Whether you are a beginner or novice trampoline bouncer or an expert enthusiast, the trampoline can offer hours of exhilarating fun. There is just something special about propelling yourself upwards and momentarily experiencing a feeling of weightlessness before coming back down.
What many people may not realize, however, is that the trampoline can also be used to play a variety of fun games—games that can be played whether 1,2 or even more people are sharing the trampoline.
In the following article we will introduce you to some of these games and provide a step-by-step explanation detailing how each of them is played.
6 Fun Trampoline Games
If you don’t get excited about catching some sweet air on a trampoline you might just be some type of robot. And even better than just jumping on a trampoline are the many games you can play while jumping.
Here are just a few of the games you might want to break into the next time you’re at your favorite trampoline park or backyard trampoline.
Everyone has played the classic basketball game known as H-O-R-S-E. In this quintessential game, players take turns trying to make a difficult shot, and if that shot is successful, the other player has to try and replicate the shot. If he tries and fails, he gets an “H” and the game continues. Play continues in this way until one player spells out the complete word H-O-R-S-E—and that player is the loser.
The great game of H-O-R-S-E can also be played on a trampoline. Here’s how:
Before the game starts, the two participants in the H-O-R-S-E game flip a coin or play paper-rock-scissors to see who gets to go first. Once this is determined, player 1 will attempt to do a trick on a trampoline, such as a front flip, back flip, double back flip, etc. Player one must first announce and describe the trick he is going to try to perform, going into detail about how he is going to flip, how many bounces he intends to make, how he will land (on his feet, his rear) etc. After the trick has been described to his opponent, player 1 then performs the trick on the trampoline. If he is successful, player 2 must try and exactly replicate the trick or risk “getting a letter.” It really is that simple.
Safety should always come first in the game of H-O-R-S-E, so it should always be played among people of similar or equal ability. You do not want a novice or beginner jumper trying to perform the same trick of an accomplished jumper. Not only is that not fair, it could cause major injury to the novice jumper.
Or, for a traditional variation, use a trampoline basketball hoop to play this basketball game on a trampoline!
A bounce battle is played in a similar fashion to H-O-R-S-E, but instead of trying to outdo each other one at a time; this game is more about endurance than anything else. Here is how it is played:
Two players jump side by side. The goal is to do as many seat bounces—bouncing on your rear and up to your feet—as possible before running out of energy. This is a great game from an exercise standpoint, as it really promotes cardiovascular endurance. Players will continue doing side by side seat bounces until one player poops out and needs a rest. This player is awarded the “second place” medal, while the player who lasted for at least one more jump is declared the winner.
We all remember the traditional game of Simon Says. In that game, one person is designated as Simon and the other players must do exactly what “Simon Says.” For example, if Simon says put your hands on your head, the other players must follow that direction. However, if a command is given without saying the words “Simon says” first, the players are supposed to ignore that command. Invariably however, there is always one person who will get confused and do what is asked anyway. When that happens, that person is “out” until the next game starts.
So how can how can the game Simon Says be introduced when jumping on a trampoline? That’s easy. In this jumping game, which works well with younger children, you need at least three people to play (it works better with about 5-6 people)—one who will act as Simon and the other children that must follow Simon’s commands. The “Simon” in the game can bark out commands such as “Simon says, jump twice,” or “Simon says, do a seat jump.” When those commands are given, the other players must do what was asked of them. However, if Simon asks for, say, a “flip” without saying the magic words “Simon says” first, any person who follows that command is out until the next game. The game is won when there is only one person left.
Because you need at least three or more people for this game, it is better that you play it in a trampoline park where you have lots of space. Jumping with that many people on a backyard trampoline can be very dangerous and should be avoided.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Rock, paper, scissors is a fun game with very simple rules. In this game, which is meant to be played by two players, the players count 1-2-3 and form their hands/fingers into either a rock shape, the flat shape of paper, or the two fingers that represent scissors. However, when playing on a trampoline you can alter what stands for the rock, paper and scissors and get some great exercise in the process.
In the trampoline version of rock, paper, scissors, the two players will start in a standing position and will still count to three before choosing what shape they want to be. The difference is, instead of making shapes with their hands, in this game they will fall down onto the trampoline in different positions. For the rock shape, a player will land on their hands and knees, for a paper shape they will land flat on their back, and for the scissor shape they will land on their bottom. Once down on the trampoline they can determine who won the round, as rock beats scissors, paper beats rock and scissors beat paper. Smaller children can have hours of fun playing this very simple game and get loads of exercise in the process.
We all know how much fun dodge ball can be when played on a gymnasium or outdoor court. However, the game gets truly nuts when you play on a trampoline. First of all, this game is intended for older children and not the little ones, as it does involve some contact from the ball. It is intended to be played by six or more players on a large trampoline court, on which players have plenty of room to move about.
Trampoline dodge ball is played in the exact same way as regular dodge ball, however because it is played on a trampoline it is much more challenging and the fun factor is at least double. The players are divided into two even teams of similar ability, one of which will stand on one side of the court (in back of the center line) and the opposite team on the other side of the court. A coin flip is held to see which team will throw first and then the wild action commences. In dodge ball, players try to hit players with the ball (always below the neck). If a player gets hit by the ball legally, that person is out for the remainder of the game. However, if the ball is caught by the opposing team, the player who threw the ball must sit out. Action continues in this way until only one person from one team is standing—and that team is declared the winner.
As with all dodge ball games, it is a penalty to aim for the face or head of another player when throwing. If a player does hit another player in the face or head that player is out for the rest of the game.
Last but not least, hot potato has long been a game enjoyed by smaller children, and playing this game on the trampoline makes it even more enjoyable and action-packed. In this game, you will need at least three or more players and a fairly large bouncing surface.
The children stand in a circle (or thereabouts) and must jump while passing the ball to another player. If that player catches the ball he or she must then toss the ball to someone else. However, if that person drops the ball he or she is out for the remainder of that game.
Play continues in this way until there is only one child left, and that child is declared the winner. One important detail to remember when playing hot potato is that the participants are required to pass the ball very quickly and cannot hold onto it for very long (the potato is hot, after all)! This game is guaranteed to please as part of your overall trampoline game toolbox.