There’s only one thing the staff at Wonderwilder cares more about than fun: safety. That’s why its members have separated the indoor play place’s slides, bouncy zones, and rope obstacle course into two distinct areas; one for those under the age of 8 called Wonderwild, and one for more adventurous kids aged 5–11 called Wonderwilder. This allows younger kids to happily ride a 20-foot inflatable crocodile slide at a safe distance from their elders, while the older kids race on the go-kart bikes. Our birthday parties incorporate elements that both girls and boys enjoy, from Nerf battles and superheroes to pretty princesses and IRS audits.
The Total Jingle Bell Run & Walk spurs more than 5,000 antler-clad participants to swarm through downtown Houston in the name of charity, fitness, and celebration of the holiday season. Like Santa's reindeer before the sleigh got GPS, the event explores several different routes, including a 5-mile course for runners and a shorter, less intense 3-mile course for families. After everyone has crossed the finish line, awards honor the fleetest of foot in each age group, as well as individuals donning the best holiday-themed costumes. All proceeds raised by the race get poured into the YMCA's partner campaign, which provides scholarship money to those in need of academic aid.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Cassandra Myers was raised to believe that education was vital to personal development. That's why, after working as a teacher, school counselor, and special-education administrator, she decided to open Eagle Achievers Academy—a place where she could instill a love of learning in children during their earliest years.
But just because Myers and her trained, certified staff are focused on education doesn't mean they've forgotten how to have fun. The center's curriculum fosters a love of literature, music, art, and science through playful activities that encourage self-expression and the development of social skills. Activities are designed for kids between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years, with daycare and preschool sessions scheduled during the day, before and after school, and for the summer.
At Krystal's Academy and Daycare, the instructors know that connecting with parents is just as important as connecting with kids. To inspire confidence in families, they boast custom-created programs that teach literacy, math, and other skills based on their 20 years of teaching experience. To make such programs connect with kids, they use fun, time-tested methods, keep their students well fed with snacks and free lunches, and even incorporate music into their curriculum. They offer peace of mind as well with an onsite pediatric nurse and pickup and drop-off services.
At New ADDition Childcare, daycare takes on an entirely new meaning. As opposed to a place for glorified babysitting, New ADDition keeps kids engaged, active, and learning with afterschool activities and summer programs that, in addition to structured playtime, include tutoring and homework help, hip-hop classes, and even Zumba.