Imagine zooming down a zip line onto a soft crash pad while admiring your skills or making silly faces in the wall of mirrors next to you! This is one of the unique experiences awaiting you at We Rock the Spectrum which just opened in December 2017.
Lighting here is not overwhelmingly bright and you won’t hear any loud music as this is a sensory gym with equipment that is more individualized. No huge climbing structures for the masses that you might find at other kids’ gyms or play areas.
This isn’t just a gym. For those who want a break from physical play, there are other options. Get creative in the arts and crafts area with a chalk wall and play dough table. Let your imagination go in the toddler play area with some of the BEST toys for pretending and open-ended play (see my post Toys that do nothing). They even have a wide selection of Melissa & Doug toys to purchase – yes, you do have to walk right through all of the amazing toys in order to enter and exit the gym. Be prepared.
There is even a “calming room” which is a small darkened room with a tent, bean bag chair, noise cancelling headphones and textured pillows for those who may just need a break from all of the excitement.
With no seating for adults, interaction is a must – which is my favorite part! With increased interaction among adults and children you have the opportunity to practice lots of speech and language skills while playing! You may overhear Tarzan calls from the zip line, squeals of delight and requests for “more” pushes from the variety of swings, calls for “help” and then cheers of success when the climbers reach the top of the rock wall or climbing net to activate the colored buttons, and finally – parents discussing how they might be able to put some of this equipment into their own basements!
If your child is struggling to communicate through words you can use pictures here. At the front desk they have “make your own picture board/schedule” materials with pictures of equipment to velcro to clipboards. LOVE this!
My favorite ready-made picture schedule they had was right next to the bowl of suckers for kids to take when they leave – AFTER 1) putting on your coat and 2) putting on your shoes. Only when those two steps are completed successfully do you get a sucker – GENIUS (especially for my lollipop-loving children who spotted that jar immediately upon entering).
As a pediatric speech therapist, this gym would be amazing for a therapy setting. As a parent, this gym was super fun for my own two kids and they keep asking when we can go back!
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