The New York Kids Club provides Big Apple families with enriching entertainment for both the young and the young-at-heart. On Friday night, the club holds its week-wrapping-up events—Friday Fun for Everyone or Pajama Party:
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting?it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children?s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds.
As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
Imagine an adult-sized jungle gym, complete with tunnels and rubbery mats and lots of equipment to lift, push and stand on. But, instead of playground monitors, there are drill instructors – mean ones – looking to scream, yell and push every participant to be their absolute best. That’s the idea behind Pure Power Boot Camp on 32nd Street, just off Madison Avenue. The military-borrowed boot camp phenomenon, as a way to improve fitness levels is nothing new, but at Pure Power, with its camouflage greens, blacks and browns that color the hard-working space, the notion is taken to a whole other level. Hard-charging fitness instructors bark out the next set of moves as “recruits” move through their current “tour of duty.” From one-off corporate training events to weekly sessions in the tough space, Pure Power Boot Camp is perfect for getting into the warrior mindset.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.
Fifteen thousand square feet of colorful training equipment beckons to be tumbled upon. That's where the dedicated staff comes in, working with students of all skill levels to build confidence and coordination through gymnastics programs. With classes designed for students between 18 months and 18 years old, gymnastics programs provide a well-rounded curriculum that helps motivate students while honing concentration and basic motor movements.
Classes for tots and kindergarten-age students include practice on obstacle courses, trampolines, balance beams, and tumble tracks. Girls and boys older than 5 1/2 years learn fun and challenging exercises while climbing rock walls, swinging on uneven bars, and attempting to bridle wild pommel horses. Sunburst Gymnastics also offers competitive programs, in which students train for state, regional, and national events.
Though the staff at Super Kickers focuses on teaching children the basics of soccer, their efforts don't end with sports instruction. In addition to leading youth in soccer-focused activities in the seasonal indoor and outdoor sessions of their youth soccer program, they also conduct an after-school club that merges physical activity with music and arts. And as an after-school program alternative, the staff also helms a series of Flex Pass programs spanning music and crafts. Children might make art using paints, marshmallows, and shaving cream, learn to sight-read and play the piano, join in yoga-centric imagination games, or practice keeping rhythm and melody with singing, tambourines, and egg shakers. Additionally, during summer and holiday camps, coaches and teachers lead children in indoor or outdoor soccer games, as well as other seasonal activities such as music and dance, yoga, crafts, martial arts, and bounce house time.