My daughter made a friend in her pre-kindergarten class last year, and his energy matches hers. That is to say: the two of them chase each other around like they’ve each had a double shot of espresso. When I say they never stop moving, that is no exaggeration. They never. stop. moving. At their playdate last weekend, I made a futile attempt to subdue them once the late evening hours rolled around with a movie and popcorn, but to no avail. They couldn’t resist the trampoline…or the gym mats… or the crash pad… or the obstacle course that is my living room.
When my daughter’s friend left our house last weekend, he went home begging his mom for a “peanut.” She assumed it was some Trader Joe’s snack I had on hand because my pantry is full of kid-approved snacks from my favorite grocer. It was not. When she text me to ask what type of “peanuts” I buy at Trader Joe’s and that her son wouldn’t stop asking for one, I explained to her what he was referring to. A bouncing peanut.
He’s not the first kid to come to my house and beg for one of his very own. My nephew now spends his evenings bouncing at his house — turns out, my daughter isn’t the only one who loves to bounce while she watches television. I keep a second bouncy peanut at my house now for when we have kids over because the peanut is not only a source of fun – it’s a source of jealousy when there aren’t enough to go around. Sure, my house has a trampoline, a pool, a bounce house, and enough toys to fill a preschool, but it’s the “peanut” that gets the kids’ attention.
This $20 peanut (that comes with both an inflator & a spare plug) by Gaiam has stood the test of time – my daughter has been bouncing eagerly and frequently on hers for two years now. I can’t attest for lesser-priced brands other than to say they didn’t survive in a classroom. The investment of $20 has bought me some peace and quiet when my daughter bounces, and it’s bought her endless joy. Mom-recommended. Kid-approved.
What are your fave sensory products for under $20?
Once my daughter got the hang of stacking, there was no stopping her. When she struggled early-on to put one block on top of the other, I did what any other panic-stricken mom afraid her daughter was falling behind would do: I invested in stacking toys and found a couple that really helped give my daughter the edge amongst her stacking peers. Stacking quickly became one of her favorite ways to avoid bedtime. She would stack the hell out of blocks and toys while I applauded and cheered her on well past her bedtime. She learned early on how to get out of sleeping, and here are some of her favorite bed-avoiding
These classic toys seem almost as necessary as diapers. I still find these mixed in with other toys. The durable wood construction means they survive toddler antics. My flat screen tv is another story. The Melissa & Doug ABC/123 blocks also work for sorting by color as well as number and letter recognition. And baby’s first drums. Stacking towers and destroying them made for lots of laughs and fun.
This brightly colored gem was introduced to me by one of my daughter’s therapists. The two layers and unusual shape made for good sensory exploration. These uniquely shaped Tobbles by Fat Brain Toys are weighted to make stacking fun and easy in all sorts of combinations giving toddlers a chance to explore different sizes, balance, and spinning.
Melissa & Doug toys are well known for mixing up fun and skill building into great toys and who doesn’t love this classic take on shape sorting? My daughter was sorting shapes and colors long before she could ever say words like “circle” or “red”. The Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort board is a great introduction to counting too. She would do this over and over and over and for a toddler who had the attention span of a fruit fly, that was a big deal.
What are your favorite stacking toys?
Ever been in love with an inanimate object? No? Me neither. Just kidding. I have. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes when I look at this trampoline, I get little hearts in my eyes. This is by far the best addition to my daughter’s sensory playroom and I have never regretted the purchase, even when I have been forced to jump with her at 5:00 AM.
When your child requires a room full of sensory equipment, you have to make the most out of the space you live in. I transformed our one-car garage into an indoor playspace, open year round, rain or shine. The addition of this perfectly sized My First Trampoline was the ideal finishing touch.
Despite my extensive assembly experience, I still cringe when I read the words “assembly required.” I hired a local handyman to put this thing together and he still needed an extra set of hands to hold some things in place and get the protective netting on in the end. Otherwise, assembly was mostly a one-person job and took about an hour and half to complete. My daughter has spent countless hours jumping on this trampoline. She loves it and it ranks right up there with coffee on my list of “must haves” now as far as parenting survival tools go – I cannot imagine life without it.
The trampoline is durable – there have been 3 kids bouncing in ours at once. It’s possible 4 could fit, but when they all start jumping around like maniacs, arms swinging, and bodies flailing, someone will get inevitably bumped into, possibly hurt, and the dramatics that follow are often worse than the injury itself. I would say it’s great for 2 and ideal for a solo sensory seeker who needs room to toss her limbs about. Add music and a few balloons and you have an afternoon of sitting on a nearby chair and watching your child with boundless energy smile and laugh while you sip your coffee and enjoy the sweet life. A happy kid equals a happy parent, right?
My First Trampoline is great for small spaces. Ours has been kept indoors and has not endured any elements of weather, but it is made for outdoor use too. We just happened to get lucky with high ceilings that eliminated the risk for head injuries. My daughter loves to jump, dance,and bounce and My First Trampoline has provided her the perfect space to enjoy doing all three safely.
Check it out:
Check out the full garage transformation on YouTube!