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Inflatable bounce houses are large plastic structures that are filled with cold air and used for simple recreational fun. Much of the fun is due to the floor section of the bounce house, which is also filled with air and makes it possible to jump and bounce safely for hours on end. While the inflatable bounce house is normally considered a child’s recreational device, there are also bounce houses large enough to accommodate adults.
The origins of the inflatable bounce house are often traced to the latter part of the 1950’s, with the first examples of a combination of an inflatable platform and walls appearing in the late 1960’s. Since that time, the designs and safety features of bounce houses have continued to evolve. The end result is that the bounce houses of today are extremely easy to set up, inflate, and take down when not in use.
In construction, a modern inflatable bounce house has a shell composed of thick plastic materials. A vinyl and nylon combination is common, provided both durability and a smooth texture that is often appealing. The basic design normally calls for three walls that are either solid or outfitted with strong mesh in between sections of inflated beams. A fourth side usually features a point of entry and exit. Many countries require a padded area just outside the entryway as an added safety measure. A thick padded floor that is also inflated completes the basic design.
These inflatable bouncer houses come in all sorts of shapes. A classic example is the inflatable castle. Space walks or bouncing in a setting that resembles the moon or some eerie planet is another option that captures the imagination of young and old alike. In addition to space scenes and inflatable castles, the recreational tool may also feature images of cartoon characters, super heroes, or even current popular entertainers.
The inflatable bounce house has been hailed as a great way for kids to have some good clean fun while enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Given the fact that many children and adults spend much more time in sedentary positions that previous generations, bounce houses are also ideal ways to motivate people to engage in at least short periods of physical activity. While jumping and laughing in a bounce house, it is easy to lose track of time and have at least a full hour of rigorous activity that works muscle groups in the body as well as stimulates the production of endorphins and other chemicals that help to enhance mood.
While there are inflatable jumpers manufactured for private purchase, many suppliers focus on created commercial models that can be rented or leased for special occasions. Inflatable bounce house rentals are not unusual for community gatherings at a local park, or as an added attraction at a birthday party. Most communities have at least one local business that offers the houses for short-term rentals, often with rates calculated by the hour or by the day.
My non-profit group decided to go all the way with inflatable bounce house rentals during our last community-wide block party. We not only rented several inflatable bounce houses, but also inflatable water slides and a castle. The rental company provided an employee who could set up the equipment according to city codes, and he also taught our volunteers how to supervise each of the inflatable houses. Children may want to stay in those things all day, but once they start getting tired, they can get hurt very easily.
I thought it went very well in general. We probably should have done a better job with advertising the water slides, since some children did not know to bring swimsuits. The bounce houses were very popular, and we only had two minor injuries all day.
I thought about renting an inflatable bounce house for my son's birthday party, but I got a little concerned about safety after reading a few news stories about bounce houses getting pulled into the air during windy weather. Some children have been hurt when those things got loose, even if they weren't launched into the air. I didn't go through with the idea.
I have to imagine that there are some rules and regulations involved with inflatable bounce house rentals. I don't know if I would have been responsible for securing the thing to my yard, and I don't know how much adult supervision would have been required. My church rented some inflatable bounce houses for a Fall Festival last year, so maybe I'll ask someone there.