On a recent Sunday in February, my family and I visited We Rock the Spectrum Columbus, a new gym and play space for kids of all ages. With swings, a zipline, crash mats, a trampoline, and more, there’s plenty for the active kid in your home. Add to that an arts and crafts area, toddler toys and games, and a quiet space, and We Rock the Spectrum Columbus provides just about everything you need for a fun afternoon with your kids.
Lyndsey Vidra and her family opened the gym in late 2017. With past experience teaching students with autism, Lyndsey was excited to bring her passion for helping families and students with special needs to a new play space where any family can play together.
When we visited, my son, who is four-years-old, sprinted to the zipline. My daughter, our two-year-old, followed closely behind. While he enjoyed his first zip to the foam pit, my daughter hesitated. Luckily, the zipline has a slide at its start place, so any bout of nerves can quickly turn to a fun slide back to the rest of the fun.
Both kids happily spent the next fifteen minutes bouncing from swing to swing. With a wall-to-wall foam floor, we had no worries about the inevitable drops to the ground. Granted, since the drops are usually about a foot or so, we sat back and watched our kids run circles around the gym, loving each swing--especially the huge green inflatable triangle swing with handles. "That's definitely a kid favorite," Lyndsey told me.
My son’s favorite part of the gym was unquestionably the rope ladder. While he nervously ascended only a few rungs at first, We Rock the Spectrum provides great incentive to conquer a fear and reach a goal: there are flashing, colored buttons to press at the top of the rope ladder. As soon as my son saw those, he raced to the top. Not content to push just one, he traversed the ladder to slam all four buttons several times. Take a look at the smile on his face and you’ll see the joy in conquering a fear and the pride in reaching his goal.
While my son explored the rope ladder, my daughter spent twenty minutes on the trampoline. With ceiling-high nets around the edge, the trampoline was completely safe. She ran herself silly on the trampoline, playing with sensory balls and squishing her face on the nets to say hi to us.
After an hour or so of physical exertion, my daughter chose to spend a few minutes in the calming room. She donned one of the sets of noise-canceling headphones and explored the textured walls. After a few minutes of peace and quiet, she made her way to the toddler area filled with games, puzzles, and make-believe play. She was content to stay there for the rest of our visit!
Whether she was testing her fine motor skills with a magnetic fishing rod, drawing on the chalkboard wall, or pretending to be a magician in the make-believe stage, she loved the toddler area. My son made his way over there, too, to play with a lock-and-key puzzle house, a set of cars and trucks, and the make-believe kitchen and hot dog stand.
My wife and I stood there impressed the entire afternoon. Our kids played for a solid two hours, and they did not exhaust the possibilities of We Rock the Spectrum Columbus. With bright colors, an inviting staff, and plenty to do for both active and restful play, my kids want to go back to We Rock the Spectrum Columbus ASAP.
As closing time came around, my son rushed to the rope ladder for one more climb--he just couldn’t resist hitting those buttons one more time! As we put on our shoes and got ready to leave, my kids spotted a jar of lollipops. My wife and I noticed the helpful sign right next to the jar: an explanation of what each child needs to do to earn a treat. With pictures to go along with the instructions, my kids gladly put on their shoes, put on the coats, and rewarded themselves with their treat. Kudos to We Rock the Spectrum for having every little detail figured out for both fun and education.
Thank you to Lyndsey, Sam, and Jaimee for being such wonderful hosts during our visit. To find out more about We Rock the Spectrum Columbus, visit their website or their Facebook page. The website will give you lots of great info, and the Facebook page will give you more info about special events at the Columbus location. You can also get great information by following them on Instagram!
Thank you to Lyndsey and We Rock the Spectrum Columbus for sponsoring our visit and this post.