Adverse Effects of Trampoline and Bouncy Castle Exercises on Children's Development of Thinking and Social Skills
First published in 2003 - Last edited in May 2022 by Luka Tunjic. © All rights reserved.
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Until recently everywhere in the world, when children gather together they interact with each other and usually they play traditional children's games like skipping/jumping rope, hide-and-seek, hopscotch, stone skipping etc.
Around three decades ago in the developed world, bouncy castles and other inflatable structures were introduced for recreation purposes mainly used by children of young ages. Inflatable structures like a bouncy castle, inflatable slides, obstacle courses, etc. are frequently used for children’s play during birthday parties, school and church festivals, community fan days, etc.
Due to the huge popularity of inflatable structures like bouncy castles and the huge popularity of trampolines today in the developed world, children almost do not play traditional children’s games.
In the last two decades, (particularly in the last decade) there is a trend that more and more children of all ages, including toddlers, spend a significant amount of time playing on bouncy castles, inflatable obstacle courses and trampolines.
Jumping on a trampoline and the bouncy castle is an individual activity where there is no place for social interaction and where any social interaction seems to be unnatural.
When a group of people synchronise their movements like by dancing, synchronised swimming, during religious service etc. they somehow synchronise their minds. Jumping on a trampoline consists of repeated, rhythmic movements. Jumping on a trampoline affects every child to the same extent. Still, children with less developed motor, social and emotional skills are more vulnerable to the negative effects of trampoline jumping.
By jumping on a trampoline or on a bouncy castle, the central nervous system is fully involved in the physical activity of jumping, which leaves no place to interact with other children.
When children gather for a “bouncy castle party”, their interaction is limited and particularly during the jumping on the bouncy castle they are preoccupied with themselves. Despite their peers around them in the bouncy castle, each child performs their own individual activity.
For example, by playing a football game, or most other games, they interact with each other and they perform a collective activity. By playing football, the physical activity of each child is a part of collective activity. As they improve their physical ability, they improve their social skills.
1. When children are involved in traditional children’s games, they are physically active and they play at the same time.
2. By playing traditional children’s games, children, in a pleasurable way, acquire and master their physical skills (motor skills) and social skills.
Since the recorded history of human beings, it is known that playing traditional children’s games is essential for the optimal development of social and physical skills.
1. When children are jumping on a bouncy castle or trampoline, they are physically active but they don’t play. Actually, children do not play at all on bouncy castles and trampolines; they are only involved in a pleasurable but mindless physical activity.
2. Physical activities on bouncy castles and trampolines are enjoyable for children, but they don’t acquire the appropriate physical skills and they don’t acquire social skills while being physically active on bouncy castles and trampolines.
The widespread use of inflatable obstacle courses, bouncy castles (also known as inflatable castles or, in the US, castle moonwalk and moonwalk party castle) and trampolines happened mainly during the last three decades.
Since around 1980, (particularly in the last two decades) there is a trend that more and more children of all ages, including toddlers, spend a significant amount of their time doing exercises on bouncy castles, inflatable obstacle courses and trampolines.
Along with the widespread use of bouncy castles and trampolines, there is a huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of various neurological disorders.
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