When our kids were upper grade school they squirreled all over the place – including climbing up the doorway frames and doing flips onto the couch. My sister suggested these were gymnastic moves. So we signed the kids up for a gymnastics class and the rest was history: both kids LOVED it. The kids had dabbled in the usual kids sports, but neither of them liked the competition/stress felt in traditional sports. The gymnastics classes were held in a place called The Children’s Gym, and focused on learning, not competition. Both kids developed self-confidence, body awareness, and no fear when having their head below their body (such as in cartwheels, flips, hand stands, etc.) Plus they both had FUN. We sought advice for a backyard trampoline, and Tammy at the Children’s Gym recommended one with large stretchy bands instead of springs for safety sake. Since our kids had learned how to use a trampoline properly, we felt it was a good investment in their physical well being especially over the long summer months, and it was less expensive than we thought it would be.
The trampoline lasted for years and became a fun hang out for responsible neighbor kids –with their parents watching over their own kids as needed. It also was great to lie on and watch the stars at night, and for teen birthday parties.
After years, the elastics wore down from seasonal weather, and the kids got involved with other activities, so we gave the trampoline away. But while it lasted, it was a good investment in the physical and social health and entertainment of our upper grade school through mid high school kids.