This post is sponsored by Little Tikes.

Growing up, I never realized that there could be so much satisfaction in being a father. Not just in having children, but in having someone you simply want to take care of and make happy. Having someone right in front of you that just takes you back in time, to when you were also a child, to when you hopped through a bounce house and sprung around trampolines and thought the world was endlessly vast. I didn't know that being a father meant both being selfless, and also indulging in someone else's joy.

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Our Life is a Perpetual Bounce House

Now, winter is on its way but the love of summer fun has not budged in the hearts of everyone in our home. We're barely over our love affair with spring, come to mention it. The five-year-old has learned to skip, and pretty much looks like a tail-less kangaroo jumping around the house. As soon as they're up and getting ready for school, he's hopping about the kitchen table, through the living room, into his bedroom, and back out again. Of course, he's followed by his three-year-old brother who is also a race car / dinosaur / whatever is loud / fast / crazy.

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Winter may not have slowed us down, but it is definitely taking away some of our summer activities. Our Little Tikes water play table has been put away for the season, leaving us at a bit of a loss for activity. There's a lot of pent up energy sitting in those little kangaroo and dinosaur legs.

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Now, I am Dad. I don't want any of this to go away. That being said, I also don't want this awesome energy exploding throughout our little farm house.

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Thanks to a slew of birthday parties, the boys recently discovered bounce houses and trampoline parks. They're a ton of fun, even though our little guys don't quite have the coordination for major tricks there yet. The boys are obsessed, and started begging to go on an almost-daily basis. However, the nearest park is 45 minutes away from us and our kids have to go in separate areas because baby brother can't jump with the big boys. As Chelsea says, “It turns into a whole EVENT.” It's not something that we can orchestrate that often.

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Diverting Energy with the Little Tikes Bounce House

Being the awesome Dad that I am, I am committed to bringing home more than just the bacon. I bring home the entertainment and fun. So we found a solution to the bounce house obsession that worked for our whole family. This season, we're all about the Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer. This is basically everything our fall season was waiting for. Cool air, falling leaves, and endless, all-inclusive jumping time. Even better, it's a family only “park” with our own rules and rhythm.

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Instead of four little monsters running around the house, I now have four aspiring acrobats jumping outside in the yard. No need to drive anywhere. “Dada! Check this out. WATCH ME!” is pretty much all I hear as they practice their somersaults and belly flops. And frankly, I'm like, “Go for it!” With safety screens on the side, I love watching the boys go crazy. And once in awhile, they even just take a break and lounge around.

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No matter what they wind up wanting to do, I'm taking it all in. A bag with a fan and hours full of fun, all because of Dad! No big plans, no stress. All I have to do is be there. As a friend once said, “The most valuable thing you can invest into your children is time.” Well, I'm not big on the stock market and my safe isn't full of gold and silver…so this is PERFECT.

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Bounce House as Behavior Bribery

What's better, I can use the Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer as an incentive for the big boys. Come home, do your homework, do your chores, and then jump until that extra energy is gone. It's all accomplished at the push of a button (fan button, that is).

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While the big boys are doing their jobs, I let the baby dude try his best to do a gorilla impression. I mean, it's basically how he walks anyway.  This is his happy little zoo, and I get to be a happy dad watching him live it up.

Are your kids obsessed with bounce houses?