Active play makes up a vital part of a child’s development, influencing coordination, strength and even patterns of healthy activity later in life. As many parents and caregivers know, the best active play happens in the great outdoors — or, at least, in the backyard. A trampoline provides a great way for kids to get active and have fun outside.
If you had the chance to jump on a trampoline as a child, you likely remember the sheer joy of flying into the air. Kids today love bouncing, too, though some may need more focused direction to start having fun. Games and competitions can get kids and adults of all skill levels in on the fun. Whether you’re looking for a way to enjoy your new trampoline or seeking a unique activity to keep kids engaged, you’ll love these 12 fun trampoline games to play with your kids.
1. Monkey in the Middle
Though traditionally played on solid ground, this classic keep-away game becomes even more exciting on the trampoline. All you need is a ball or stuffed animal and three or more players.
Pick one player to stand in the middle of the trampoline — this player is the “monkey” for the round. Have the rest of the players stand around them. When the game starts, the players toss the ball or stuffed animal across the trampoline to each other, trying to keep it away from the monkey in the middle. When the monkey finally catches the ball, the person who threw it last becomes the new monkey, and the game repeats.
You may remember Horse as a popular game with young basketball players. If you have a basketball net for your trampoline, your kids can play the game as usual. Otherwise, you can easily play a variant of Horse specifically for the trampoline. This game is fun with two or more jumpers.
The rules for this version of Horse are simple. Players take turns making up tricks and copying each other’s moves. Have players stand on the trampoline and flip a coin or play rock-paper-scissors to decide who goes first. The first player does a trick on the trampoline — like a flip or special jump — and the other players have to copy them. Players who don’t complete the move add a letter. The first person to spell the word “HORSE” loses.
3. Trampoline Dodgeball
Dodgeball is one of the best trampoline games for older kids because it requires more coordination than the original version. Play with soft foam balls to ensure everyone stays safe!
Pick one team to jump on the trampoline. Have the rest of the players stand around with a limited number of dodgeballs. As one team bounces, the other aims, gaining one point for every jumper hit. The teams switch places after the aiming team has thrown all their dodgeballs.
4. Crack the Egg
Crack the Egg is a simple game that’s sure to bring out the giggles. You’ll need at least two people to play, but no more than six.
With this game, one person sits in the middle of the trampoline and hugs their legs to form a ball. This player is the “egg.” The other players jump up and down and try to get the egg to release their legs and “crack” open. The game is over when the egg player cracks or if one of the jumpers touches the egg.
You can make this game more competitive by timing how long it takes for the egg to crack. Have each player take a turn being the egg and see who can stay closed the longest.
5. Keep the Ball Up
There are plenty of fun ways to see how long you can keep a ball up in the air while jumping on a trampoline. Use a soft, light ball like a balloon or beach ball, and see how long you and your child can keep the ball from falling. Test your skills in new ways and try to keep the ball in the air with your feet, head or elbows. You might also use a pool noodle to keep the ball in flight.
6. Trampoline Hot Potato
Do you remember playing Hot Potato as a kid? This game is an excellent way to practice hand-eye coordination and burn energy.
You’ll need at least four players, music and a bean bag, water balloon, stuffed animal or an actual potato to be the “hot potato.” Ask the players to form a circle on the trampoline. When the music starts, the players toss the “potato” to each other as quickly as they can. To make it more fun, ask players to bounce as they throw the object. When the music stops, the person holding the hot potato is out of the game. Any player who drops the item is also out. The last one standing wins.
To try another version, ask the player who has the hot potato to hop on one foot, do a silly dance or impress the other players with their best trampoline move.
7. Follow the Leader
Follow the Leader is a classic game that’s even more fun when you play it outdoors on a trampoline. To play, first, select a leader. The leader makes moves the other players must mimic, whether they dance, scratch their head or flap their arms like a chicken. Any player who does not keep up or follow the leader’s moves is out of the game. The last one left becomes the next leader. You can add music to inspire outrageous dancing.
Another version of this game tests each player’s memory skills and gets them moving. To play, ask players to form a line on the trampoline. Have the first player make a move. The next player in line must imitate the first player’s move and add a trick. Each player must mimic the moves of each person before them, adding theirs to the mix. Anyone who forgets the previous moves is out of the game.
You only need two players for this game. One person jumps three times, while the other person calls out, “One, two, three.” As the jumper is on their way down from the third jump, the other person quickly calls out a move, such as “bottom” or “knees.” The jumper must try to land in the correct position. To make each other laugh, add funny moves for the person to complete once they land. For example, you might say to a jumper, “Knees, roll and sing.” The jumper will have to land on their knees, roll and then sing a line from a song.
9. Attack the Castle
Attack the Castle stimulates the imagination and helps players break a sweat. To play, you’ll need someone to be the “king” or “queen.” This person stays on the trampoline. The other players, or “attackers,” remain on the ground. Using soft foam balls or water balloons, the attackers throw the objects over the trampoline enclosure and try to hit the king or queen. The player inside the trampoline does their best to dodge the balls. Once the king or queen has gotten hit three times, a new player takes their place. Whoever protects their castle the longest wins the game.
10. Name Game
This game adds words to the action. You’ll need at least three players, but a few more would be even better.
First, assign a person to be “it.” The “it” player will get on the trampoline. Meanwhile, the other players will secretly make up new names for themselves. Then, tell the “it” player all the names, but don’t tell them who they belong to. Add an extra word in there to make it more difficult.
Next, all the players enter the trampoline and bounce around, while the “it” player stays seated in the middle. They can roll on their belly or back, but they must not get on the feet. The “it” player will try to catch the other players from their position. Once they catch someone, they must guess their name. If they guess correctly, that person becomes “it.” If they guess wrong, the game continues.
11. Egg-and-Spoon Race
An egg-and-spoon race is a classic party game to play on the trampoline that tests balance and coordination. On the trampoline, it’s even more challenging and more likely to generate excitement.
You’ll need a spoon for each player and balancing objects such as golf balls, baby potatoes or hard-boiled eggs. Ask players to move from one side of the trampoline to the next while balancing the items on their spoons. Any player who drops the object has to go back to the beginning and start over again. You can also ask players to perform different moves as they try to make it to the other side with their “egg” intact.
12. Freeze Dance
Freeze Dance sets the tone for fun and involves music and lots of silliness. To play this game, first make a playlist of the players’ favorite songs. Select someone to stay on the ground and be the DJ, and have the other players hop onto the trampoline. Ask each player to dance to the music once it starts, testing out their wildest moves. When the music stops, everyone freezes. Anyone who moves after the music pauses is out of the game. Keep dancing until only one person remains.
Ready to Start Having Fun?
With a little creativity, parents and kids can come up with endless outdoor trampoline games to play. Regularly introducing new activities can keep kids engaged and excited to get active.
Ready to start having fun on a reliable, high-quality trampoline of your own? If so, browse our selection of safe trampolines online today, or visit your nearest Superior Play Systems showroom to try out our fun trampolines and speak with an expert.