Bounce houses are more than just a lot of hot air— they are one of the most popular fixtures at children’s birthday parties, and have been since their inception over 50 years ago. Originally called the space pillow, the inventor, John Scurlock was inspired as he watched his team of engineers jump up and down on an inflatable tennis court cover. What started as some innocent fun sparked a trend that has been improved upon year after year.

Next up was the space walk, which added walls to the bounce house and then the bounce castle was created. This iconic birthday party fixture transformed the business. Now, the bounce house business features bounce houses, bounce slides, and every theme under the sun you could think of. The bounce house phenomenon has inspired bounce-house indoor parks, as well as Shakespearean theater performed on a bounce castle.

Care to break a record? Well get your team together, because it’s going to take you over 27 hours of jumping! That would burn plenty of calories, up to 240 every 30 minutes. Jumping on a bounce house makes exercising fun and exciting for both children & adults. Staying active and staying healthy is very important for kids and bounce houses are a great way to work off some of that birthday cake and ice cream that seem to be synonymous with birthday parties.

What started off as a simple solution to cover tennis courts has turned into a world-wide trend, with bounce houses being a popular addition to parties around the world, jump on a bounce house in the U.S., or a Jumping Castle in Australia, an Inflatable Castle in Ireland, or a Brinca Brinca (literally meaning “Jump Jump”).

So, next time before you let your children wiggle their way onto a bounce house, or you dive right in for some of the fun, think about those few workers who found some fun in jumping on an inflatable cover. Because, without them – birthday parties would not be as much fun!

Entertainment - History of Bounce Houses