At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
Within American Gymnastics resides a puffy playground—slides and foam pits sprawl across the 14,000 square feet of primary-colored space lined with in-ground trampolines, a padded spring floor, and USGF-certified equipment. Watching over the space is a team of expert coaches who boast a combined 100 years of experience. They teach a variety of classes for all ages from toddlers to teenagers, and maintain a 7:1 student to teacher ratio. The space also plays host to ballroom-dancing classes that teach couples, individuals, and fairy-tale princes how to thrive on the dance floor.
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.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports proves that learning to dunk a basketball is not a matter of practice and persistence, but of location. On the new slam-dunk basketball lanes, preteens can achieve the same amount of air time as pro stars, dropping the ball into the net before landing safely on the springy floor. The new lines are part of a recent expansion which includes a new dual foam pit. You?ll also find an enormous main court and two trampoline dodgeball areas including the sloped walls?with elastic surface. These antigravity zones allow for freeform flips and bounds as well as games and activities. . Dodgeball teams lob soft spheres at each other in midjump for an exhilarating workout, The center court also caters to skateboarders and snowboarders, who can rehearse their tricks without worrying about hard falls or the harsh critiques of a nearby Sasquatch.
During open bounce time, the gym welcomes guests of all ages to test its cushy amenities, all of which are supervised by staff and protected by various safety measures. Bounce! Jr., a separate area for youngsters aged 6 and younger, boasts its own miniature version of the main courts' foam pit, as well as an inflatable obstacle course. Group events range from birthday parties to corporate gatherings, and an arcade allows friends to take breaks from the hopping grounds. All of these features have helped Bounce! to garner considerable press?its trampolines have been seen on Today and as far away as Japan on Tokyo TV.
Hands-on learning and playtime in JW Tumbles’ interactive classes helps children explore the far reaches of their cranial caverns. Parents with toddlers younger than three years old can enroll in parent-participation classes such as Squeakers Class, geared toward four- to 10-month-olds, or Wobblers Class, where baby bodybuilders 11 to 18 months old practice tumbling and balance to increase motor skills and decrease the need for sippy-cup creatine shakes. Ages three and up can fly solo (parents can watch from the sidelines if they wish) during age-appropriate and highly interactive independent classes. The Artsy Kids Class teaches two- to five-year-olds creative skills, and three- to four-and-a-half-year-olds prep for kindergarten in the Stompers Class.
It takes copious amounts of energy to transform a child's body into an adult's, so it’s no wonder that such energy sometimes overflows. At Planet Kidz, a fleet of chipper teachers helps kids find constructive outlets for that energy, keeping bodies healthy and minds creatively engaged. The center’s dance and yoga programs tailor training toward developing bodies and students who love to learn in a non-competitive environment. During gymnastics classes, instructors challenge tykes to improve their coordination and flexibility, which help lay the fundamental physical foundation for other popular sports such as soccer or juggling Mom's vases. Self-discipline and self-defense share the spotlight during karate classes, and kids develop social niceties and fine motor skills at arts and crafts sessions.
While kids play and learn, parents can recline on couches, observe classes through a one-way mirror, or down beverages from a complimentary coffee and water bar. Cable TV ensures that adults stay on top of incoming broadcasts, and free WiFi keeps robot nannies from suddenly shutting down.