Buying a trampoline is likely to be one of the more expensive purchases that most parents make, but how do you decide how big to go both with size and budget and what are the factors you should take into consideration when you choose which one to buy.

I talked to four families in different parts of the world with very different budgets and found out about their experiences.

Naomi who blogs as Tattooed Mummy lives in East Sussex with her husband, their teenage daughter and their Border Terrier. They paid £300 for their trampoline.

tattoed-mummy-trampoline

Is this your first trampoline?
Yes, we had a climbing frame for our daughter when she was younger, when she outgrew that (aged about 9) we bought a 12 ft trampoline.

How long have you owned it?
We bought it in 2010 and are still using it now.

How did you decide how much to spend on your trampoline?
While we didn’t want to spend too much (who does!) we were looking at slightly better than a bargain trampoline but also didn’t want to be ‘ripped off’ I think there is always a worry that while ‘you get what you pay for’ there can be an upper limit, beyond which it’s just profit for the company, so I searched for a long time for the right trampoline. I don’t think we would have spent more that £300

Have you had any problems with it?
Not really, this last year some of the padding is finally starting to look tatty and some of the nylon straps that hold the netting and padding on have broken, but the main trampoline is still fine.

Have you had to replace any parts?
No.

How much use do your children (or adults) get out of it?
At the beginning it was used daily and friends came to play too – now that my daughter is a teen it gets used more sporadically, maybe once a fortnight. It’s been a good buy and we have had value but I think it’s starting to be a bit of a space hogger in the garden…I fear its days are numbered!

Do you have any regrets about your choice of trampoline? (either size, model or how much you spent)
No I’m really glad we bought a 12ft one. I’ve seen lots of 10ft and even 8ft ones but they feel tiny after bouncing on the 12ft. I would always buy the biggest one I can fit in the garden!

How has your trampoline stood up to being outside since you bought it? Is there any visible wear and tear?
As I said before the nylon straps and some of the padding are failing now but they’ve lasted well. We have taken down the net and covered the trampoline (with the cover we bought when we got the trampoline) against leaves etc each winter though.

What advice would you give other parents looking to buy their first trampoline?
Safety and size are paramount. You really must have a secure net and good padding. The largest you can afford/fit in your garden is a good idea. Extras we didn’t have but I would quite like are a skirt to stop kids running under it while it’s in use (there is always one!) and maybe some shoe storage and an all weather mat at the base of the ladder. Trampolines are excellent fun.

 

Pam & Damian live in Dorset with their two daughters Olivia and Alexis. They own a TP trampoline which cost £600

baileytrampoline-1-of-1

Is this your first trampoline?
Yes

How long have you owned it?
Since April 2010

How did you decide how much to spend on your trampoline?
The budget was based on the level of safety the trampoline offered. The trampoline we chose (TP 12ft star) was innovative for its time. It offered a large number of safety features not seen on other trampolines.
If I’m honest budget didn’t really factor in our decision! Although I did shop around to get the best price, a little over £600-.
We decided we would ideally only like to make one trampoline purchase to last our children therefore went for a better quality trampoline in hope it would last.

Have you had any problems with it?
We had a few cracked poles replaced under warranty early on.

Have you had to replace any parts?
None other than above

How much use do your children (or adults) get out of it?
Daily before the children started school. now 3-4 times a week

Do you have any regrets about your choice of trampoline? (either size, model or how much you spent)
None, I still love it

How has your trampoline stood up to being outside since you bought it? Is there any visible wear and tear?
The net had fabric sections which faded slightly in colour due to the sun. We no longer use a net now.

What advice would you give other parents looking to buy their first trampoline?
Buy the best quality trampoline that you can afford with a reputable brand if you want it to last for a decent amount of time

Helen & Andy live in Scotland with their two sons. Their trampoline cost £600 and unusually was a pre-kids purchase!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Is this your first trampoline?
Yes

How long have you owned it?
11 years

How did you decide how much to spend on your trampoline?
I looked at size and the weight it could carry – we wanted one that could take two adults without damaging it, price was secondary

Have you had any problems with it?
No

Have you had to replace any parts?
No

How much use do your children (or adults) get out of it?
We used it a lot when the kids were younger as we could bounce with them which they loved, the kids still use it daily in dry weather and have made up all kinds of games using it

Do you have any regrets about your choice of trampoline? (either size, model or how much you spent)
No none despite the whole thing costing around £600! The surrounding safety netting and pads all remain undamaged and we’ve been fortunate enough so far not to have incurred any injuries

How has your trampoline stood up to being outside since you bought it? Is there any visible wear and tear?
There are small areas of surface rust on the metal legs but you definitely get what you pay for, ours has stood the test of time. It survived being blown across the garden in a storm before we moved it to a more sheltered spot and staked it into the ground properly. Our neighbours have lost two trampolines in half the time we’ve owned ours. In the winter we can take our netting off and put a proper cover on it too

What advice would you give other parents looking to buy their first trampoline?
I would recommend spending a fair bit more on one that’s good quality, the padding around the edge needs to be thick because there will be times when your child falls on it, the same applies to the netting around the trampoline, the zips shouldn’t rip and the netting needs to be substantial enough to stop your child falling off. Also think about a set of rules for the children too so that they don’t damage it or themselves! Plan too to sink it in the ground or install with substantial stakes in the ground because in a gale they are like giant frisbees

 

Gill and Garry live in Alberta, Canada with their two daughters Kenzie & Maycee. They own a Springfree trampoline which cost $1800 (approx £1050)

crontrampoline-1-of-1

Is this your first trampoline?
No. We had a small (6ft) Dora the Explorer one from Canadian Tire first. That lasted just over 4 years – initially only used by a 2 year old, ended up being used by a 6 year old and a 3 year old.
Decided it wasn’t big enough for the two growing children and upgraded to a 14ft one, purchased from German eBay, we left it behind when we emigrated although there was nothing wrong with it.

How long have you owned it?
About 18 months.

How did you decide how much to spend on your trampoline?
Grandparents clubbed together and bought it for the kids when we moved here…. we saw that one and told them how much it was!

Have you had any problems with it?
Nope, only erecting it was a complete pain!

Have you had to replace any parts?
Nope. It still looks new.

How much use do your children (or adults) get out of it?
LOADS!! I haven’t been on there (pelvic floor muscles aren’t what they used to be!!) but Garry goes on there with the kids.

Do you have any regrets about your choice of trampoline? (either size, model or how much you spent)
Not one bit – it was an awesome purchase and that’s despite it taking up up a HUGE portion of our garden, we know it’s not forever (right?!!)

How has your trampoline stood up to being outside since you bought it?
Really well. No damage and this is pretty important….it doesn’t squeak!!

Is there any visible wear and tear?
None at all – we’ve had 2 fairly mild winters since we got here (winters in Canada can routinely have temperatures of -40c) so it’s not really been tested in extreme weather but so far so good.

What advice would you give other parents looking to buy their first trampoline?
Never underestimate the size your kids will need – even if you only have one child, they will inevitably want their friends to visit and play and always buy the safety net (can’t believe how many people don’t!!)

This post was written as part of our collaboration with Springfree trampolines who we are borrowing a trampoline from for a couple of months, all opinions of the featured trampoline owners are their own.

<divstyle=”display:none;”>trampolinecollage2

As anyone with a school age child knows, inset days are a bit of a gift when it comes to visiting tourist spots in term time. When Theo had one today we decided to use our annual Merlin passes to visit Chessington World Of Adventures. It should have been a great opportunity a family outing for all four of us, but Alice started teething over the weekend, so in the end I had to stay at home with her, whilst Jim and Theo had a boys outing.

chessington1-1-of-1

It’s several decades since either Jim or I have visited Chessington so we did some research beforehand about whether Thorpe Park or Chessington woud be better for a day out with a 5 year-old. Thorpe Park seems to be targeted more towards teenagers, with Chessington having more rides suitable for younger kids with less height restrictions and of course the added bonus of the safari park too.

The boys had a pretty clear run up from the south coast and arrived at Chessington at 11am. The site was very quiet and went straight through and jumped on the Scorpion Express because it looked quiet and they didn’t know what the rest of the park would be like… they needn’t have worried! Despite arriving late, the whole attraction stayed quiet all day and there were no queues for any of the rides. They said the most they had in front of them were three people and on most rides they were asked if they wanted to stay on for a second go – perfect!

chessington2 (1 of 1)

Having a boys day out also meant that Jim was able to take Theo on ‘Vampire’ his first proper rollercoaster ride. He apparently enjoyed it more than me, Jim famously took me on one 9 years ago on our honeymoon and I still haven’t forgiven him! Having seen the video of the ride on youtube, I was amazed that Vampire isn’t one of the rides with height restrictions.

One thing that has changed since Jim and I were kids (or at least in our memory) is that the safari park part isn’t separate to the rides. In fact the first thing they saw when they walked in was otters…followed by penguins…and then a ride! Talking of animals the Zufari ride (were you sit on the back of a truck and get driven through the animals habitat) was also a big hit. They saw giraffes, white rhinos and ostriches. They also tried out Tomb Blaster where you shoot targets with infra-red guns on a ride, Tuk Tuk Turmoil (bumper cars) and Hocus Pocus Hall which is a haunted house.

chessington3 (1 of 1)chessington4 (1 of 1)

They also enjoyed the Pandamonium theatre experience, although I did have to check when I saw the pictures whether the panda was a real one (it’s not!)

It was interesting looking on Facebook today and seeing that several of Theo’s school friends had similar ideas about how to spend their inset day with one of his classmates heading for Legoland. Having last used our passes for a couple of London attractions in the summer holidays, we will definitely target inset days in future for our visits.

And if you’re thinking of visiting a Merlin attraction over the next couple of months, there is loads going on…

  • At Legoland Manchester between now and Thursday 20th October, the attraction will be transformed into the world of Ninjago as visitors embark on an epic Day of the Departed adventure. There’s Master Model Building classes to create your own LEGO® Ninjago Eye Mask, a LEGO® Ninjago Laser Maze and a load of other attractions.
  • The otters are the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham are being kept busy with a cool activity mat which keeps their little minds active and has them entertained for days on end. The BUSTER ActivityMat presents the user with a range of problem solving tasks which massively helps their development. With any group of tasks, some they find easy, and some they find more difficult, but that’s the whole fun of it.

merlinpass_edit

If you liked this, you might also like…

Save

Two years ago we bought Theo a climbing frame for his third birthday, before we bought it I did a lot of research including looking (unsuccessfully!) for a video review on youtube. After it arrived I recorded my own review and discovered that I wasn’t the only one looking for more information as 24 months down the line more than 2000 people have watched it.

plumclimbinframe2

So when we needed to do a repair and add a couple of upgrades it seemed like a good idea to film another video! Living in quite an exposed location our climbing frame took a bit of a battering in Storm Katie (as did our house) so we have replaced the slide, added reinforcement where the slide joins the wood and found a way of achoring the frame to the ground (in case it happens again!)

We also used the opportunity to add a swing arm to the frame, which is an upgrade you can buy from Plum. If you’d like to see what the finished climbing frame looks like or to find out more about how we secured it, please do watch the video below.

Thank you to Plum who gave us a discount on our purchases in exchange for recording this video.

If you liked this, you might also like…

  • September 20, 2016 - 9:09 pm

    Donna - I didn’t think that climbing frame could get any better – love the swing addition xReplyCancel

To round off this week I’m linking up with Morgana for LittleLoves, a collection of small highlights from my week…

Read

I’ve just finished reading The Darkest Secret which I blogged about here and I’m now reading two very different books which are both (sort of) recommended by the same person, Kirsty from My Two Mums. The first is The Compound Effect a book which really makes you think about the small changes you can make in your life to make you wealthier, thinner, happier or more successful, whatever it is you desire! The second is I Let You Go a novel which seems to have rave reviews but which I was a little scared to start reading as I thought the subject matter might be uncomfortably poignant

iletyougo

Watched

We had a movie night on Saturday and watched Charlie & The Chocolate Factory with Theo. He was spellbound by it and it was such a pleasure to sit down with him and share the experience of watching a film that we both enjoyed. I confess the story (in book or film form) always makes me cry. It’s something to do with how stoic Charlie is when faced with the overwhelming odds of him ever finding a golden ticket.

Heard

Please tell me I’m not the only one who was glued to the radio on Sunday night at 7pm? I’ve been an “active” Archers listener for about 20 years and a passive one for many more years before that. For those of us who enjoy listening to the Radio 4 drama, Sunday night was the culmination of a long slow burning and gripping story of domestic abuse which finally saw Helen Archer acquited of the attempted murder of her horrible husband Rob. My own family did a pretty good job of leaving me in peace to listen to the hour long episode and even waited to serve up supper till after it was finished at 8pm!

archers

Made

Just in case you missed it I made my first video using Premier Pro this week and when I say “this week” it basically took me about six days to get to grips with the software. I’d love it if you would watch it so that the six days of keyboard thumping and frustration doesn’t translate into a few dozen views. It’s less than two minutes long…

Wore

I’m not a great handbag person and tend to steer away from traditional leather bags, so this Radley canvas tote which I’ve been using loads over the summer suits me down to the ground. The graphic triagonal print pays tribute to artist Sonia Delaunay, but I personally see an 80s influence in the design and there’s definitely a nautical style in there too. My exposure to Radley has been pretty limited and so I tend to associate them exclusively with leather and the Scottie dog icon. I was pleasantly surprised to see them doing something quite different with their ranges.

picmonkey-collage

And lastly..

When we did our recent ferry crossing with Brittany Ferries I was amazed to open up their inboard magazine and spot Alice inside (she’s second left, second row down). The photo is one I shared on Instagram on our last crossing to France in May and I had no idea it had been picked up for publication! Weirdly one of my tweets also got featured in the Daily Mail this week… what’s the third thing going to be?

brittanyferriesmag

 

littleloves2-e1452262100842

If you liked this, you might also like…

  • September 16, 2016 - 7:26 pm

    Kerri-Ann - Oh wow I didn’t realise you were joining in with #LittleLoves. Love the tote bag and how amazing that little ones photo is in the magazine xReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2016 - 8:23 pm

    Jade @ Captured By Jade - Whilst the two books you’re currently reading are vastly different, both sound really interesting. I’ll have to look in to those.

    The tote bag looks really nice, but also really spacious – essential!

    I hope you have a great weekend :-)ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2016 - 8:01 pm

    Stacie - I really love that tote bag! Would be great to lug all my teaching bits and pieces around in. I tried to read ‘I Let You Go’ a few months back, but actually put it down for the reason you mentioned. Maybe I will pick up again at a later date. I’ve never listened to The Archers, but have heard so many people talking about it that I might have to give it a try! #LittleLovesReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2016 - 12:49 pm

    Jenny - Congrats hunny you seem to be featuring everywhere what a great thing! lol Your lucky week. Love your video. I really want to make better family days out videos and I am just awful at the editting and putting them together. I wish there was a class for it I really want to get better at filming. My youtube is lacking and that’s what I want to work on the most this coming year. Love your bag you are always so chic and stylish. I read the first book I let you go it’s good isn’t it? So late commenting wrote my #littleloves and totally forgot to actually link up with the mad blogs on I was in a different place catching up now with everyone’s post. #littlelovesReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2016 - 5:41 pm

    Morgana - Lovely to have you linking up! Sorry it’s taken me all week to pop over and have a read.
    I love your holiday video, it looks like you had a beautiful break. I’d never thought of a boat holiday before, I must bear it in mind in the future.
    Hope you’ve had a good week so far xxReplyCancel

  • September 24, 2016 - 6:08 pm

    Emma - Me, The Man & The Kids - Oh I absolutely loved ‘I Let You Go’! The author Clare used to be a parent blogger a long time ago and one of the ver first ones I read. Met her many times at blogging events so I was proud to read her book and see how well it did 😀 I’m not a handbag person at all, I’m the girl that goes out in the evenings with cash and card in her pocket and that’s about it, BUT I have a weakness for pretty Radley bags and now own 2!ReplyCancel

It’s been just over a year since I dropped Theo off for his first day of primary school. He started reception less than a week after turning four and although he embraced the experience with characteristic enthusiasm and energy, looking back at the photos of him last year I can see what a huge difference the last 12 months has made and how different he might have looked if he’d started closer to the age of 5.

Though he was the youngest in his intake, I never looked at him  last September and thought he looked too young. In fact he looked almost exactly the same as I did on my first day at school and as Jim did in his, because all of us were August babies.

theo_year1_final2

The last year of schooling has been an incredible start in education for Theo. He has learned so much, had wonderful adventures, mixed with older kids, started learning a language and been chosen to represent his year on the school council. Far from regretting starting him at 4, I now look at his sister who was born in October and wonder what on earth I will do with her for that “extra” year she will have before she begins.

If Theo has learned so much between 4 and 5, could I possibly find a way of cramming the information in to her before she even puts a school uniform on?

theoreception3

Comparing last September’s photo with this years I must confess to feeling a slight pang at the loss of the baby-cheeked blonde boy who has matured into a bespectacled keen and clever student. He talks endlessly now (really endlessly) and wants answers to everything, he can do impressive mental arithmatic and has better spatial perception than me (probably not hard) and probably best of all, he is confident, happy and funny as he’s always been.

If you liked this, you might also like…

  • September 16, 2016 - 9:22 am

    Kim - Aww! Bless him! He’s grown up so much in the last year! It sounds like he is doing so well at school xReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2016 - 10:56 pm

    Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations - Gosh look at the difference in one year! Incredible!! I’m an August baby, and our eldest, Ava, is an August baby too! It’s funny to think that if she’d been born ten days later, she’d only be starting school now! Theo looks like he’s a real little student this year… Not a little child anymore!ReplyCancel