, tgoma offers a fun incentive to get kids jumping and moving in new ways on the trampoline. The games offered also encourage learning and educational skills that pair nicely with physical activity.
To use tgoma, place the blue square on the base that is attached to the trampoline (shown above) and install the app on your ipad or tablet. You can set up accounts for several players and there are many games to choose from so there will be something to please all family members. Place your tablet into the holder accessory that you then hang on the side of the trampoline (shown below). Your tablet then tracks your movements so that you can interactively play on the trampoline with the game.
The use of tgoma is something we reserve for our family and it has been a great way to encourage the kids to be active on the trampoline. They also really enjoy playing with the basketball net accessory that we have on our trampoline. It has been great to see all of the kids in the area return to the yard to jump with my kids, especially without the concerns with the springs and safety.