What it is
A small, brightly coloured trampoline with handle for ages 12 months plus. Made by Chad Valley who produce a wide range of toys within a reasonable price range. In my view, they are cheap and cheerful, but generally well made products.
That looks interesting... Hey- easy to climb onto...whoah! bit wobbly underfoot...wait, there's a sturdy metal handle I can grab onto. Funny rubbery grip. Oh, it stops my hands slipping. I wonder what happens if I...
EEEEEE! HA! HA! HA!
HA! HA! HA!
"Good Bouncing Baby CrazyEgg!" (Not so high! The trampoline is moving off the ground!)
"Whoops, nearly! Well done!" (Quick put more cushions around the base and move it away from the glass door!)
"You love your trampoline! Yay!" (Should we let her do this straight after her tea?... Oh...No.)
Reasons for purchase:
The Chad Valley My First Trampoline has been with us since Baby CrazyEgg's second birthday in May. It cost £19.99 from Argos, though I notice it retails for anything up to about £35. We had vouchers for Argos so that was where we looked for a trampoline, and there were various choices. There were three in the children's toy section, this one for ages 12 months+ or the junior trampoline for ages 2 and above. After some deliberation I chose this one because the maximum user weight was 20kg, and I felt that it was likely to be smaller than the junior trampolines... although she is two, Baby CrazyEgg is very small and still weighs 7.4kg, and is 76cm tall. She does not reach even the lowest centile in that red book all parents get given. The upside of this of course is that we should get several years of use out of this trampoline, and I will be able to update this review quite legitimately until she is seven or eight years old. Anyway, it was a good choice because the handle of this trampoline is placed at just the right height for her.
Readers of my previous reviews will know that Baby CrazyEgg was born very early, and very tiny. One of the problems premature babies might face is underlying muscle weakness due to the fact that they miss out on several weeks of kicking against the womb. This has not been massively pronounced in Baby C, but there have certainly been some delays in terms of her gross motor skills, and with the help of the physiotherapist we have been provided with equipment and exercises to help her. Once she could stand, albeit holding on to things, a trampoline seemed like a brilliant way of combining necessary leg exercises with fun, and so it has proved to be. One of the contrasts I noticed between Baby C and a term baby was a lack of bounce in her legs. For a long time she could stand or sit, with nothing in between: she could not stand with knees bent for example, and she did not jump or spring: it was more that she could pull herself up to stand. The trampoline would give her experience of bounce and also work her leg muscles simply by being and uneven surface underfoot, on which she would need to try and balance.
Performance- bounceability and safety.
Compared with regular trampolines this model seems to be limited in terms of bounce. If I press down on the part you jump on there is not much give or elasticity. However, I would suggest that this is a desirable feature of a baby trampoline: you do not want enthusiastic bouncing to result in your baby flying up so high they launch themselves off it. Certainly for our purpose there is ample bounce. Baby CrazyEgg is able to climb on and off the trampoline without assistance, and the only really hairy moment has been when she decided to let go of the handle and throw herself straight backwards. She fell off of course, but luckily because the trampoline has a padded surround and is quite close to the floor, there was not far to fall and she was not hurt, just rather surprised.
The trampoline can be used inside or out, but we have chosen to keep ours indoors. It is recommended that if using outside the trampoline should be placed two metres away from patios or driveways. Inside you just have to keep it away from furniture and no distance is specified. This is lucky as it would be difficult to find a zone in our house with two metres clear all around. Obviously use should be supervised- again this can be difficult in practice as the trampoline lives in the lounge and Baby CrazyEgg often crawls off and just hops on for a couple of bounces, getting off again before I have caught up with her.
Generally, the trampoline is solid and sturdy. It has a metal frame with four feet that have rubber covers and stands pretty firm on carpet or laminate, unless there is particularly enthusiastic bouncing. Then the trampoline does jump up, but used correctly it shows no sign of toppling over. After nearly 4 months of use it still looks like new.
The trampoline comes flat packed and took about twenty minutes to put together. The instructions were clear, the parts labelled and all the equipment needed- just a spanner for bolting the frame together- was included. The bouncing mat has very strong elastic loops which simply thread over the tubular metal frame. It has a padded surround like a skirt that goes nearly to the floor and this pulls down over the legs so no metal except the handle is exposed on the trampoline. When complete you have a lovely bright red, green and yellow trampoline.
For £19.99 this was an excellent purchase. It has been fun and instrumental in building Baby CrazyEgg's muscles. We both recommend it strongly to you.