TRAMPOLINES - The benefits of BOUNCE for your little ones
What’s in a bounce?
Kids love trampolines!
Not only are they fun, but when used regularly, studies have shown that jumping on trampolines offers many physical, health and educational benefits for kids too.
1. Vestibular stimulation
Whether being gently bounced or repeatedly jumping, trampolines are providing our little ones with vestibular stimulation. The vestibular system is centred in the inner ear and it ‘talks’ directly to the brain via a key nerve pathway. It controls the sense of movement and balance and plays a very important role in child development. Directly or indirectly, the vestibular system influences nearly everything we do. It is the unifying system in our brain that modifies and coordinates information received from the other senses. The stimulation provided by trampoline use during the earliest years, helps to develop a well functioning vestibular system.
2. Sensory input, body awareness and sensory integration
Bouncing on a trampoline stimulates nearly every sense, leading to an abundance of brain activity. As both visual and auditory functions are directly governed by the vestibular system, bouncing aids the development of vision, visual-motor skills, hearing and auditory-motor skills. Trampolines also provide a wealth of proprioceptive input, (information from the muscles and joints) and kinaesthetic awareness, (information about movement and navigating one’s body through space). This input is crucial for the development of good body awareness, (knowing where my body parts are and how they can move) and spatial awareness, (where I am in space, what direction am I moving in). Receiving simultaneous messages from the senses, encourages sensory integration – the ability of the brain to organise these incoming messages and integrate the body’s systems to respond appropriately.
3. Muscle tone, strength, flexibility and posture
Bouncing and jumping exercises, strengthens and lengthens nearly every muscle in the body, encouraging muscle strength, core strength, flexibility and improving posture. Trampolining is exercise in disguise and is perfect for kids who don’t like taking part in sports lessons or sports activities.A trampoline offers fun physical fitness for kids, a chance to move their body and exercise for a few minutes or more a day without them even realising!
It takes time to master specific skills on a trampoline, but because it’s so much fun, kids will often persist until they get their moves absolutely right.
5. Motor skill development, coordination and balance
On a trampoline, movement creates a constantly changing centre of gravity. Our babies and children learn to sense these gravitational shifts and to respond accordingly by adjusting their positions. As they move up and down, there is a constant flow of messages between both sides of their bodies and brains, which are busy working together to ensure that balance is maintained. The balance, timing, agility and rhythm developed during these movements improves overall coordination and assists the development and acquisition of new motor skills.
6. Health, fitness and fun
According to a NASA study, ten minutes of trampolining is a better workout than thirty minutes of running! At the same time as improving overall fitness, trampolining also improves digestion, blood circulation, stimulates internal organs, promotes lymphatic circulation and drainage and strengthens the immune system. The improved circulation of oxygen to your children’s brains, can help to make them feel more alert and refreshed and improve concentration. Also, the increased oxygen circulation stimulates the release of endorphins – neurotransmitters that can reduce stress and anxiety and promote happiness!
All of the afore-mentioned areas of development mentioned above, help to provide solid foundational building blocks for learning. They are the cornerstones of body control, smooth coordinated movement, future academic achievement and behaviour.
In a world where younger and younger children are increasingly attached to inactivity, trampolining is a great way to get out into the fresh air and help brain growth and neurological organisation.
8. You can also jump away with your kids!!!