Friday, January 09, 2015

If It Can Be Done, They'll Do It

The kids got a trampoline for Christmas- One of those little ones with the handle. I remember last year's stir-crazy January vividly and thought the kids would enjoy a trampoline to play with on the days it was too Polar Vortexy outside (such as this past week).

I couldn't get over the amount of warnings that came with this little 3-foot bouncy toy! Between the manual and the tags on the trampoline, I think about every possible behaviour or situation that could lead to any sort of unpleasantness was listed (and forbidden). Lots of exclamation marks and stick guys with red slashes through it.

Wear socks. One at a time. Humans only. Stay in the middle. Bounce on feet only. Get on and off calmly. Nothing in pockets. No food or drink. No sharp objects. Don't jump high. In fact, don't jump at all.

Good God, I thought to myself as I flipped through all the myriad admonitions, talk about taking all the fun out of it! Why don't we just envelop them in a blanket and helmet and sit on the trampoline quietly?! Why... IN MY DAY, they'd bring out the giant trampoline in gym class, and we'd flip on our necks willy-nilly with no nets and no padding over the pinchy pinchy springs, and someone would inevitably go leg-first through the gap... good kid fun! 

This is just a kiddie trampoline anyway. how wild can it get?

Then I was reminded how creative kids could get with even a little trampoline. OK, Little Tikes, I kind of see where you're coming from.

Far be it from a child to use a toy for what it was meant. If it can be done, they'll find a way to do it. Two at a time (or more!) is the only way to go, and why merely bounce when you can do headstands and chin-ups? How about jumping with all your toys around your feet to see if they'll bounce too? What about putting your hand on the surface when someone else is bouncing to see if they'll land on your hand (and then get all mad when they do)?

Good thing there's some common sense on our part as supervisors, at least, because I can't remember whether or not the safety booklet cautions against hanging upside down like a monkey from the handle. Maybe it needs to be added to the list.

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