I don't know why, but for some reason I started reminiscing about the times my siblings, friends and myself used to play on my trampolines back home. I have grown up around them; the majority of my childhood memories come from jumping, pushing, laughing, slipping and rolling around on those things. We had a medium-sized one in our basement when I was fairly young, but then got a huge one and put it outside. At the same time, we bought a water trampoline for the lake. And in the past fifteen or so years, we have all come up with some of the most fun, silly and probably dangerous games a kid could imagine. Please bear with me if my descriptions don't make a whole lot of sense.
1. A person sits in the middle and the others run around in a circle the length of the trampoline, trying to avoid having their legs grabbed and ultimately falling down.
2. Swinging; for the one in our basement, we used to have this plastic swing behind it. As toddlers, up until we may have been six or seven, my brother and I used to jump off the swing onto the trampoline. It was fun, unless you didn't get up fast enough so that the swing didn't smack you in the head.
3. Not hitting the ceiling; this was more or less my Dad's game to play, where whenever we used the one in the basement, it was always "don't hit the ceiling, please!" Needless to say, it didn't really work.
4. Playing Basketball (or trying to dunk the plastic ball in the little fischer-price basketball hoop)-This was way back when Michael Jordan was insanely popular; I would start jumping a little bit until I got high enough, and then actually try to "dunk" the ball into the hoop. That made up for not being tall enough to play the real game.
5. Popcorn-That might just be the oldest game there is; one person sits down while crossing their legs and feet, and everybody else has to jump until the one sitting down can't hold themselves together anymore.
6. Sleeping Bag Popcorn-One person would be completely zipped up in a sleeping bag and then get bounced around, not knowing what side of the trampoline they were on. It was very rare that I did not come out with a headache after that.
7. Summo Wrestling/Bumper balls-Hold onto those huge plastic rubber-maid balls and slam into people. Somehow I always got knocked over first.
8. King/Queen Of The Raft-this was mostly played on the water trampoline; it was basically a free-for all where you had to knock everyone into the water and ultimately be the last one standing. This was my absolute favorite because it involved the opportunity to beat up on my brother, as well as anyone else that liked to pick on me. Of course, it was never without complaint of getting scratched, kicked or punched. But that's what happens when somebody tries to play rough with me!
9. Working Out-I had to use my upper body strength a lot just to get up on either of them, not to mention jumping in general. I think that's why I was always able to stay so incredibly thin as a little kid.
10. Playing In The Rain-This was probably the second most fun thing to do, because we'd be slipping and falling down constantly.
Things we didn't try/do
1. Jumping Off Of The Rooftop-I am not advocating this at all, but I always wondered what it would have been like to try that without a net. Obviously, very dangerous.
2. Putting the sprinkler underneath, putting soap all over the trampoline, and then rubber-banding plastic baggies to our feet. I read that in a book once and I wanted to try it, but always kept forgetting about it.
3. Sleeping out under the stars. I know that my brother did this, but for some reason I was always afraid of skunks or raccoons.
How none of us ever got concussions, broken limbs, or anything else...I'll never know. And while I have not used a trampoline in years, I miss it sometimes.
Again, it's a bit of a cheesy writing idea, and one that I may or may not do very often. But hey, I thought I might try.