17 Fun Things To Do On A Trampoline (Free or super low cost)

Jumping on a trampoline never grows old, and is generally enough to keep kids occupied and building up their fitness for hours. However, from time to time, you might want to explore some other ideas for fun things to do on a trampoline.

I’ve scoured far and wide, looking for things to do that are either free or super low cost (under $10), and assembled the best and most engaging of them for you.

Even for things to do that need additional items, you’ll probably have them lying around, or you can order them easily from eBay or Amazon for a low price.  There are no basketball hoops or app-based activities, just old-fashioned activity and imagination.

Remember that these games are safest when done on a trampoline with a safety net. Additionally, trampoline manufacturers recommend that only one kid jumps on a trampoline at a time.

Here are the fun trampoline things to do that my kids enjoy!

1. Just Add Water

This is one of the kids’ favorites on a long hot summer’s day. You can put a sprinkler under the trampoline, or if you want to supervise a little more closely, hold your garden hose to spray through the net.

The trampoline becomes slippery and so much fun to bounce on.  If you’re worried about excess water use, even a decent bucket of water will make the trampoline like a slip and slide adventure.

Here’s a video of a young-ish kid who goes on a wet trampoline for the first time. When I watched this, the delight and joy in his voice made me smile.

2. Bouncing Air Catch

This is great for building up gross motor skills, and great for one, two or three kids. Get the kids up on the trampoline, and throw in a ball.

You want a ball that is light enough to throw about, and lets them build up their motor skills and coordination at the level they are at.

For younger kids, you can use a light inflatable ball or a big soft ball or even soft toy.

For slightly older kids, try a tennis ball, netball, basketball or volley ball. Or a juggling sack thing.

Get them to throw it between them, or up in the air for a solo player. Count how long they can keep throwing without dropping it.

3. Jump High & Grab

This is good for kids from around six years and up, and will help with their hand-eye co-ordination. This is one you definitely want a safety net for.

Attach some paper streamers or paper chains to a pool noodle. Then put the pool noodle across the top of the trampoline safety net.

Most pool noodles are a bit over 5ft long, so you might have to put it at more of the side, depending on your trampoline size. If you have an enormous trampoline, you could use a rope or garden hose to stretch across. You’re looking for something that won’t damage the kids if it falls on them!

For the attachment, you can try paper streamers or make paper chains. You just need something that will break off easily when the kid latches on to it. I wouldn’t use crepe paper if there’s a chance anything will get at wet, the color just stains too much. And it needs to be able to break off, so ribbons won’t necessarily work.

This is fun by itself. If you want the game to be competitive, you can see who can collect the most grab items.

4. Memory Game

If your kids are able to do simple tricks, such as spins or knee drops, they are ready for this one. The kids sit around the edge of the trampoline and take it in turns to come into the center.

This can be played with two to four kids.

The first kid starts by bouncing, then does a simple trick such as a knee tuck. This finishes their turn and they sit down.

The second kid comes into the center, and after they start bouncing, they do the first trick (in our example, a knee tuck). They then add their own trick, such as a bottom bounce.

The next kid needs do the knee tuck, the bottom bounce, and then add a trick of their own.

When all the kids are finished, you circle back to the first kid to go again.

Note: if they get much past a sequence of 4 or 5 tricks, they may need an adjudicator (that’s you!) to keep track of the entire sequence. Otherwise, you’ll hear a lot of cries of “Foul!”.

5. Fort Under The Trampoline

This is using the trampoline as a magnificent prop. Whilst you might already have a playhouse in the yard, no kid can resist a second playhouse! It must be something primordial about claiming our own space.

The fort can be literally under the trampoline mat, using the leg frame as the walls. Or it can be on top of the trampoline, using the safety net as the walls.

Grab some older sheets, blankets or towels. Where there is need for walls or a roof, fit the fabric around and ensure it is held in place. Don’t use anything heavy that could do damage if it toppled down.

If you’re on the ground and it’s a bit damp or the grass is a bit long, you can always put down a tarpaulin or towels to secure the fort.

6. Chalk Twister

Pavement chalk is readily available in stores such as Walmart, or online from Amazon. You should be able to pick some up for under $10.  You can also use chalkboard chalk, it’s just more likely to break, and will draw in finer lines.

In my family, this is one of the most fun things to do on a trampoline, which doesn’t involve jumping.

Make big colored circles on the trampoline mat. Try to make them in a repeating pattern, similar to the regular game of Twister. You might have to come up with the directions (eg, left foot on blue). But this is hilarious when one kid falls onto the trampoline mat, causing the whole thing to bounce a little. This causes a domino effect of other kids losing their balance, and then it’s just madness, mayhem and chaos. Great fun!

The chalk will mostly come off when the kids jump on it, and anything left will come off in the rain or after being washed down.

7. Castle Attack

If the trampoline is the castle, then defend it we must! This game skews away from the very youngest kids, as they have to be able to throw over the top of the safety net from the ground.

Half of the kids are on the inside of the trampoline, these are the defenders. The other half (or you if you just have one kid) are on the outside on the lawn, and are known as the attackers. You can also call them marauders, raiders or bandits, even pirates if you like.

The Attackers throw balls or soft toys over the top of the safety net in to the center of the trampoline. Any Defender who is hit ‘on the full’ (ie, before the bounce) is out, and becomes an Attacker. When there is only one Defender left, this kid needs to be hit three times, and is then out.

The original teams then swap over and repeat. You can pause the game at any time to get all of the balls/soft toys out, and restock the ammunition.

Don’t use anything sharp, abrasive or heavy. You want to avoid damaging the trampoline mat and the children.

8. Seat Drop Endurance War

This is a no-touch physical battle of fitness, skill and endurance. It works magnificently with two kids and an oval trampoline, but will broadly work with as many kids as you have on whatever shape trampoline you have. Each child needs to be able to do a seat drop.

A seat drop is where you build up a bit of a jump and then land on your bottom, with your legs pointing straight out in front of you, and then bounce straight back up again onto your feet.

For this activity, each kid competes with the others to see who can get the highest number of seat drops in a row. You can do it with everyone on the trampoline at once, but it may also work better if one kid does it at a time.

9. Cracked Egg

I remember doing this one when I was a kid. A cracking good time!

One child goes in the center, and tucks their legs to the chest, holding their arms around their legs. They should look like a little ball or egg.

The other kid or kids then bounce close to the ‘egg’, trying to make the egg bounce and let go of their legs. When they eventually do let go, this is called cracking the egg.

The trick is not to land on the egg, this is called a foul, and the egg gets another turn.

10. Slumber Party On The Trampoline

This exciting idea is to fall asleep under the stars. It can be just your kids, some neighborhood kids, or some visiting kids during your yard barbeque.

You’ll need pillows, soft toys, and a sleeping bag or sheets or blankets. A safety net is good for this. Kids do have a tendency to squirm, wriggle, roll around and sometimes even try to push each other off!

Obviously, this one depends on your neighborhood, and how old your kids are. But if you are fine with letting the kids camp in the back yard, then having them sleep overnight on the trampoline is pretty similar.

If you’re not quite ready for a full sleep out, you can let them fall asleep out there, perhaps whilst you are also in the yard, and then you carry them into bed later in the evening.

If you want to make it a bit more magic, you can add solar fairy lights. These can be bought for under $10 from Amazon or even a dollar store. You can also add a sheet or two around the outside (secured to the safety net with pegs) to turn it into an Arabian tent and now they are camping in the Sahara.

11. Bounce The Buddha

Similar to the Cracked Egg, in this fun thing to do on a trampoline, one child sits in the center in classic Lotus Pose. This is crossed legged, with their hands resting upwards on their knees.

The other kids bounce around, as close as they can without touching, trying to Bounce the Buddha. They take turns being the Buddha, changing over when one of the Buddha’s hands touch the trampoline.

12. Cherry Bomb

This is a good game where you have a few kids, and want them to play without all jumping into each other.

You’ll need an inflatable beach ball, which can be thrown into the air, and will come down relatively slowly. All of the kids hop onto the trampoline and stand on the outer edge. One kid starts with the ball, and throws it up into the air. If it touches somebody on the way down, then that person is out. The ball then goes to the next kid who again throws it up in the air. The winner is the last kid standing.

I have also seen this played with ‘lives’, where each kid gets 3 lives before they are out. Depending on how many kids you have, and how often they play this game on repeat, it can be hard to remember how many lives each kid is up to. I recommend playing just one life, but leave the final call up to you.

13. Hot Potato

In this game, you take a ball or pillow (those split pea-filled juggling sacs are amazing for this), and have a game of hot potato. The rules are simple.

For younger kids, have all of the kids bouncing in a loose circle on the trampoline, they have to move the ‘hot potato’ from person to person. If the hot potato is dropped, the person who dropped it is out. The game ends when there is only one kid left.

If the kids are a little older, and less likely to drop the hot potato whilst bouncing, you’ll want to make it harder by combining it with music.

Have some high energy music playing, and every 10-30 seconds, stop the music without warning. Whoever is holding the hot potato is out. Again, the game continues until all but one kid is out.

14. Trampoline Yoga

Trampoline yoga is both easier and harder! It’s definitely more of a thing to do than a game.

For kids, pushing into the mat will give a little less resistance than the floor. However, it is more challenging to keep your balance. You can lead the yoga from the ground, or if the kids know what the steps are, you can just call out the names of the poses.

Easy poses are child pose, downward dog, and warrior pose.

More challenging poses (on a trampoline) are tree pose, and salute the sun pose.

15. Jump Turns

This is another physical non-touching challenge where you can try to beat eachother or even your own personal best.

For this activity, each child is going to see how many Jump Turns they can do in a row. First, decide if this game is going to be done on 360 degree turns. If the kids are on the younger side, they might need to do just 180 degree turns.

Then, once everyone is agreed, start one kid at a time, counting how many Jump Turns are done in a row until they fall over or get too dizzy to continue. If you have a large trampoline, you may be able to do a couple or more kids at a time. But if there is any chance of them falling into each other, just do it one after the other.

Note: It’s best for the kids to wait at least 30mins after eating or drinking for this one.

16. Create the Ultimate Ball Pit

If you’ve ever seen kids play in a ball pit, you’ll know just how occupying this can be. They just love sliding through ball pits, throwing them up in the air, hiding below and coming up.

To make an adequate ball pit of your trampoline, ideally, you’ll have a safety net to help keep them contained. The slightest bounce (or wind) will send them flying. Tip the box in carefully, and make sure they don’t escape through the safety net opening.

Once all of the balls are in, let the kids in too. They will bounce, fall over, slide around and just have a generally grand time.

If this starts to get tired, find some of the kids soft toys and see if they want to play hide and seek. If you have six soft toys, the kids can have a race against each other to find the most. And if you want to be non-competitive, the kids can work together to race against the clock.

You’ll be surprised at how many balls you need. I recommend getting the larger balls, say 2 ” to 3”, rather than 2 ¼”. This will dramatically reduce the number you need. Start with around 1,000 balls. This will cover the bottom of the trampoline, but will not go up the sides much at all. These will cost more than $10, but if you keep the box in good condition, you’ll really enjoy these over and over again.

If you have a 14’ trampoline, you might need 10,000 balls to make a decent covering of the trampoline.

Just to give you a sense of how many 1,000 balls are, here’s a video from YouTube showing a mini trampoline with that many balls in it. Go about half way through the video to see it properly.

17. Marco Polo

It would be remiss of me not to include Marco Polo. This is an old family favorite, which in our house started off as a swimming pool game, and moved across to the trampoline.

You blindfold one kid, or at least make them promise not to open their eyes. All of the other kids spread out. When the kid with the blindfold yells out, “Marco!”, the rest of the kids need to answer “Polo!”. The kid with the blindfold then tries to catch one of the other kids by the sound of their voice. When they catch them, they swap roles.

The bigger the trampoline, the harder this game is.

Safety nets are critical to this game. I wouldn’t play this game without one. You don’t want your kids to fall of a trampoline with their eyes closed.

In Summary

Here are 17 of our family’s favorite fun things to do on a trampoline. Most of them are free, whilst a couple might cost under $10 if you don’t already have the items in the house. The only one of any real cost is the ball pit.

I hope you enjoy these, and the kids enjoy them more.

Go Forth, Kids!

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