They say that kids who are blind love vestibular stimulation and rough-housing. Well, that would describe Calvin. He has always delighted in spinning, bouncing and going upside down.

When Calvin was about one our buddy Jim brought over a huge bag of his kids' well-loved goodies. There were rattles and balls and all sorts of music makers, all of which Calvin loved. The best toy of all, however, was a cool johnny-jump-up. This jumper was solid state and built to last with a hard plastic cartoon airplane shell, nylon seat, metal spring and clamp.

In his jumper Calvin quickly learned to master the art of spinning. He transformed into an ice skater doing pirouettes, kicking out one leg to accelerate his spin. Wind up, wind down. It was dizzying to watch. But for Calvin, it was his chance to defy gravity, one of his greatest foes. We were fascinated at his adept coordination as we had not seen it before.

Calvin continued to enjoy this jumper over the next five years during which were forced to retrofit it. I fashioned a larger denim seat, reinforced the nylon strapping and replaced the main spring. Eventually, when Calvin was at least ten pounds over the weight limit, we could barely pry him out of the thing so we retired it for a brand new "special needs" jumper which he spins in every day.


  1. I'm trying to get some info about this "special needs" jumper... No pics, no further description. Anything? Please?

  2. the jumper in the video is not a special needs jumper, but we have a new one since calvin is bigger that we got from http://www.especialneeds.com
    but i do not find it on their site anymore. call them. i think it was called something like the high flyer and looked like a parasail. good luck.

  3. Thanks. Any chance of getting a picture of the jumper itself so I can see if it's something I already found?

  4. i found the link! it is a german company. we removed the kite detail:

  5. Ahh. Yeah, that's one I've found, they market it as a swing though... what are you using for a spring?

    It's still available in the US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HDDF7A

  6. we just bought a strong one at the hardware store but it eventually broke. calvin has never bounced, though, he spins instead, so now we don't use a spring. good luck.