“ Manufacturer: Smyths / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment / Size: 8ft „
My Grandma had said towards the end of last year that she would like to buy the girls a trampoline, we have been watching out for decent offers on them ever since as she was willing to pay £100 but if we were to get one then I wanted one that was big enough and strong enough to take adults weights too. On looking around I found this trampoline and best of all it was reduced from £159 to £89 and came complete with enclosure which seemed a really good deal although I have seen in the last couple of days that Asda are offering one this size for £79 so even better. The trampoline came from Smyths toys and we also bought the ladder which to be honest was a good idea as there is no way either girl could have got on it themselves and then we bought the bottom skirt to stop the dogs running around underneath it, the whole lot cost us £127 which I was happy with.
I would suggest sending a strong person to buy this or at least having one ready at home to unload as this is a very heavy item and my Husband was laughing at me trying to help him carry it and in the end I just got told to move! The trampoline and enclosure came in 2 cardboard boxes and then of course we had all the extras too it nearly took up our whole breakfast room so I was glad when it was taken outside for building up.
==What the Website Says==
* Many people complain that trampoline enclosures reduce the jumping space but this top-grade safety enclosure has been designed to fit outside of the trampolines for largest jumping play area.
* A tough frame constructed from 1.5mm galvanised steel which ensures added strength.
* Patented T-sections which have replaced standard welding in order to reinforce all joints between the trampoline's legs and top rail.
* A top quality jump mat: made in the USA with double thick padding for added durability.
* Safety skirts are available as an accessory to prevent anyone/anything from going under the trampoline while in use.
* Full length safety enclosure legs.
* 5 year guarantee against rust causing failure.
Inside the box you get 2 lots of instructions, 1 set is building the base and then the second set is for building the enclosure and neither of them are really very helpful. The instructions are the same set for any size of Smyths trampoline that you buy so you have to work out which number trampoline you are although we were unable to see anywhere that the boxes or trampoline were numbered and ended up working it put from how many legs we had the fact we had extension poles for the legs.
The first part of putting the trampoline together is to build the base which is easier said than done, I should point out that the only time the instructions tell you that a second person will be needed is when you are putting the springs in place however this is really not the case. The base comprises of 6 curved pieces with 6 extension pieces and 3 legs and then 6 pieces to go in between it all and hold it together. You get a tool for building with but we found a rubber mallet was also very helpful in the build. The hardest part is that one person needs to hold the connector open with the tool while the other person slots in the extension piece before the connector is released, how on earth they expect one person to do this I have no idea as it took all my husband's strength to hold the connector open. You must be sure that when you put the connector on the curved pieces you have the holes facing up over on the curved piece as we had it backwards on one of them and getting the connector reopened and off all the pieces is even harder than putting them on.
One the base is fitted together it will sit about 2 foot off the ground and you need to situate it on a flat piece of ground before attempting the next stage which is to fit the actual trampoline material. You lay the circle material flat with the x pointing up over and then you are meant to connect the springs from a clock face, 12, 3, 6 and 9 first and then in the middle of these and then finally filling in the gaps. Being a typical man my husband didn't read this and fitted them around the base in order meaning it was rather difficult when we came to the last few and I had to use all my weight to push against the base and stop it moving. The tools that you used for the connectors has a hook on the other end to help with putting the springs in place and this tool does make the process a whole lot easier.
Once the trampoline is at this stage you have to place a cover over the whole thing and attached it to the base, this is so that the springs are covered and your children cannot get to them and hurt themselves. Cue another problem with the instructions as from these you can see that depending on the size of the trampoline you have bought there are a number of different ways in which the cover is fitted and the diagrams are pretty useless to say the least.
Finally with trampoline finished we began an the enclosure, tip for anyone who buys this the foam pieces do stay over the poles of the enclosure because you are not actually told this and you must make sure you push the foam right up the poles before sliding into the enclosure sheet as if you don't it ends up too tight to push them in. The enclosure was probably about the easiest bit to build and once it is in position over the trampoline than there are some brackets to hold the poles of the enclosure against the legs of the trampoline and make sure the whole thing is secure, you get a little spanner to fit the brackets but my Husband used his own ratchet and this was much easier and quicker.
I would say the whole thing took about 2 hours to build but then we did have the extras to build and fit too so I would say to allow an hour and a half for building just the trampoline and enclosure.
The trampoline is a dark green in colour and the enclosure and bottom skirt match the colour, it doesn't obviously camouflage into the garden however it is not brightly coloured to end up looking an eye sore so I was quite happy with it and nobody around us has said they have a problem. One of our neighbours is my parents anyway so I'd just tell them to button it and my daft Dad was actually stood in his garden last week throwing sweets over the enclosure to the kids whilst I wasn't looking, he is somehow much more lenient as a Grandfather than a Father!
Both my daughters love their trampoline, I should point out that according to the box this is suitable for children aged 6 plus and up to 100kgs however my girls are 5 and 2 and they are ine playing on it. I always make sure that my children are supervised so that they don't try to do any silly jumps which are going to result in injury but they just love running around it in a circle and jumping straight up and down and the cover over the springs is padded so even when they fall it is nice and soft and not likely to cause injury. The enclosure fastens on the outside with plastic clips the sort which you would have to fasten a buggy and really I would say that this is a bit of a drawback, if you actually followed instructions and only let over 6's on the trampoline then they still couldn't let themselves on and off it so you would still have to be in earshot at all times to help with this, the fact that I have younger children on the trampoline means that this type of enclosure is a great idea a there are no accidents with them letting themselves on and off.
This trampoline was a really great price, both the girls love it and the weight limit means I am able to use it for exercise too although try telling my bladder that as after a few bounces I end up needing the loo, I guess that's the joys of having had children! The girls will play on the trampoline for ages and in the summer this will be fantastic although at the moment it is rather cold out and of course if they want to have a go someone has to be outside with them so they are limited to half an hour a day.
The base of the trampoline is really tough and we have had bird poo on it but this has been very easy to wash away and there are no marks left from it, we fasten the enclosure when we are not using it as the cat seems to show an interest in getting on it. The trampoline is guaranteed for rust for 5 years so I can see there will be plenty of years of usage to come and this is well worth what we paid it might have been a bit hard to work out how to put it up but the girls love it, it's a great way to encourage exercise and it is of the highest safety standards.
I usually start with an age level but in this case it is quite varied. It is usually reccomended that children under age 6 not use trampolines due to risk of injury. My children both are under 6 and use this constantly, but with proper supervision.
The trampoline: This is your standard trampoline, 8 ft diameter and comes with the safety netting shown in the picture. The skirt and ladder are not included. The safety fencing fits completely to the outside of the jumping area so does not reduce size, and fastens with plastic clips.
Set up: Original set up took less than 1 hour with no swearing or cursing by my husband, so I will asume was relatively easy. We recently moved this,as it had been kept in the extra bedroom, but now my oldest son is jumping too high. To set it up again and add the safety enclosure took about 30 minutes with two children helping and would have been quicker without the children's help.
Advantages: This allows for plenty of excercise to help keep children fit and healthy. It was bought for my oldest sons second birthday and has probaley averaged about an hour a days use for the last 3 years. He has a high energy level and whenever he gets too exciatable, he can always take 15 minutes of wild jumping to relax and focus again. We even used this to teach maths facts with him jumping up and down while reciting answers, and play several rhyming games on it ( five little monkeys and so on). My youngest has used it to, with me sitting on it, from about 9 months. In fact he could jump before he could ( or would) walk. Although my sons do eat to many fattening foods, I credit this and their bikes with the fact they stay so slim. A good routine of excercise will build strong bone and muscle from an early age.
Disadvantages: alot of children are injured on trampolines. In fact 1 in 10 fractures in the children are meant to be due to trampolines. It is very important that children are taught not to do mid air flips which can cause serious spinal injury. Adult supervision is important, and allowing more than one child to jump wildly at a time can be very hazardous.
My opinion: Yes there is some degree of risk, but there is also risk from wrapping children up in cotton wool in front of the telly. My boys are going to jump and climb. My youngest just took a dive from a stack of pallets at the bonfire site and has a cut over hiseye and bruises on his knees now. I'd rather they jump in a more controlled environment. The kids have so much fun on this and it is a good family activity.
The children's opinion : They love this, it is one of their favourite parts of the day.
Another poster reccomended chalking out the area for large outdoor items like this. I think that is a very good idea to know how much of your garden this will require. String will work as well.
We found a circus tent to cover this on ebay so they can use it rain or shine. This really adds to the amount of use it can get. unfortunately I can t find out the manufacturer yet so I can review it here, but it is well worth checking out.