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Bounce U.

Last night we took the girls to a place called Bounce U. as in Bounce University.  If you’ve never been, it’s a great place to play with your kids.  There are two rooms, each full of giant inflatables.  Think of the moonwalks from when we were kids and if you are on the young side you probably saw them morph into the awesome inflatables available now.

I remember when the elementary school would rent a moonwalk for a day and every one would get a turn.  I’d stand in line with no shoes for about twelve hours before I finally got my turn to get in.  After climbing in I would struggle to get to the middle, which was the top and once there I would typically stand and immediately fall from the center to the edge, where I’d remain until my turn was over.  I’d try to get up but the old moonwalks were so cheap that there was no substance to them.  Bouncing was nearly impossible and if you had been dropped on to one of these you would probably have sunk to a smashing halt when you reached the gym floor.

Today’s moonwalks are sturdy, bouncy and imaginative.  There are basketball hoops, slides, obstacle courses, wiffle ball batting cages, football throws, dodgeball and even one with guns that shoot soft foam balls at people on the other side of the room.  I got hit in the eye with one of those balls, which travel at about mach 3, and it didn’t hurt a bit.

Bounce U takes all that fun stuff and shoves it into one big building so that, instead of renting one of these items, you can go to them and enjoy all of them for a couple hours.  The best part is that parents are allowed and even expected to play with their kids.  Not all parents do, of course, but if you want to (and you should want to) you can.

Last night we took my nephew with us, who generally has a very bad attitude.  His parents are divorced and have been since almost the time that he was born.  His mother is a very negative person and his father barely involved, least of all with him.  So I don’t blame him but it’s easy to see what a great kid he could be if he was only played with on a regular basis and shown love and acceptance rather than frustration and anger.

He spent the night with us last night also and is still here, even as I write this.  Yesterday he had a couple of short outbursts of angers but today he has had none.  Not a single one.  In that short amount of time his behavior has changed so dramatically that he hasn’t had a single angry outbreak.  That’s amazing for a kid who’s normal first response is anger and outburst.

So if all it takes is to show kids a little love and acceptance and play with them a little to have them behave, isn’t it worth it.  If only more parents would delight in their children, the world would be a much better place.  Also, teaching them accountability wouldn’t hurt either.

Also, Bounce U is a great place for kids and adults alike.

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