Let’s Bounce: My Favorite Sensory Product for Under $20

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?

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My First Love…I Mean Trampoline; My First Trampoline

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!