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Space Hoppers: A Hopping Good Time
Skimming above tree tops, breaking through cloud cover, she waves to the wild geese while riding the wind. She floats through the air with the greatest of ease…that daring young girl on the flying…Space Hopper?
As a child I always wanted to be able to fly. I loved cartoon and super hero characters like Superman or the X-men who had the power to fly. I remember a vivid dream I had one night. I was soaring through the air in a shopping cart, high above trees, buildings, and all the people. What a glorious feeling! Why a shopping cart? Who knows, but just about any contraption would have been good enough if it helped me get off the ground! Slides, swings, trampolines; all were tools for my imagination. Then one day, I discovered the Space Hopper.
What is a Space Hopper?
You remember those large plastic balls with circular handles that you sit on and bounce around? That is a Space Hopper. A hopper can come in all colors and sizes and good ones should be made of fairly thick, puncture-resistant rubber. I, like many children, thought hopping around on that thing was the most fabulous fun! Maybe it is the magic of crossing distances without actually walking; just a bounce and a scoot and you have moved several feet. What could be better?
Where Did They Come From?
We owe this marvelous invention to Aquilino Cosani who discovered it in the 1960s in Italy. The original, basic design really hasnt changed very much, although it has gone through a bewildering number of names. Some call it a Hoppity Hop, others the Kangaroo Hopper, and Pon-Pon. No matter what you call it, it is an ingenious toy. It requires no batteries, no maintenance, is inexpensive, and provides hours of healthy fun for children of all ages.
What Are They Good For?
Anything you or your kids can imagine up! Hoppers are great too, because they get kids off the couch and out into the sunshine. Nothing keeps children active quite like a Space Hopper. Get a couple of them and organize a race or pretend that you are taking a crazy ride through the Australian outback on a wild kangaroo!
A Durable Toy
One of the best things about Space Hoppers is that they really are extremely durable. Unless over inflated, the rubber can withstand nearly anything. So there are a lot of hours of enjoyment in every hopper. In recent years, manufacturers have even started to design this simple activity toy for adults. So we can recapture the magic of hopping around on a Hop ball right along with the kids. Now wouldn’t that be an amazing sight? Grown adults bouncing down the street! Who says kids need to grow up!
This toy had huge popularity during the eighties, but why? Is it the classic orange color or maybe the almost frightening animal face emblazoned on the side? The jury is still out, but perhaps the reason is simply that it is so much fun. Whether you are like me and wanted to fly, or you just like the fact that you can bounce everywhere, Space Hoppers are certainly for you and maybe you can buy one for your kids too!
For some more ideas on outdoor play equipment, visit Just Outdoor Toys.
About the Author: Annie Small is a client account specialist for 10x Marketing and a children's rights advocate.