Makes Sense {Giveaway}

Posted by casey on July 11, 2013 in Contests & Giveaways, Life as I Know It |

When Caden was a baby, we did the Gymboree classes for awhile as something for he and I to do together, something out of the house, and another new learning environment.  I had some reservations about the purpose and a really hard time swallowing the price for what we got, especially on how far away the nearest one was for us to take advantage of open gym time.  It was really only affordable because we asked for giftcards for holidays to there to help.  Once I had Everett it was near impossible to get there, properly interact with him and the class instructions while carrying a screaming, sick infant in a Bjorn or carseat every time.  When we finally were at a place to be able to go, I was going to have to pay for both of them full price.  So we took a hiatus. Forever.

We have tried lots of places over the past seasons, bounce house gyms, gymnastics gyms, a million parks and the list goes on.  I am always looking for something new for the boys that feels safe, clean, fun and educational. (plus the added bonus of physically wearing them up – long naps anyone?)

I found it!

Sense-Able Gym

It was on my summer bucket list to get to as I knew it had newly opened and my teacher’s heart had already fallen in love based on their website and general description of the gym’s purpose, goals and abilities.  You must read about it.

A couple of weeks ago we finally made it there, and are hooked. One of the things I really loved about the environment is how many options it gives kids in a relatively small, controlled space.  It feels free roam for them but is greatly watched over, spaced out and blocked off where needed.  When you walk in (which you have to ring a bell as the door is always locked, love this safety element) there is a “classroom” immediately on your left.  It serves as another playspace when individually therapy or lessons aren’t going on but also as a place for a pre-school aged group to meet, learn and gather.  There is the glow-light table for magnetic blocks and other light-up fun, a large dollhouse, kitchen playset, table for tasks and toy buckets a plenty.  You will notice that my boys have made themselves right at home in most pictures.

As you continue down the hallway there is a room on the left that the doors stay closed to just so that everything is in there – the i-Pad room!  What a great way for kids to have the experience to start learning and seeing some of this technology if they don’t at home or another space for older kids while younger siblings are in a different room etc.  Directly across from this is the Art Alley.  I have a hard time saying “my favorite” when it comes to this gym, so I will say this concept is my favorite.  I love that they have taken all of these different nooks as areas for the kids to have different options of tasks to tackle when there.  So, every time we go we play, climb, learn and take on a quick art project in an easy-to clean up, everything is right there for you environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are completely open to this space, place and everything in it being open to and for your kids. So, they always have an art project prepped for that week that you can do (this was fireworks with dot paint) but you are able and allowed to use any of the wonderful supplies they have their for you so nicely organized and labeled in all of the buckets. (teacher brain going crazy in here).

Straight down the hallway is the gate to the main gym.  This is the only area that is gated off to keep the play and therapy that is going on in there, well, in there.  But it isn’t any old gym.  Just as with out front, the options of things to do add-on every direction you look and my favorite part?  It all serves a sensory purpose.  Designed as a place for all children and children who may have some sensory difficulties to be able to learn how to take those head on, everything is a texture, sound, sight, physical, fun, relaxing learning opportunity waiting to be had.

The staff is kind, caring and 100% there for you and your child.  I was so impressed with how each of them interacted with my children in a patient, educational and yes, protective way.  Such a pleasant and positive adult interactive experience with someone other than me.  Speaking of me, yes, I was in there with them going from thing to thing, but, if you see that large window in the top right of the climbing wall picture…that is the window from the parent room, yes, the parent room.  If your child is doing fine and you are comfortable you are welcome to sit in the nicely decorated with a “you’re at the beach background” parent room to read/work etc. at bar table set up for just you while overlooking your child work and/or play in the gym! (you can see the two windows in the swing picture below too on the blue wall)

Each child gets to be there own and take on things how they would individually. You can see that Caden likes sitting on this board swing, while Everett lays on it and some even stand.  In the background can you see the man holding that large black bag?  It is actually a very stretchy, thick cocoon swing.  Caden LOVES it.  He didn’t try it his first time but now he is always in and out of it.  I think its great that even for a child that doesn’t have specific sensory issues/needs this gym exposes him to feelings he might not know otherwise (tighter spaces for example) in a fun way that lets him get used to that.  For some kids maybe it is not liking the texture of things like rice, that the rice table exposes them too.  Maybe it is a bumpy or massage feeling, that the foam slide helps with.  Regardless everything in there can serve as a learning purpose or a soothing purpose for a child who might need that or for any that just want to play!

During open gym play time you can go anywhere and do anything.  You can also sign up for individual therapy by the hour with their certified therapists that will help your child with any individual needs or evaluations.  You can read more about that and the staff on their website.

Tell me this room doesn’t look awesome.  When I was reading about Sense-Able gym on their site this room really struck my teacher’s heart.  As a teacher who taught children with Aspergers & Autism and worked in a school with a higher population of students on that spectrum I saw many of my students loving this room and wishing my school had one just like it.  The quiet room is always dark with all of these various glowing elements.  Some like the wall and the top corner are great for texture, touching, pulling and pushing.  Others like in the bottom left corner are sound equipped so each time you step on a color square it lights up on the board and emits a different sound (depending on what it is set on this could be animals, music, vehicles etc).  Notice the jellyfish glowlight behind that with a beanbag in the corner for sitting, staring, relaxing and soothing a child. So, perfect.  There is a bubble tube that the kids can change the color of and of the sphere lights and a projection screen to keep images on the walls.  It sounds like a lot, but it is all purposeful and peaceful.  If you just need a break you can cozy up on their bean chairs with weighted blankets and settle in for a bit of calm.

Now what you are really in for, the giveaway.

Shauna, who works tirelessly to add to the gym and keep everyone excited and enjoying themselves has gifted my $25.00 to give to one of you!  Let me just say that this is a great steal.  A month unlimited visit membership runs $65 for up to two children, (another steal in this summer heat for us) or you can use it towards individual hours…but don’t worry, your first visit is FREE! So, you have one week and a few ways to enter.

1. Leave a comment telling me the age of your kid(s) and what you think you would like most about the gym from what you have seen in just this post, or their site.

2. Add Sense-Able gym on Facebook as a friend and leave me a comment telling me you did so. (updates about the gym, hours, etc. get posted here)

There is so much more to enjoy at Sense-Able then even I was able to show.  I have continued to be further impresses with each visit back and the boys start giggling and wiggling as soon as we pull in as I hear “Mommy, I love this gym.”  There is your reason we keep on going right there. (and their sweet hearts are opening an hour earlier this summer just for us early risers and our little ones since it has been busier with “out-of-schoolers”.)

Giveaway Over: Congratulations to Christy! Thanks to everyone who entered by commenting and e-mailing.  We had a great turnout and Sense-Able has had many new visitors!  Be sure to let me know if you stop by and love it and tell them who sent you their way!

5 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    Casey this place sounds amazing! I looked at the website but I would love to hear more about it from you! I think Alayna would love it (she’s 2 years, 9 months)

  • Kristina says:

    Sounds like fun!

  • Kristina says:

    I totally did not answer the question. 6 and 2. They love to explore and this sounds like a great place to explore and play in.

  • Jennifer C. says:

    My son is 2. It all looks pretty cool, especially the quiet room.

  • Christy choat says:

    This gym looks awesome!! I’ve been looking for a place for my 5 year old, Cale. He has fragile x syndrome and sensory processing disorder so this place looks like somewhere he could have fun without getting overly anxious!! I also have twin 3 year olds who are typical developing and I know they would love it!! Checking out the website now!!

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