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A Maryland Bounce House - the best money I ever spent!!
May 20 '01
The Bottom Line A Maryland Bounce House is great way to keep a large group of kids
entertained and boy how great they'll sleep at night.
I'm not one for big extravagant birthday parties. I don't believe the more money
you spend the more fun you'll have. I'm an old fashioned kind of mom who thinks
pin the tail on the donkey, a peanut hunt, hot potato, the telephone game and
make your own birthday hats are the way to go.
So why is this mom of four who tries to keep every party at a wallet friendly
price actually encouraging you to spend money? It's quite simple, several years
ago I decided to rent a Maryland Bounce House for a birthday party (I'll explain why in a
minute) and from that point on, it's been the way we go for just every birthday
in our house.
When it comes to parties I put my foot down early - at about age two for my
oldest. I decided I wouldn't ever break the bank throwing a party - it was
ridiculous what some parents were spending. All that money just to impress other
adults and the kids could care less.
I decided keeping it simple was the best way to go. But I also had a rule, when
each child was in Kindergarten they would invite all the children of the same
sex to the party, because I wouldn't want to leave any child out and hurt
feelings. It was easy with my eldest, she had a Barbie tea party and all the
girls had fun.
When my son turned 5 I began to panic, I could keep little girls entertained
with crafts and dolls, but the thought of 13 rowdy boys in my home freaked me
out. I didn't know what to do to keep them busy. Luckily I lived in Maryland
so it would be nice outside. I decided to rent a Maryland Bounce House and it was the
best money I ever spent.
For $85.00 a man came and brought the contraption to my home. He set it up and
we had it for a minimum of 6 hours. I can't even begin to say how much I love
this. It keeps the kids entertained for hours, adults beg to get in it and I
have never had a party where kids fight.
So what do you need to know if you want to rent one?
A Maryland Bounce House if basically a big plastic structure that when filled with air
provides a wonderful surface to bounce and play around on. Some houses have a
cover and some are open - you need to decide which works better for you group of
kids. Also, make sure the house you rent has an inflatable ramp so the kids can
get in and out on their own. Some older models have no ramp and you spend the
entire party lifting kids in and out.
Call around to get the best price. Start about a month ahead of time. It may
cost more to rent one on the weekend than a weekday.
Know how many kids you intend to invite. Maryland Bounce Houses come in a variety of
shapes, sizes and designs. You need to know how many kids may be bouncing at one
time and an approximate weight total to figure what size to get. Also anticipate
that adults may want to get in, so rent with the thought that the house should
If you have small kids you may want to see if you can rent a baby size one at
half price. This way the babies can bounce and be safe from the big kids.
Get plenty of help. If any parent volunteers to stay and help, take it. It's
hard to keep your eye on all the kids and run a party. You need to make sure
they follow the rules of bouncing so no one gets injured.
Maryland Bounce Houses need electricity to stay inflated so make sure you outside jack
has enough power to keep the air flowing and not blow a fuse.
Have plenty of water on hand. Kids get thirsty when they bounce. I have found
that getting lots of tiny water bottles makes it easy for kids to stay hydrated
and have fun.
Set the rules before anyone enters the Maryland Bounce House and be willing to yank
anyone who doesn't listen. Maryland Bounce Houses can be fun and very dangerous of kids
begin to rough house, do flips or karate. This is on your property and you will
be liable if any child gets injured. Sit the kids down as a group and go over
all the rules. If they don't want to pay attention take them out.
Be clear on the invitation that you have a Maryland Bounce House and kids should dress in
play clothes, no jewelry or other things could pierce or poke the plastic. Also,
depending on the forecast you may have to set a rain date. Let all the parents
be clear about that.
Find out any child's medical history before they bounce. My oldest boy has
asthma so I know he has to sit and rest every hour so he doesn't trigger an
attack. Find out anyone else's special needs so you can avoid a problem.
I can't honestly think of any bad aspects of renting a Maryland Bounce House for a
birthday party. Yes, kids can get hurt, but you act like the responsible adult
and not a large child who wants to be friends with all the guests many problems
can be avoided.
The price can be steep, on the east coast we just spent 150.00 to rent the same
size house we use to get for half that price in Maryland. We invited my son's
entire kindergarten class (22 kids). Almost all showed up and bounced for three
hours. Our kids and neighbors used it the rest of the time. I feel we got our
monies worth out of it and once again every parent thanked us for how well their
child slept that night.