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Advice for buying a Bouncy Castle

Types of  Inflatable Bouncy Castle

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Advice for buying an inflatable bounce castle for your garden

Never rush into buying a bouncy castle - take your time to consider the various sizes and styles available as this is one garden play feature which is capable of providing years of fun for your children. It's better to take your time and choose wisely rather than making a quick purchase which you may regret shortly afterwards.

Bouncer castles have been around for years and you'll typically see one at a village fete or school fair, charity events, pub beer gardens or fun fairs. But nowadays there are plenty of great bouncy castles for sale which make wonderful additions to your garden.

There are many factors to take into consideration when buying an inflatable bounce castle including its size with regard to your garden, the quality of material it is made from, which accessories and additional features come with it and does it conform to safety standards.

Many parents choose to hire out a jumping castle for their kids - but buying one is probably a better option if your children want to use a castle throughout the summer months - a one-off payment will prove a cash saver in the long run as you will not have to keep paying hire charges and the castle will be available for use all year round. Large castles are expensive to hire out - but if you buy one it will pay for itself after just a few uses when hire charges are taken into consideration.

Take garden space into consideration when choosing a bouncy castle

A good size for a castle in a small garden is 8ft to 12ft - this is the most popular size for use in UK homes. A 12ft to 15ft castle is ideal for a medium sized garden and a 15ft and over castle is your best option if you have a large garden or patio area and want a castle which can cater for plenty of jumping kids or adults.

If you have a small garden and buy a large castle it will dominate the whole are and leave very little space for other outdoor activities such as dining or playing. Most kids like to have a range of garden play things in their garden so you don't want a giant castle to hog all the space available.

You may wish to choose a bouncer which is themed on a children’s book or movie character which your kids like - there are plenty of choices available to buy themed on many characters such as Winnie the Pooh and other Disney characters, Thomas and Friends, Hello Kitty and the Little Mermaid. Animal themed castles are also popular choices with young kids.

An inflatable castle can also be part of a combo play structure which comprises other attached features such as an inflatable slide, paddling pool or ball pit.

Always check that your castle comes with a guarantee - this will usually be for one year but some come with a guarantee for two years or more. Try to buy a castle that includes a repair kit included with has patches and adhesive for repairing small tears that may occur in your castle. It is also helpful is a bouncy castle comes with instructions for inflation and use, and some basic safety guidelines.

More expensive castles come with useful additional accessories such as a rain cover or electric air pump for easy inflation.

If you decide to hire out a castle instead of buying one, you should make sure that it has a PIPA certificate which means it is safe to use and has been manufactured to the current British Standards.

When buying a giant inflatable castle you should check that it comes with an electric fan or blower to ensure it is inflated fully at all times.This is not needed with medium or small bouncy castles as they can simply be inflated with an electric pump or hand pump.

Choose a castle made from top quality materials to ensure safety

It is also important to find out the recommended age limit for usage of a particular play castle - a small lightweight castle for infants and toddlers will not be suitable for older children and adults. Mini castles are usually made of light plastic which could burst easily if older kids try to bounce on them.

It's wise to buy a toughened plastic or canvas ground sheet to protect underside of your castle and if you purchase a large one you should always ensure it can if firmly anchored to the ground with anchor pegs. A sudden gust of wind has been known lift a castle into the air, posing a real dangers to any children using it.

If you choose to buy an expensive giant bouncer it's worth considering taking out insurance on it for peace of mind or adding it to your home contents insurance policy.

A decent quality carry bag is also a useful accessory to have - his will allow you to pack it away securely during the winter months for storage in your shed or garage. A heavy duty plastic or canvas bag will stop the castle from rotting on deteriorating in damp weather and also keep insects and mice from gnawing at it.

Parents buying a new or second hand bouncer should note the name of the manufacturer and check it has a good reputation for producing top quality products that conform to safety standards.

When your castle is inflated and in place in your garden area, you should leave a minimum of two metres clearance all around it to allow children to access the castle easily and safely.

Make sure you supervise young children playing on an inflatable structure at all times and never use the castle in windy or wet conditions. A castle must be secured firmly to the ground with mooring straps at anchorage points.

Always try to buy a castle which is made of the most durable and best quality material you can afford. It should always be made from high quality material that meets safety standards.

A cheap plastic castle may be fine for light usage by very young toddlers and infants in calm weather conditions, but it will not stand up to the demands of lively older children. Tough material will stand up to plenty of bouncy action and will be much less likely to tear.