17 Expert Tips For A Bounce House Kids’ Party
by Ann Mifsud
Having a bounce house at your kid’s party is definitely a great, fun and memorable idea, but it doesn’t come with zero planning. Some preparation is required when considering having a bounce house at your kid’s party.
To save you some nasty headaches, we will answer 17 key questions and share tips on how to best prepare for a bounce house kids’ party.
Go straight to any of the expert tips we are sharing, before you consider a bounce house kids’ party…
- Space needed
- Preparing the area
- Setting up on a slope
- Setting up on concrete
- Setting up indoors
- Permits in public spaces
- Power supply
- The size of the blower
- Water hookup
- Weather considerations
- Time to set up and dismantle
- Over-inflating the inflatable
- Adults using the bounce house
- Safety for kids
- The cost to rent a bounce house
- A party venue with a bounce house
- Bounce house games and activities
1. How much space is needed to set up a bounce house for a kids’ party?
Generally speaking, you need a minimum of 3 ft (1m) clearance around the bounce house unit. As an example, for a standard 15’ by 15’ (4.5 sq m) bounce house, it is ideal to have an area of 21’ by 21’ (6.5 sq m).
It is also recommended that you allow a vertical clearance of at least 17 feet (5m).
2. How can I prepare the area for setting up a bounce house for a kids’ party?
Before setting up a bounce house for a kids’ party, it is important to make sure the area where the bounce house unit is to be set up is cleared of any rocks, bricks, sticks, twigs, roots, toys and animal residue.
Anything that could damage, dirty or stain the structure will increase the risk of danger and the overall cost due to additional fees imposed by the renting suppliers (if renting) in case of damage or abnormal soiling of the inflatable.
Make sure that there are no underground hazards such as sprinklers, cables, water or gas lines. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, check that it is turned off and the sprinkler heads are not engaged. Bounce houses cannot be set up near power lines and they must not have hanging trees in their proximity.
3. Can a bounce house for a kids’ party be set up on a slope?
It’s recommended that a bounce house be set up on completely level terrain. If the area is not completely flat, a slope of up to 5% is acceptable.
This means that for every 10’ of length, you can have up to 6 inches of height difference at each end. The more sloped the terrain is, the higher chances of the bounce house tipping over.
4. Can a bounce house be set up on concrete?
Bounce houses can be set up on concrete given that the area is free from sharp points. One would recommend the use of a tarp to protect your inflatable from underneath. Make sure to bring this up with your renting company if you are renting a bounce house for your kid’s party.
To secure it to the concrete ground, sandbags or water bags of suitable weight can be used. These are essentially instead of the long metal stakes that are usually hammered in lawns when setting up a bounce house.
5. Can a bounce house be set up indoors?
Bounce houses can be set indoors provided that there is enough clearance to the side, which should not be less than 3 feet (1m) on every side, as well as from the ceiling. Most sizeable bounce houses need some 17’ (5m) from floor to ceiling for proper setting up.
Some party venues do offer indoor bounce houses included in the price. Read further down the questions to check out how much this will cost you.
6. Do I need a permit to set up a bounce house in a park, picnic point, sport ground or public reserves for my kid’s party?
A bounce house can be set up in parks and public reserves, given that you adhere to the local city regulations for using inflatables in public spaces. Such regulations can be found on the city website or by giving the local park services department a call. Be mindful that if you break any of the public spaces rules, you might run the risk of getting a fine and worse still ruining what was meant to be a memorable day for your kid and invitees.
Apart from the necessary permits, most probably you would need to hire a generator, unless you are certain that you have access to a power supply. You also need to make sure that the area is safe enough and that it is clear of any sharp objects or dirt.
7. Does a bounce house need electricity to operate? Is a power generator needed?
Bounce houses need to have a blower operating at all times, since they run on a continuous air flow system. Most renting companies will have extension chords up to 100 feet (30m).
If you don’t have access to power where you’re going to set up the bounce house structure for your kid’s party, you can rent a generator for an extra $85 to $100 per day. The generator comes with a full tank of gas. If you’re buying one, make sure that it can power a minimum of 2000 watts.
You would want to make sure that the generator is not too near the bounce house unit because the sound coming from a generator can be annoying.
8. What size of blower is needed for a bounce house to function well at a kids’ party?
The company you choose to rent the bounce house for your kid’s party from will take care of all the accessories needed to set up and operate the inflatable, including a blower.
On the other hand, if you are considering buying a bounce house unit for your kid’s party instead of renting one, you would need to buy a blower too.
To make sure you pick the right one, keep in mind that for smaller inflatables up to 13’ by 13’ you need a 7 amp blower; for standard 15’ by 15’ bounce houses, a 9 amp inflator is recommended; whereas for the larger 20’ by 20’ jumbo inflatables and combos go for a 14 amp one.
9. Is a water hookup needed to set up a bounce house at a kids’ party?
Water supply is needed only if you’ll be having a bounce house with a waterslide for your kid’s party. If the area where you’re setting up the inflatable is further away from the water source, you would need an extension for your hose.
10. Can weather affect bounce house set up at my kid’s party?
High temperatures do not in any way affect inflatable structures, since they are made of very durable material. Having said that, hot weather may pose some danger to your guests when using a bounce house at your kid’s party.
When the weather is hot, the same rules that apply to closed cars apply to bounce house units. The temperature inside a bounce house can soar to the point that it makes using it dangerous.
So as a rule of thumb, avoid planning the use of the bounce house at your kid’s party during the hottest hours of the day, that is around midday, in Summer. Instead, plan some other activities, like eating, or completely avoid having the party during that time of day.
Caution: Always make sure, kids are being monitored when using a bounce house.
But hot weather isn’t the only challenging weather when planning a bounce house kids’ party. If a storm suddenly swells up and catches you unaware, you would also need to be prepared.
In case a storm happens when a bounce house structure is being used, the very first thing to do is to get everyone out of it and deflate it as quickly as you can. Thunderstorms are particularly dangerous when it comes to big inflatable bounce houses. Act swiftly. Disconnect the blower from the power source and cover it with some impermeable material.
Warning: A bounce house should never be used in winds exceeding 20mph (30kph/force 5).
11. How long does it take to set up and take down an inflatable at a kid’s party?
The time it takes to set up and dismantle a bounce house unit at a kid’s party essentially depends on the size of the inflatable you have. Generally speaking, to set up a standard 15’ by 15’ (4.5 sq m) bounce house, takes some 15 to 20 minutes.
If you’re renting a bounce house from a reputable company, it will guide you on the amount of time needed for them to set up the inflatable you would have chosen for your kid’s party.
12. Is it possible to over-inflate a bounce house for a kids’ party?
Over-inflating a bounce house is practically impossible for two main reasons. For one thing, centrifugal blowers are designed not to over-inflate bounce houses.
Secondly, bounce houses are designed not to be perfectly sealed to allow out a regular flow of air. This is the reason behind the need to have blowers in constant operation.
13. Can adults jump in a bounce house at a kids’ party?
You’re never too old to jump in an inflatable, but usually a bounce house is only used by kids at a kids’ party. Smaller bounce house units may not be fit for them to use without incurring any damage. Having said that, adults can safely use medium-sized and large inflatables.
Caution: In the event that adults use the bounce house at your kid’s party, make sure they are not using it whilst it is being used by small kids.
14. What safety issues must I keep in mind when preparing for a bounce house kids’ party?
6 Crucial Bounce House Safety Tips
When organizing a bounce house party for your kid’s birthday, you would want to make sure all goes according to plan, so your young guests can enjoy all you have prepared for them in full safety.
15. How much will it cost me to rent a bounce house for a kids’ party?
The cost to rent a bounce house for your kid’s party will vary considerably depending on a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Generally speaking though, a standard 15′ by 15′ (4.5 sq m) bounce house, typically costs $100 to $250 to rent for 6-8 hours. Hiring elaborate combos, with slides, climbing walls and splash areas, cost between $200 and $575.
For further details on this, you may wish to read through our article How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Bounce House For A Kid’s Party?, which covers all the questions you may have on hidden costs when renting a bounce house for your kid’s party.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Bounce House For A Kid’s Party?
To rent a standard 15′ by 15′ bounce house, typically costs $100 to $250 for 6-8 hours. Hiring elaborate combos, with slides, climbing walls and splash areas, cost between $200 and $575.
16. How much will it cost to hire a party venue with a bounce house included in the price?
If you are interested in renting a party venue with a bounce house included in the price, it would be good to know that prices start at around $220 on weekends or $150 on weekdays, for a group of 10 kids. For private kids’ parties of up to 25 children, prices can go up to $1050.
Usually venues that are equipped for bounce house kids’ parties, will have more than one bouncy area. They also offer party packages that may include themed decorations, a number of hours of party time, a party coach, unlimited drinks for children, plates, cups and napkins, party cleanup and party invitations. You will pay for the whole party with a capping on the number of children that can be hosted.
Pro Tip: While most venues will allow you to bring your cake at no extra cost, some venues allow you to bring your own food at an additional extra fee, which is usually around $100.
If you wish to invite more kids than the maximum number stipulated by the company, you may find yourself paying up to $16.95 for each additional child.
For an additional $100, particular venues provide the young guests with goody bags and balloons. You may also choose to pay an extra fee to have drinks and snacks for adults. Extra time can be purchased, but generally, companies give this option only at the time of booking. As a rule of thumb, most venues require a non-refundable deposit that varies between $75 and $200.
17. What games and activities can kids do at a bounce house kids’ party?
Planning games when setting up a bounce house kids’ party may be the last thing on your mind. Most parents think that the inflatable itself should guarantee a number of hours of free play for the kids invited at the party. However, having some structured play alongside free play is always a good idea.
This is why we have created 6 Thrilling Bounce House Games For A Kids’ Party, precisely for parents to put their mind at rest that the kids will remain occupied throughout. In turn, they will get the best value for money from renting a bounce house for their kid’s party.
We strongly recommend giving this article a read. In it you will find a mix of games that need zero preparation, alongside others that need some preparation. All games include detailed instructions on how to play them, as well as some pro tips in case you wish to use them with older kids.
6 Thrilling Bounce House Games For A Kids' Party
We’ve listed a few thrilling yet simple bounce house games which involve absolutely zero preparation from your end. You will also find other bounce house activities that require some prior preparation.
Final thoughts on preparations for a bounce house kids’ party…
If planning a bounce house kids’ party is not your bread and butter, you may soon come to realize that there are particular considerations that are different to other kids’ parties.
In this article we have tried to answer all major questions related to the preparations that need to be seen to before planning a bounce house kids’ party. We gave tons of helpful tips and outlined all precautions that need to be taken so you can peacefully go ahead with planning a bounce house party for your kid without having any negative surprises along the way.
As a bonus, you will find a number of links to other articles we offer, related to bounce house kids’ parties, which we strongly recommend visiting. These include articles on bounce house safety tips, cost for renting a bounce house for a party and games you can easily organize at a kids’ bounce house party.
Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...
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