Your Guide to Every Different Type of Kid’s Trampoline

kid's trampoline

Did you know trampoline parks are one of the most popular fitness activities in Great Britain? Because it’s fun for all ages, more people are looking at investing in a kid’s trampoline at home. If you’re wondering what types of trampolines are available and best for your home, you’ve come to the right place!

While most people imagine a trampoline for kids, they are excellent fun for parents too! From junior-sized models to 15 ft giants, there are trampoline sizes perfect for your needs. Adding a trampoline to your backyard playground creates a creative, adventure-filled space for your kids and their friends right at your home!

Read this guide to find out more about the history of trampolines and the type that is right for you!

History of the Trampoline

The trampoline is an American invention. George Nissen and Larry Griswald built the first trampoline to train gymnasts in 1934. This prototype was first constructed from inner tubes, iron, and canvas. Eventually, springs replaced the inner tubes to provide the needed bounce.

Nissen and Griswald had plans to invent new sports activities that used the trampoline, but these games never caught on. They started marketing toward children’s activities and focusing on gymnastics. Other athletes realized the benefits and potential of the trampoline and incorporated it into their training.

Nissen received a patent for his invention in 1945. The military and astronauts incorporated the trampoline into training exercises due to its ability to let people propel and manoeuvre into the air.

Trampoline parks were then called jumping centres. They started to pop up in the 1970s. Home use trampolines gained popularity by the 1980s and continue to this day. Trampolining became recognized as a sport by the Olympics in 2000.

Kid’s Trampoline Safety

The safety of the types of trampolines has come a long way since their inception nearly one hundred years ago. Safety has drastically improved in the last generation! For many older millennial parents, they grew up with a backyard trampoline with exposed springs and little to no padding or netting of any kind.

Obviously, accidents were more common with these open and lightly padded trampolines. Nowadays, safety is the number one feature of a modern trampoline. Modern, backyard trampolines are designed for safe, all-ages family fun.

For a backyard and home-use trampoline, look for these safety features:

  • Covered springs to avoid pinches
  • The frame and springs are sectioned from the jumping area
  • Strong, durable frame construction
  • Netting enclosure to prevent falls

Types of Trampolines

There are many uses for trampolines, both professional and recreational. For this reason, there are many choices to consider when looking to add one to your backyard. Both size and shape must be considered, especially if you’re pairing your trampoline with other backyard equipment like a wooden swing set.

Mini Bouncer Trampolines

The smallest option for beginner bouncers. Recommended for toddlers or for children who require assistance with activity, these mini bouncer trampolines are small enough to have inside the house. With a metal frame and a stable handle, these trampolines provide a reliable jumping mat to encourage coordination and balance skills.

The average weight limit for mini bouncers is around 25 kg. These cost between £60-90 for a quality bouncer.

Junior Trampoline Sizes

The junior size is a trampoline for kids aged between three and ten years old. These range between a 4.5 ft and 7 ft circumference.

4.5 ft trampolines are for smaller children and single jumpers. They offer colour choices, often in pinks, blues or prints. With padded netting, these introductory trampolines are ideal for getting young kids used to jumping and bouncing on outdoor equipment.

A 6 ft trampoline offers a larger jumping area for kids. While designed for children aged three to ten, adults can use a 6 ft trampoline too. The Plum Magnitude trampoline comes with a curved-shaped netting enclosure to provide maximum jumping space and safety.

While the circumference of a 7 ft junior jumper is bigger than other options, the frame height is kept low to allow smaller children easy accessibility. The 7 ft trampolines have longer springs which allow for higher bounces.

Circular Trampoline Shapes

The most common backyard trampoline shape is the circular design. Because the springs are equally distributed around the trampoline mat, it provides a consistent jump that directs users back towards the centre. Because of this, round trampolines are recommended for single users to avoid collisions.

The frame of a round trampoline absorbs the force of each jump, reducing shakiness or unbalance. Round trampolines have a more lightweight frame than other styles. This allows their price point to start lower.

This also means the frame doesn’t require as much space as other shaped trampolines, such as oval or rectangular. Smaller frames allow for easier moving to rotate around the yard.

Because circular trampolines are the most popular, there are plenty of options to choose from this design. Ranging from the junior sizes to the 14th Space Zone II, there is something for every size family in this shape.

Prices for 10 ft round trampolines start at around £359.99.

Oval Trampoline Shapes

Oval trampolines are a relatively newer shape on the commercial market. They are high performance and perfect for both children and adults alike. A high-quality oval trampoline has a high netting enclosure that keeps the springs separate from the jumping area.

The oval shape makes a great choice for a home trampoline because the oval  provides more jumping space than a common circular design. Oval trampolines don’t direct jumpers back into the centre of the mat. Due to the longer shape, the mat provides two bounce areas at either long end of the oval.

Oval trampolines provide a longer jumping range as well. Due to the larger shape, a jumper must work a bit harder to get big jumps. This is great for a leg workout for all ages!

Average trampoline costs for oval models start around £929.99. The size usually ranges between 14 and 16ft.

Rectangular Trampoline Shapes

The classic shape of a gymnast trampoline, the rectangular bouncer provides the biggest jumps. Rectangular trampoline shapes also provide the largest surface area. If you have teenagers, acrobats, or gymnasts in your family, this is the right shape trampoline for you!

The shape of the rectangular trampoline makes the springs react independently. This helps control the jump up and the landing. You don’t get directed back into the centre of the mat, which is best for practising aerial manoeuvres.

Rectangular trampolines are recommended for adults and older children. Younger children require supervision due to the ability for extra high bounces.

This shape of trampolines is capable of holding the highest weight capacity. Because the size of their frame and mat is larger than other styles, these trampolines usually cost more than others. Average trampoline costs for rectangular models start at around £750.00

Square Trampoline Shapes

Square trampolines are popular because they provide a large corner to corner measurement but don’t take up as much space as a rectangular model. This makes them ideal to fit in the average size yard, alongside other play equipment like a swing and slide unit. Unlike a round or oval shape trampoline, the corners provided on a square trampoline add extra play space. 

Because of how the placement of the springs on a square-shaped trampoline, the bounce isn’t as intense as oval or rectangular shaped models. This makes square mats ideal for younger children or multiple users.

Bowl Trampoline Shapes

A bowl trampoline is a brand-new design from Plum. Described as a freebound trampoline, these models offer high thrills with the safest way to bounce. Rather than a flat jumping mat, the trampoline features a curved and contoured floor that allows for dynamic movements and landing on the bouncing walls.

Swapping out metal springs for bungee cords keeps the trampoline silent in use. This trampoline shape is perfect for kids that want to literally jump off the walls! Because of the higher weight capacity than other traditional models, this trampoline grows with your children as they do.

It is also incredibly versatile for other athletic activities. Inspiring gymnasts and acrobats love the ability to manoeuvre safely around the bowl. And skateboarders, skiers, figure skaters, and other adventure athletes get to practice flips and turns in this innovative design.

There are even foam skateboards made especially for training flips and kicks inside a trampoline. The bowl freebound trampoline is ideal for this kind of play.

Ground Level Options on Trampolines

Many people don’t realize there are ground-level options when it comes to picking out the right trampoline for their yard. While the most common option is above-ground trampolines, in-ground models are aesthetically pleasing. Here is the breakdown of the differences between the two.

Above-Ground Types of Trampolines

Above-ground trampolines are the ones most seen in the average garden or backyard. The bounce mats get framed on legs so you need to climb into the trampoline to start playing. They are ideal if your family plans on moving because they can be disassembled and taken more easily to a new location.

Trampolines above the ground usually provide a higher bounce than in-ground units. This is something to consider when deciding on the shape and the main purpose of the trampoline.

One downside to consider about above-ground models is the aesthetic appeal of your yard. Above-ground trampolines require rotating if they sit above grass or other greenery. Sunlight and weather will eventually cause your trampoline to fade, so regular maintenance is important to keep your trampoline looking fresh and appealing in your garden area.

Above-ground trampolines come in the most variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. You have more to choose from to decide what is ideal for your family’s needs.

In-Ground Types of Trampolines

An in-ground trampoline is a unit that gets installed at ground level. You must dig a hole about 25cm deep that is slightly larger than the diameter of your trampoline. The centre of this dug-out shape is then made deeper to accommodate the bounce. The size of your trampoline determines how deep the centre will be.

Once installed, the trampoline sits at ground level and users just need to step on it and start bouncing! Because of the reduced height there are fewer safety concerns. This might have a more aesthetically pleasing look to you, depending on how you want your yard area to appear.

When not in use, they blend into the rest of the yard. Unlike above-ground models that can’t be ‘hidden’ when not in use. Likely, this won’t matter to you because your trampoline will be getting bounced on daily!

The downside for in-ground trampolines is the longer time it takes to install them compared to above-ground units. They are also harder to pack up if your family decides to move. Although, in-ground trampolines are positive selling features that enhance backyard values!

For a square, 11ft in-ground trampoline, the average costs start at around £550.

There’s a Trampoline For Everyone at Plum

From toddlers to adults looking to bounce for their daily exercise, there is no better investment than a durable and fun trampoline. Make childhood memories with an exciting kid’s trampoline in the backyard! It’s easy to spend some well-needed time outdoors on a Plum trampoline.

Plum is a family-run business that aims to offer vital outdoor play to families of all ages. And, we offer much more than just high-quality trampolines. Be sure to check out our backyard playground and climbing equipment too.

Contact the team at Plum today to find out what the right trampoline is for you!