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Bouncy Castles

(6 Posts)
coloursoftherainbow Mon 30-May-11 19:21:53

My three year old is terrified of them - to the extent we have had to leave parties, can't go to locations where we know they are and today wouldn't go into a farm park because he remembered there was a bouncy castle.

We have a serious reaction - shaking and crying - has anyone had this and any advice?

Many thanks

coloursoftherainbow Mon 30-May-11 20:37:39


DeWe Mon 30-May-11 21:08:56

Not as extreme, but dd1 didn't like them at that age("They're too bouncy, mummy. I'll bounce on the floor") and ds (nearly 4) has only just been persuaded on one in the last couple of months.

Before that I tried carrying him on a couple of times and he went rigid and started shaking and gripping me as though he was drowning. He was worst with one that had a face including red nose on, he was at soft play and wouldn't go anywhere he couldn't see it as though he thought it might pounce. Meant he was walking backwards at times. He's always loved trampolines so it wasn't the bouncy-ness.

A couple of months ago he (to my surprise) just walked on one. Now he's a terror on one and flings himself around is generally a danger to himself and other people.

BikeRunSki Mon 30-May-11 21:13:06

Mine too, he hates the noise of the pump. I have posted recently on his fear of handryers, extractor fans, hoovers etc. No advice though.

Mummyloveskisses Mon 30-May-11 22:13:16

I haven't had experience of the bouncy castles.... although the hoover and hand dryers my DD (now 3.5yrs) when she was slightly younger more late 2's early 3's she didn't like them... with regard to them I would say keep introducing them the hoover I just kept talking whilst using it saying its a nice hoover picking up all the dirt, making things clean etc.... let her sit up and away from it so it couldn't ''get her'' she gradually got braver with it and I would use the hose to hoover and give her the pipe (not attached to anything) and she would ''hoover'' along side me and now she is fine.... with the hand dryers I would stand her away and tell her to hold her hands over her ears whilst I dried and she didn't have to use one she could dry her hands on my jeans.... she gradually got closer to me and now stands just behind me.... she still wont put her hands under though.

Now with the castle problem, they say the worst thing about a fear is the fear itself... or something like that... so I think you need to some normalising (is that a word?) turn what he sees as unusual into usual.... for example, talk about what it is.... a plastic castle, filled with air that when jumped on makes the children go high in the sky.... Find out what specifically scares him.... if its the noise, you can explain the huge fan that makes the air go in is making the noise, if its the size then explain if it was too small no one would fit etc..... perhaps use a paddling pool as a visual aid or balloon to show what happens when air goes in... and how small it starts at. Make sure he knows he is never expected to go on one.

I don't know if I am explaining myself well does this make sense?

Popbiscuit Mon 30-May-11 22:27:21

I can remember being slightly terrified (yet strangely drawn to) bouncy castles when I was little. They ARE noisy and they smell strange and they are full of really excited, hyperactive children.
There was a movie recently with Reese Witherspoon...she had a phobia of bouncy castles (except they called them something really bizarre). Someone help me out? Not helpful really but just to say, I think your DS sounds quite sensible. I have actually seen one semi-deflate which would be horribly frightening for a LO.

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