What is a Bounce House

Little beautiful happy girl lies on green bouncy castle and laughs.

Little beautiful happy girl lies on green bouncy castle and laughs.

Bounce houses are inflatable structures that are temporarily setup in private yards, public events, school and church functions or inside of buildings. They are a recreational structure for children to play. The houses and other inflatable structures have been given names for marketing purposes that coincide with what children do in these structures.

The names include:

  • Bounce House
  • Astrojump
  • Moon Bounce
  • Moonwalk
  • Spacewalk
  • Jolly Jump

The inflatable structures may be referred to in Spanish as Brinca Brinca or Jump Jump. In Southern California a popular name for the inflatable structures is “closed inflatable trampoline or CTI.”  Inflatable structures have become extremely popular and companies manufacturing the inflatable’s have made them more enticing children with slides, water slides, games and obstacle courses. These inflatable structures are easy for the rental industry, with a product that is easy to transport, store and are popular items for many events.

Children enjoy the fun they can have in these inflatable structures and it has been suggested, though there are currently no inclusive studies that the structures may have some therapeutic value for children with sensory impairments.

How are the Inflatable Structures Made?


Bounce houses are generally manufactured using a thick PVC or vinyl and nylon. The structures to setup are inflated with electric or a fuel powered blower and some structures will require a fan with an output of electrical power to keep the structure inflated. This fan is around two horsepower and in these structures a small puncture will not cause issues to the structure in deflating, since it has constant inflation of the material. There are other structures requiring air be continuously sent into the seems of the material and escape as children use the inflatable. These are the type manufactured for home purchase, rather than used for rental purposes.

The construction varies from country to country. In the United States the structure is generally supported by inflatable columns and sides enclosed with netting for proper adult or operator supervision. The UK and Australia the bounce “castles” have regulations that the walls be fully inflated on three sides and the structure have an open front with foam crash mats to protect children from harm if they fall or jump out of the inflatable structure.