trampoline concern ~ alternative gift?

junebrideFebruary 12, 2002

My fiance received $100 for each of his two children from his his parents to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids (age 6 and 8)from their grandparents.

We had talked about a trampoline in the fall and he had never mentioned getting one in Nov/Dec. He hasn't spent the $200 and now he's feeling he needs to get a gift(s) soon.

His answer is a trampoline. There is one at Sam's Club for $200. But, the safety net to go with it is $150 and we would have to purchase that.

I am against this purchase for the following reasons:

*Numerous accidents due to trampoline use. (I don't think I'll win this one... we've discussed it many times and I can't seem to pursuade him.)

*We agreed in December to not go "overboard" on gifts. Adding the $150 would certainly do so. (His argument, though weak, is that we can spend the extra money now b/c we didn't go overboard then.)

*I feel it sends the message that if the kids don't get what they want for Christmas, there is always a chance after Christmas that Dad will come through for them. (I see a problem already w/one of the children regarding an attitude of "entitlement" and that Dad will "come through" if she wants something.

In our last discussion, I reluctantly agreed to get one (although I still have reservations b/c of safety), but want to wait til next Christmas. We can then have the trampoline from the grandparents and net from us w/ a few small gifts for indoors. He argues that they should get it now and get more use out of it.

So, here is my dilemma: He wants me to come up with a "just as good of an idea" as a trampoline of how to spend the $200. They already have bikes and roller blades for one.

Please help give ideas for a gift they could share or a $100 gift for each. (The 6yr old is a boy who loves to read. The 8yr old is a girl who enjoys dance/acting.) The gifts need to be fun things for them, as opposed to things they need such as clothes, etc. --not my rules, but how it's always been and my fiance's choice.)


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Don't know if this would work but last summer we got our kids one of the huge pools at Costco--18 foot diameter and 3 1/2 foot deep. I think it was $200. It sets up very quickly and they had so much fun with it all summer. Obviously, you also have to take safety precautions with a pool too, though. However, I know 3 people whose children have had broken bones from trampoline accidents that happened while the parents were standing right there watching.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 7:48PM
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A weekend family trip -the memories will last a lot longer than a trampoline.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:49PM
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just because the parents where right there does not mean the childrne were following the rules. The number one rule on all trampolines is that only one person is to be on it at one time. I have not been to a home yet where the parents enforce the rule and usually they don't even know about it even though it is in the instructions.

junebride ... the money was given to buy christmas gifts for the kjids for this past Christmas. It is very wrong that the money has not been spent on them yet.
I don't see how you are saying it is tellign the children they will get what they want. If the 2 of you are not planning on buying soemthing ofr hte kids with it then you need to give the money back. It sounds as if it only became a problem to you once your fiancee decided after the fact that the money that was supose to go to them should go to them.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:54PM
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It's Valentine's Day & these kids still don't have their Christmas gift from their grandparents?

I think your fiancee should level with his parents about what happened, ASAP. Then, if they approve, get each child a $100 gift card to their favorite store & let them go shopping.

Make SURE they know this is their Christmas gift from their grandparents.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 11:32PM
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don't know the details of two of the accidents, but in one of the accidents, a boy broke his ankle. He was 15 years old and was on the thing by himself and was following all the rules that his orthopedic surgeon doctor father had set. It illustrates my point that kids get hurt even when they are following the rules. I had a neighbor that has one with a really good safety net around it, but even with that, her original homeowner's insurance canceled her when she called to ask about insurance related questions. (Now any kids who play on it have to have a parent present and they have to sign a liabilty release form!)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 12:43AM
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Have you asked the kids what they would like? They may have some ideas. Or maybe a day trip to somewhere special?
I don't think it would be right to wait until next Christmas to purchase the trampoline- the money was meant for the children for this past Christmas. Haven't the Grandparents asked what was purchased for the children from them?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 6:48AM
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At that age, they could be into anything from computer games to DVD's. Best to ask them what they want.

(as far as the money not being spent yet, don't be so hard on them. DD is a 12/23 baby, so we have to do Christmas, Santa has to do Christmas, :-) we do Birthday, then Grandad says, here's some $$ for her B'day and Christmas - you pick something out. Man, by the time I had done all of MY shopping for her, and shopping for DH's family and the rest of my family, I could not think of a single other thing. Last year, I don't think we ended up spending all of Grandad's money by easter! )

Anyway, with two kids, it can be just as hard.

That's why, this year, I told my dad that he is going to have to buy his granddaughter the presents next year.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 7:46AM
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I don't see any reason why it is such a shame to wait until after the holidays to buy holiday gifts. The parents didn't say they wouldn't spend the money on the kids. The kids get so much at the holidays it makes sense to wait until after the holidays to see what they didn't get. It also makes sense because with the sheer number of gifts most kids get at the holidays sometimes they don't get a chance to appreciate what they do get. Getting an unexpected gift in Feb/March gives them a chance to appreciate it. Especially if it is an expensive one.

As far as gifts go. We gave the 2 older kids small stereos for their rooms. You can get an inexpensive system including a CD player for under $100, leaving room to buy each child their own CD. My kids listen to the radio or cd at least a few times a week. It was well worth the money we spent on the systems as they are used all the time.

I would not purchase a trampoline for a 6 and 8 year old (my own kids are 3, 5, 8). They are to young and trampolines are to dangerous.

However, I do not think you should let the fact that a safety net costs $150 stop you if you are leaning toward the trampoline. It's not "going overboard" to buy safety equipment with a purchase. If you decide that the only way you will allow a trampoline is with a safety net, then you really have to get the safety net with the trampoline.

BTW-Clothes are not gifts for the kids. Gifts from their grandparents should be things that they want, not things that they need. Clothes for the kids make great gifts for the parents, who are grateful not to have to spend the money on clothes, but unless a child really likes clothes (I have one that does) I think gifts from the grandparents should be something special that the CHILD wants, not the parents.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 10:00AM
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My kids are about the same age, and at that age, they have no concept of what something costs or a concept of a "big gift" verses a "small gift". Last Christmas, my 2 older boys (5 & &) saw a picture of a Power Ranger toy in an add. It was a big $80 toy. They wanted it so bad, but there was no way I was spending that kind of $$! Later were were at Meijers and on an endcap they were displaying little $5 Power Ranger toys that were a small version that looked the same. The boys WENT NUTS - they wanted them so bad!!! They didn't know from the picture in the ad that one was a big expensive toy and the ones they saw were small action figures. Santa brought them the $5 ones and they were estactic!!!

Anyway,my point is, just because the grandparents sent $200, don't feel you have to spend $100 on each. Ask each what one thing they really want, buy that even if it's only $5, and put the rest into their savings accounts.

Myself, I would love to get a trampoline for my kids, but DH says no way. Jumping on a trampoline can help kids develop better ballance, coordination, etc. My olest son has mild disabilities and the occupational theraplist RAVES about how a trampoline can help kids develop better physical abilities. Kids get broken arms riding bikes, roller skating, etc. I broke my arm falling off a slide at school as a child, and again as a teenager ice skating. That doesn't mean I won't let my kids go down a slide or ice skate!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 11:01AM
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There is a product called a jumpoline. Same idea -- somewhere kids can jump -- but it's a hard plastic circle on the bottom with walls that are built on, so it's much much safer.

I've seen them in cataloges; I'm sure you could do a net serach and find one.

The other issues should probably be decided between you, your finance, and the grandparents.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:38PM
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Here it is. It sounds like the kind you are talking about, these kids have just about outgrown it. But it sounds good for my 4-year-old! Hmmm... maybe granddad's money will get spent after all! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: trampoline with walls.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 3:03PM
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Do the children even want a trampoline? Most children would probably not object, but if their known favourite activities are reading (for a 6 year old boy) and acting/dancing (for an 8 year old girl) a trampoline might not be the best idea for them and for their enjoyment.

Pools are at least as good. At least in the case of drowning, there is some time to effect a rescue. Landing wrong, or hitting one's head in just the wrong way on a trampoline hard part or on the ground or on a rock on the ground may not involve the same kind of time buffer. Big outdoor play objects of any kind will invite neighborhood and friend usage. These risks need to be considered in terms of other people's children as well. (8 year olds and older are old enough to feel like they can be in charge and make good decisions. They have enough life experience to have made good decisions. They don't have enough life experience to be able to stop and think through consequences when they are feeling like they _need_ to do something. Developmentally, an 8 year old will probably be and feel driven to form, strengthen and maintain social ties.)

More likely problems with a trampoline would be bumps and bruises and sprains and strains (orthopedic types of injuries). Those can feel _devastating_ for people who really truly love sports or dance or other movement-based activities. It can mean having to dance in a cast, or being prohibited from dancing for a while. Depending on any performances and their timing, an injury can cost her that.

Do they have favourite stores or collections? Gift certificates for their favourite places or activities can be purchased. Sometimes department stores offer gift certificates. They could then each have their own special shopping trip to plan for and consider what thing (or things) they would like. They might be told they can consider combining their resources and getting something big for 200 dollars; or just using their own 100. They might surprise you by choosing things (or a thing) that is not something the adults had considered... This kind of thing gives them the gift of thinking time and planning, and anticipation and pride of being trusted with making this decision. If they each are given their own shopping excursion they also get individual parental attention, and again that trust of being allowed to be in charge of choosing their own purchases. Those kinds of intangibles are priceless and their benefits are very long term and long lasting. (But in the moment, they don't need to be consciously noted or appreciated by the child... it's a subtle life-long benefit.)

unless there is some special circumstances I think trampolines are an unacceptable risk (in the case of pools, check out what local safety rules and laws exist and try to make sure someone is trained in cpr and water rescue)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 6:30PM
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My college roommate had a big ugly scar on her knee from surgery due to a trampoline injury. But sure, you can get injured taking a bath. But the person who mentioned neighborhood kids is absolutely right -- make sure your homeowners' insurance is updated! And of course you need a place to store it when they get bored with it. This type of item falls in the Asking For Trouble Category. You're sure this is what the kids want?


    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 12:19AM
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We have a trampline (with saftey net), my 4, 6 and 9 year olds love it. It's great exercise!!!! They also love to gather their coloring books etc. and sprawl out in the sun on it and color. It's also a favorite reading spot. They also love to bring out the portable CD player, blast their music and of course jump away. If it's something they want it will be a good investment, as they won't out grow it too soon, and it's not going to get pushed aside as other smaller toys end up doing. As far as injuries, we've been lucky, we had ours for three years now (knock on wood) and everyone is fine.
Kids can get hurt in so many other ways too. A little girl recently at a skating party we were at broke her arm when she fell, and I broke mine when I was five, "skating" on our hardwood floors in the house. I understand your concern, I'm nervous over the scooters our kids received for Christmas (from in-laws, without even asking!).


    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 8:28AM
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Thanks to all who have responded so far!
BTW, the kids do know that $100 had been given to each of them. (The checks were written out to them and sent in Christmas cards before Christmas.) My fiance has a problem of forgetting/letting things go. I was so busy shopping for everyone else, including the kids gifts from us, that I let it up to him, since he took "property" of the checks. But, I admit, I didn't remind him either. Anyway, it was a few weeks ago that he said, one other year, he didn't get around in time prior to Christmas to buy the "big" gift from the grandparents and he was really embarrassed when they asked what he got. Now, he is determined to get something soon before they ask again.
It's not that I/we think that the money shouldn't be spent, but my feeling is that we should spend it on something for $200 from the grandparents. (This way it is understood that the "gift of money" came before Christmas, we are just spending it after the holidays. Unlike, getting gifts from us at Christmastime then getting more after Christmas. I think an older child would understand why, but younger children will only see it as spending more after christmas... and that this would be an option in the future in case they don't get all they wanted.)
I still have these safety concerns and I'm glad some of you shared more info on this, including the insurance info, because my fiance is under the impression that it will cover for other kid's injuries -since I brought up this topic when he thought it would be great for the neighborhood kids.
I am thinking of the CDs idea for the 8yr old since we got her a cd player for christmas. (But, my fiance has this "big gift" only idea.) (It hasn't even been out of the box yet, along with so many other gifts.)
I agree with Mommabear. They got so many gifts that most haven't been played with yet... from us, 7 sets of aunts/uncles between the both of us, 3 sets of grandparents, and everything from their mom's house and relatives from that side.)
But, we will definately be getting something for them.
Another thought I recently had: a large fort (Playhut type item). They are into building them right now and sleeping in them. It's one thing they do together without too much arguing! (but, I have a feeling it won't "measure up" to the wonderful trampoline idea my fiance feels he has).

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 4:48PM
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I personally would not buy a trampoline for our children ages 4, 8 and 9. But, if I were to buy one, I would do as an old sitter was going to do when the weather warmed up. Dig it in the ground. Accidents still can happen, but the fall is not as far.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2002 at 8:49PM
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Can I suggest another kind of "gift?"

A trip when the weather warms up. That would be the excuse for waiting so long. I know you will be busy planning the wedding, but taking them somewhere with a good bit of poctket money to spend might be something that they would like. Maybe even two trips, one for each. Do you have a place within a three or four hour or less driving range that they might like? A zoo, aquarium? Somewhere that they could buy things...t-shirts, books, etc. It would be hard for children that age to spend 100 at one time, but it would be that they would have the balance to spend as they pleased when they got back home. My kids when they were that age loved an unlimited shopping spree. Especially in a book store.

This would have to be OK with the grandparents.

I like the fort idea too. Or why not make it a playhouse? If their father is handy with tools, 200 dollars buys a good bit of plywood and 2x4s.

Lots of kids don't get hurt on trampolines. But of those that do..some of the injuries are appaling. Permanant damage to the head or spine would be something that their father would never forgive himself for.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 3:38AM
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I agree with Doreen. We bought a trampoline for our daughter when she was 14, I don't know, maybe her friends are easy jumpers or something, there was never an accident in 6 years. It does have the net thing around it, the insurance company demands it, with a NO Tresspassing sign attached. This is prevent unauthorized users from accessing it when we're not home, same as a fence for a pool. My daughter is now 20 and many, many girlhood memories surround this trampoline. Not just jumping, her and her girlfriends spent many nights dragging sleeping bags, pillows, cd players, pizza, etc and used it for sleepovers. It became a sort of outdoor room. Now my two grandkids 4 and 5 enjoy it, same way, a bit of jumping, and then playing with their color books, stringing beads, and just plain pretending it is a tent. It was a well spent $350, yes at Sam's Club.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2002 at 8:01PM
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Our kids, ages 11, 9 and 7 love their trampoline and have never had an injury. We only allow one on at a time and they can only bounce feet or bottom first, not head first. If you follow rules, they aren't that dangerous. Skiing is dangerous, bike riding is dangerous, swimming is dangerous, and on and on. With all these activities we as parents need to be teaching safety and rules to our kids. We are pretty blunt about the accidents that can happen and how to avoid them. Such as our kids are active swimmers, but they know they will never be allowed to swim in the nearby river which has undercurrents. We can't put our kids in a bubble, but we can teach them to be responsible and obey the rules.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2002 at 4:11PM
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Our neighbors have one. No net. All boys in their family. They get on there and do WWF moves they've seen on TV. I have to leave the area when they are on it so I can't see them. My heart can't take it.

They do some stunts that are very dangerous. Their parents are home but I think they figure these boys are old enough to know the rules, but IF they have rules, I don't see evidence in how the kids are using it.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2002 at 2:11PM
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There have been some good points for & against trampolines. I'm considering at getting one for my girls (9 & 12), but they both already know the rules of jumping from taking gymnastics & cheerleading classes. I also grew up with them, from taking gymnastics to having friends with them.

I'd suggest, if your fiance is still deadset on a trampoline, exposing them to gymnastics. They would teach them how to do this in a safe, well monitored manner.

I really like the idea of getting them CD's or even a DVD player and DVD movies to share.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2003 at 8:31PM
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I just noticed that this posting was originally from 2002. What did your fiance end up doing with the money from their grandparents?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2003 at 8:33PM
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Don't be afraid to buy a good old fashioned savings bond in the child's name.They could make the bank trip an event, and when the bond matures , the child will have the fun of using it as a down payment for first vehicle. Sandy

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 5:34PM
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