You might have heard about open gyms in the past, but you didn’t understand what made them any different than a park or free place to play. On the other hand, you might know that they are safer and indoors; however, you don’t know if the pros outweigh the cost. You are not alone. Many of those who come to us about coming to an open play session ask if it is worth it and what the child will get out of it.
When your child first comes to an open play session, they are in a new environment with people they have never met before. Unlike school, this place is nearly unstructured and completely meant for having fun. As such, the child gets a chance to really get to know new people and form new friendships. By the time many of our open play sessions ends, new friends have been made.
This factor is important because children need to know how to make friends outside of the confines of school. Making friends that don’t come from forced closeness during education will help them with networking abilities and making friends later in life.
Learning New Sports
Open play gyms are usually gyms that host other sports when not in an open play session. Unlike parks and other free outdoor spaces, this means that space can show a child what another sport is like. For example, an open play session that takes place in gymnastic gyms could show your child a fun taste of what working on gymnastics could be like. If you’ve been looking for a way to get your child into a sport young, then this might be the perfect way to see what they like.
The most obvious pro to an open play session is the safety of the child. Unlike a park, an open play gym is inside, monitored, and protected from danger. If your child is hurt, there will be a first aid station nearby. Additionally, there is no chance that your child will get lost or wander away from the park when you are distracted or not looking. Finally, open play gyms are also perfect when the weather isn’t looking great. Going to a park might turn out alright but if there’s an open play session going on, going to that will ensure that if it starts raining thirty minutes in, that you don’t have to leave right away.
On a playground, you are often putting children of multiple age groups on one playground. This can cause issues with space and toys. On occasion, you might be able to group children into larger playgroups so that the older kids don’t bother the toddlers. However, an open ply gym has this perfected. In general, the ages that are allowed at a particular session will be advertised. In addition, areas for specific children will be given, and monitors will assist parents in making the space fun for everyone.