My Family’s Top Ten Trampoline Games
Don’t want to throw a lame birthday party that has the kids running through the house and bouncing off the walls? Trying to avoid spending a fortune for a couple hours of laser tag, skating, or arcade party?
Put a trampoline in your backyard throw an epic party the whole neighborhood will be talking about!
Here are ten of our family’s favorite trampoline games for parties or neighborhood gatherings.
- Copy Cats. This game is similar to the electronic game Simon, but on moves on the trampoline. The first person gets on the trampoline and performs two moves in a row. They exit the trampoline and go to the end of the line. The next person in line does those two moves, plus adds one additional move. They exit the trampoline and go to the end of the line. The next person performs all three moves, plus adds one more. Each time the sequence is performed correctly and a new move added, that person exits the trampoline and goes to the end of the line. If the sequence is missed, that person is out, and the next person tries. The game continues until there is only one person left who has completed the sequence properly.
- Think Fast! One person enters the trampoline and jumps 3 times, with all kids counting the jumps out loud – 1! 2! 3! While the person on the trampoline is in the air on jump 3, the first person in line shouts a position they must land in: feet, bum, back, knees, front, or crawl (hands and knees). If they land in the called position, they exit the trampoline and go to the end of the line. If they do not, they are out. The game continues until only one person is left.
- Pirates Treasure. For this game you need a group of young pirates, a large bucket or basket on the ground near the trampoline to serve as “ships”, and two small buckets each containing 10 balls on the trampoline to serve as cannonballs. (We use tennis balls, yellow for one team, orange for the other, but any soft, small or medium size ball will work.) Kids enter the trampoline two at a time. On the “fire” command, each pirate throws a cannonball from their bucket over the safety enclosure trying to land it in the bucket and sink the “ship” on the ground. The pirate who gets the most balls in the bucket wins the round, receives a Marti Gras style bead necklace, and goes to the back of the line. Once everyone has had a turn, round two begins the competition between the first round winners. Round two and round 3 winners receive another string of beads. Round 4 winners receive a pirate bandana. Round 5 winners receive a pirate eye patch. The game continues until there is only one pirate left. That pirate receives a small bag of pirate treasure. (We use gold foil chocolate coins for the treasure, but be creative based on what your children and their friends love!)
- Bullseye Beanbags. Draw a series of circles on the trampoline with sidewalk chalk. The center circle should be about 12 inches, and should be marked 100 points. The next largest circle is about twice as large, and is marked 80 points. The next largest is 60 points, and so on It should form a giant bullseye on the trampoline. Kids line up at the opening to the safety enclosure and are given 3 beanbags. They toss each beanbag onto the trampoline trying to get it to come to rest in the bullseye. Have a helper retrieve the beanbag and total the score for each participant. Kids receive prizes based on their total score much like a carnival booth. Difficulty can be increased by requiring the beanbag to slide across the trampoline to come to rest, to bounce once before landing on the bullseye, by throwing the beanbag over the safety enclosure, or other variations.
- Hoppy Scotch. Identical to hop scotch on the sidewalk but played on the trampoline, this game is ideal for small groups. Draw the hopscotch grid on the trampoline with sidewalk chalk. Use a beanbag instead of a stone as a marker. This game is MUCH more challenging on the trampoline than it is on the sidewalk.
- Snipe Hunt. Our kids love this game because it gets several kids on the trampoline at once. The hunter is blindfolded and gets down on their hands and knees in the center of the trampoline. The hunter counts to 10 and all the snipes move around the trampoline. Upon reaching 10, the hunter begins to move around the trampoline on hands and knees trying to find the snipes. When a snipe is tagged, they exit the trampoline. The last snipe to be found is the winner and becomes the hunter for the next round.
- Rock Paper Scissors. This game is identical to the game played with hands except that you play with your entire body. Two players begin to jump simultaneously a safe distance apart. Everyone counts the jumps together, yelling 1-2-3-GO! Players choose a position to land while in the air when GO! is called. Landing in a cannonball position is rock. Landing on your stomach is paper. Landing on your knees is scissors. Rock breaks scissors. Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock.
- Bums Up! Players enter the trampoline two at a time. They begin jumping up and down at the same time. (Be sure they are some distance apart.) On the “Bums Up!” command, both players do a seated bounce, then return to their feet, then do a seated bounce and return to their feet as many times as they can. The one who completes the most seat-feet cycles is the winner and faces the next challenger.
- Yard Art. Sidewalk chalk and a trampoline is a match made in heaven! The chalk shows up really well on the dark surface, and it washes away in the next rainstorm or with a hose. Have teams work together to create a giant birthday card. Or hold a trampoline art show, marking the surface of the trampoline into sections and having each person create their own picture. Or create an outline with a giant stencil and let the kids color it. The possibilities are endless!
- Trampoline Theater. After dinner, when it gets dark, our kids love to watch movies on the trampoline. Stretch a white sheet between the uprights on the net enclosure. We use four spring clamps to hold the top and bottom of the sheet stretch tight. Use a small projector on a solid surface off of the trampoline to project the movie onto the sheet. Pizza Hut even has movie night boxes that have a special lens in the side of the pizza box that can be used with a smartphone to project a movie onto the sheet!
Your children and their friends will quickly become masters at inventing new games. And the best news is that instead of spending money for a single afternoon of entertainment, your trampoline will be an investment in family fun for years to come!