Bounce house pros and cons
There are so many advantages of getting a bouncy castle for your kids. But there are as well a few disadvantages you might need to consider before going ahead. Will the latter discourage you from getting one for your kid? Let’s see with an objective analysis of the benefits and downsides of letting your kids enjoy some play moments in a bouncy castle.
- To improve balance and coordination
The bouncy castle is one of the best ways for children to develop their physical performance while enjoying an outdoor play area. Made of a soft structure, this material allows them to work on their balance and strengthen the muscles of their legs. It is also a structure that integrates different types of activity that will allow them to walk, run, jump, climb, slide, and throw themselves into a ball pool or a water pool. What is better for children to effectively practice a physical activity that combines leisure, personal and mental development?
- To have fun safely
Mostly made of a fully secure, high standard and certified design, most of the best bouncy castles are safe for children, provided of course that you respect the age indicated on the model. It is a structure that will easily take a place in your garden. In the summer, your children will enjoy playing outside while enjoying the sun. In the winter, most are suitable for use indoors. This will make it easier for you to keep an eye on them. With a bouncer, you can avoid taking them to the park, at least not as regular as before. Indoors, you can also keep an eye on their activities while you are busy with your household chores. It is also a completely fluffy structure, with no hard or sharp parts which could injure the little ones. And for their safety, some models have side nets that prevent them from falling out of the rebound surface during jumps. Examples of safe-to-use bouncers with side nets for protection and ventilation include Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer and the YARD Bounce House Dual Slide.
- Promotes social interaction
Jumping on an inflatable is an activity where children can have fun alone; however, it is also perfect for meeting up with friends and playing together. It is a form of socialization, and a bouncy castle is a safe bet for parties and celebrations. You can invite the children from the neighborhood or the family. With a bounce house, children will be entertained and play together, slowly learning certain social skills.
- Possibilities of accidents, although rare
Without supervision, a bouncy castle may not be safe for hyperactive kids. There are reports of kids jumping outrightly out of the castle, leading to injuries. This is why you have to ensure they comply with safety standards such as the option of side meshing. Also, the entryway must be as small as possible to avert problems like this. Finally, ensure you keep an eye on them while playing in a bouncy castle.
Features to consider while buying the best bounce house
This special part of the buying guide will allow you to better orient yourself on the model that most closely matches your needs. In this section, we’ll focus more on the age of your children, the size, number of users and weight capacity, among others.
As our residential bounce house reviews have shown, the bouncy castles are a playhouse primarily meant for kids. Although we’ve seen some adult users saying they could not resist the thoughts of joining in the fun. Even though most castles are recommended for use by kids of age 3 years and above, you can find one for a population of kids with lower ages. For example, if you have a kid of 2 years old, you don’t have to make them wait till they reach their third year. The Little Tikes Jr. Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer is just one of the best bounce houses for kids of age 2 and above. Meanwhile, many castle manufacturers will indicate the range of 3-8 years old as the range for qualified users. However, there are models that can occupy kids up to age 10.
Nonetheless, remember that the smaller the kids are below the recommended age, the more you’ll need to supervise the playground.
We’ve seen cases where kids got stuck in the side mesh and got bounced out of the castle. If you wish to have bigger kids in it too, ensure the overall weight of users doesn’t exceed the indicated weight capacity. The weigh capacity often falls between the range of 250lbs for the best bounce house for toddlers and as much as 800lbs for large, heavy-duty and commercial-grade bounce houses.
Alongside the age, the occupancy detail of your bounce house is there to check whether you stay within the ideal weight capacity range set by the manufacturer. When choosing a bouncy castle, the right occupancy number will depend on the number of kids you have. There are castles that are indicated to have 2-kid occupancy capacity. Meanwhile, commercial-grade types that can hold birthday parties and reunions are usually larger. The latter can hold as much as 4 to 8 kids at the same time. The Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer really fits into the category of bouncers with high occupancy (up to 6).
The choice of the size of your inflatable structure will mainly depend on the space you have in your garden. The larger your yard, the more you have the opportunity to install a giant bouncy castle that will delight your little ones. However, you must also think about the number of children who will benefit from it at the same time. This is because, in general, the wider the structure is, the more it will be able to accommodate several users. The smallest models are generally the simplest or those intended for 3-year-old babies. They are just under 10 feet long. Then come the medium-sized models, such as the PicassoTiles bouncer, which can reach 12 feet of length and 10 feet of width. And finally, there are the giant castles that are within 13 to 17 feet long and wide, with a height that almost exceeds 7 feet. In any case, we advise you to always refer to the maximum load supported by the equipment, as well as the age indicated on it.
Blower and other accessories
In order not to end up with a structure bought at an exorbitant price and yet difficult to install, use, repair or even have poor quality, it is essential to check its accessories.
Never choose a model which is not supplied with all the materials necessary for its installation and continued use. Make sure it is equipped with a blower system to facilitate the inflation of the castle. Then a complete fixing system to prevent the structure from moving while your children are on it is necessary. The best home bounce house models to acquire are also those with a quick and practical repair kit to deal with possible damage, such as air leaks. Also, we advise you to bank on a high-density floor material for the robustness of your future inflatable, as it is by the Blast Zone Magic Castle
. Ensure the floor is made of very resistant tarpaulin, a nylon canvas, as well as perfectly reinforced seams.
As earlier mentioned, the weight capacity of a bounce house works closely with the dimensions and the number of occupants. For use at home by up to 4 kids, select a model which indicates a weight capacity of up to 400lbs. Manufacturers often recommend that each child who will use the product must not weigh more than 100lbs. So, with this in consideration, you can easily have more kids if they weigh below the recommended weight for each user. However, this will depend on the dimensions of the castle. In any case, for residential uses, depending on the number of users, you can find models within the range of 250 to 400lbs. However, if you need a commercial-grade or professional bounce house, there are models that can support a maximum weight of 1,000lbs. It all depends on the number of kids you have, for example, on our list the Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer has the maximum weight capacity of 600lbs, which can be already considered as a commercial grade bounce house.
The safety features
Safety is certainly the criteria most studied by parents when it comes to leisure equipment for their children. This is why before setting your sights on a particular model, we recommend that you ensure the presence of lateral threads on the edges of the structure, same precautions are needed with trampolines. This helps to prevent the small ones from being accidentally ejected from it while jumping.
The best bouncy castle for babies is also the one with a roof that can protect them from the sun rays, especially when it is too hot. Also, ensure the quality of the blower system to prevent the structure from deflating and trapping your children inside. As for the models equipped with a water pool, you have to keep a wary eye on the young ones.
We’ve come across many models that started developing air leakages after a few days of use. These have to either be returned, repaired or dumped in the waste bin. The former is always better for every consumer. Bouncy houses are playhouses that can break down anytime, especially if you’re buying from an unreliable and unpopular brand. So, to save your money in case of this possible occurrence, ensure the model you choose has at least a year of warranty – either limited or full, as you will see by the Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer. The latter is rarely offered, but it is found with more premium-quality bouncers. A 90-day warranty can still be considered a fair deal but do not consider a product with no warranty offered. Asides the warranty offers, read the reviews of the brand by customers. Try to know what they say about the responsiveness of its customer service. A warranty offer from a non-responsive brand is just as useless and same as a model with no warranty.
Like every other type of products, the price of virtually all bouncy castles usually reflects the quality, type and capacity. Most of the products in this review are fairly priced. However, the grade of the bounce house will largely determine how much you pay. If you have a low budget and between two to three kids, the best residential bounce house for you would be the Magic Castle from Blast Zone, for example. Do you need a commercial-grade castle or you want the best water bounce house with a water slide or park? Then be prepared to pay double the regular price.
The full product features and the necessary accessories must be included in the pack. But asides these, you may need to check out some extra features. These may be considered the swaying features for your kids. They’ll always appreciate, for example, bounce houses with built-in hoops, sports balls, as you can see by the PicassoTiles bouncer, a ball pool, a water pool, and a slide.
How to maintain a bounce house
Like other inflatables, the bouncy castle is exposed to rain, high temperature, and the immediate environment. These factors influence its lifespan. It, therefore, requires regular cleaning maintenance to regain its radiance. Here are some practical information for cleaning your bouncy castle.
Wash the surface of the castle
The bouncy castle must be cleaned while it is inflated. To wash the surface, use an antibacterial cleaning product. Corrosive soap should be avoided. Most bouncy castles have a protective layer. These protect them from fire. The use of corrosive soap will destroy the layer irreversibly.
Preferably, combine your cleaning product with lukewarm water. You can use a sponge to get a better shine. Some stains can be difficult to remove, especially mold. In this case, the approach to apply is as follows:
- Obtain an anti-mold product;
- Spray the product on the area;
- Let the product act for a few minutes;
- Clean the sprayed area with a sponge and water;
- Repeat the process until the stain disappears.
Some cleaning professionals have telescopic poles. They allow them to spray water or products in inaccessible places with ease. Just as effective hand cleaning is just as effective.
Clean the corners of the castle
Children will tend to bring objects inside the giant bouncy castle. These include sheets, scraps of plastic, garbage, etc. They must be removed using a simple or telescopic handle broom. Also, focus on the nooks. Dust quickly settles in its inaccessible areas. With a vacuum cleaner, you can dislodge sand and earth from these parts of the bouncy castle.
You can then use a watering hose to wet the inside of the castle. The sponge and cleaning products can also be used to a lesser extent. It is important to take care not to damage the painted decorations. In the case of rental, this could generate additional costs for you.
Dry with a clean cloth
As soon as you finish cleaning the inside and outside of your castle, you should dry it. To do this, use a dry, clean cloth. Pass it on the different parts to reduce humidity. It is strongly advised not to dismantle your castle without letting it dry. This can cause mold to appear.
After drying and deflating your bouncy castle, you can sprinkle it with a little baking soda. It is an effective technique to avoid the appearance of mold. The cleaning of your bouncy castle must be regular. It can be done just before disassembly.
What to remember? To clean your bouncy castle, you have to take care of the surface and the nooks. It is important to choose non-abrasive products to avoid damaging the structure. After washing, the castle must be dried before dismantling it.