As summer bears down on us and kids still don’t have enough outlets for their energy, you might think about investing in an outdoor or indoor trampoline, or maybe a water slide. But nothing transforms your yard into a garishly glorious amusement park quite like a bounce house. And nothing provides quite as much safe bouncing, either: These hideous but practical structures allow kids to jump and jump until they can’t jump anymore. They burn off energy and have a great time without having to leave the yard — which gives parents something resembling a break.
When you choose a bounce house, pay attention to the weight limit, so that you can get the most use out of it. You want one that’s easy to set up, and equally easy to deflate and store. The bounce houses on our list all come with blowers to inflate them, and in-ground stakes to keep them secured. To be perfectly clear, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is not a huge fan of these structures, and suggests that parents follow some common-sense guidelines when using one:
- Make sure one child uses it at one time, if at all possible.
- If more than one kid is using it, the kids should be the same age and size.
- Kids should use the bounce house under adult supervision.
- No pushing, shoving, kicking, or karate maneuvers, period.
Not only does this massive bounce house come with a commercial blower, but its max weight capacity is a solid 500 pounds. (Up to 7 kids can theoretically use it, but we don't recommend it.) It has a huge jumping area and hoops to play basketball, and safety netting around the house keeps bouncers enclosed at all times.
Great for kids 2 and up, this sweet and basic bounce house inflates in less than 5 minutes. The walls are mesh, so you can see your kids while they're inside. The weight capacity is 250 pounds, and it's small enough to be used in a living room or basement.
This house, for kids 3 and up, has a larger bouncing area, plus a basketball hoop with ball and a slide. Three kids can use this at one time and the max weight limit is 250 pounds. The blower has to run while kids use the bouncer, and you must use the included stakes to anchor it.
This bounce house doubles as a backyard slide. There's a taller, curving slide and a straight slide. Three kids can use the bouncer at one time, and the weight limit is 250 pounds. The bounce area has mesh sides to help keep kids inside while letting air circulate. The blower needs to run continuously while kids are playing, and the bouncer has to be anchored in place for safety. This is great for younger kids, ages 3 and up.
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