REVIEW : THE KIDS GYM CEDAR SQUARE
We first discovered The Kids Gym concept in 2018 and could not wait to get our son signed up but unfortunately it was only available in Cape Town at the time. On the bright side, there were plans to open a branch in Johannesburg in the near future. You can imagine our delight when late last year we heard that they were finally opening here in February 2019. When the time arrived we were really excited and curious to see what they would be offering our son for only R299 per month! #AD
You see our son is already a member of one of the major gym brands, and to be honest, although there are promises of all kinds of activities for kids, there’s very little to nothing actually taking place. We are basically paying for our son to go and sit in front of the PC and play games.
This past weekend all three of us got to spend some time at the newly opened, The Kids Gym at Cedar Square, twice! Darren, our son and I were pleasantly surprised by what they were offering parents … and the kids of course! After the first day our son was already asking us if we could return the next day. The following day when the class he was attending was coming to an end, he was almost in tears because he was having so much fun, all this whilst actually working out and being very active for 60 minutes.
The Kids Gym, is a non-competitive space that nurtures a love for physical activity, regardless of a child’s ability. They provide children aged 18 months to 15 years the opportunity to exercise and develop skills, when it suits them, in a fun, activity-oriented venue supported by state-of-the-art technology, equipment and security features. They have all the adult cardio equipment in just the right size for our little people. We loved it!
It is the country’s first dedicated children’s gym, and seeks to encourage every child, to be active and embrace exercise and fitness as a lifestyle option. Unlike the typical adult offering, The Kids Gym does not promote weight training but rather focuses on children learning to best utilize and control their own body weight.
“It’s all about having fun, and getting fit while doing it!” – Glenn Joselowitz – co-owner
One of the reasons we’re thrilled about this “Kids Only” gym is because of a ‘body shaming’ incident our son had last year that I had posted here . This year it happened again, by another child. He was mortified. We were told the other day by his teacher how she found him sitting all alone at his desk crying his heart out, why, because his classmate called him the King of Fat! You can imagine how livid we were, however, that said, we can’t be intervening at every challenge he faces. He needs to learn to address these challenges on his own but at this early stage we elected to address it with the school principal as we also don’t want him internalizing all these negative emotions and slipping into depression or as he matures, starts having suicidal thoughts simply because he felt he had no one to speak to about it.
The Kids Gym is all about making every child feel welcome, offering a non-judgemental environment where children can establish and develop their own personal strengths and abilities. Glenn Joselowitz, co-owner of the gym says, “Exercise and physical activity has the power to transform lives. As a national gymnastics coach and father of a daughter with a physical disability, I‘ve seen the transformation both emotionally and physically. It’s with this in mind that we have built The Kids Gym, which promotes a healthy and functional active life for all children through fun-filled, life-enhancing physical activities“.
“Not only do the trainers ensure that activities are done correctly for maximum health benefit and to avoid injury, but they also act as positive role models, ensuring that the children remain excited, motivated and most importantly, safe.” – Janet Mitchell, co-owner
WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR BUCK
The World Health Organization suggests that children should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Most of the 60 minutes should be either moderate- or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity. Although some children meet these criteria, they typically spend this time on their feet only and neglect developing upper body and core strength.
The purpose of sports conditioning is to complement current sports training. Sports conditioning is more demanding than general fitness training and is ideal for children who strive for greater performance in any sporting activity. Programmes are designed to enhance a child’s strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, speed, and power, which can be carried over into all sports.
Children that have weight challenges are encouraged and motivated through a personal trainer, where individualised programmes are designed to encourage gradual weight adjustment over time. It is recommended that parents consult with qualified dieticians in conjunction with their child’s training programme.
The Kids Gym provides a range of special programmes to assist children with low muscle tone, motor function delay, and hyperactivity. We also encourage all special needs children where each child is assessed to see whether group or one-on-one training is required. We work in conjunction with the child’s OT and physiotherapist to ensure programs are designed to enhance and support existing interventions.
Learn handstands, cartwheels, flic flacs and somersaults! This programme improves agility and spatial awareness. (Available to The Kids Gym members only)
NinjaZone is a first in South Africa, it is a thrilling fusion of obstacle training, gymnastics, martial arts and freestyle movement that builds the strength, agility, stealth and mental prowess of trained ninjas (really, it does!). (Available to The Kids Gym members only)
The Kids Gym has flexible membership packages that offer great value for its members. Members can make advance bookings online and you also get the choice to take part in the NinjaZone and Tumbling programme which is exclusively available to members. Although The Kids Gym is for children aged 18 months to 15 years, members below the age of 3 must be accompanied by an adult.
Our favourite, mostly because we think it’s a real bargain and provides great value-for-money, is the 12-month membership at R299 pm that includes 25 sessions per month including a R100 (once off) amount for registration. This gets your child the following:
- Access to all gym facilities, including the NinjaZone
- Membership access wristband and socks included
- Access to online booking
If you’re not keen on being tied in for 12 months, they also offer a “Walk-In” rate of R150 per session that includes socks over the weekend and R125, also including socks from Monday – Thursday. This gets your child access to the gym facilities but excludes Tumbling and the NinjaZone. Just think about it for a second, the walk-in fee for two days works out to just over R300, which is the monthly rate you would pay for a 12-month membership anyway. Trust me, from what I saw this weekend, your kids are going to be dragging you back for more!
WHAT TWO DADS AND A KID LOVED
LOCATION! That the gym is located in a shopping centre which is a great selling point for the parents. Unlike other gyms, The Kids Gym allows you to drop your child off in a secure venue where you know they will be having a great time, which really allows peace of mind to wander off and run your errands. This weekend was the first time D and I had time away from our son and we felt totally lost. Somehow, playdates just don’t compare. If you’re away and want to check in on your kid, The Kids Gym also has an APP that you will be able to download and check in on your kid remotely to see what they are up to. Alternatively, there’s a bleacher stand for the parents to chill and watch their kids from a safe distance. I love that only the kids are permitted within the secure fitness area, kids aren’t allowed out of the play area without one of the trainers who we also noticed were super attentive and patient, it’s amazing! Another very comforting feature is that security cameras are visible everywhere for the parent’s peace of mind
After an hour the kids will be famished from burning off all those calories. Head over to the Ninja Bean Café for a healthy and delicious snack, they use free range meat products and Low GI bread, Popcorn and Sugar-Free Slush (kids won’t know the difference). They have a few tables scattered about, so with the free WiFi, it’s perfect for parents to catch up on a few emails while sipping on a cuppa or two. Alternatively, it makes for a great place for dads to catchup on the weekend sports while the moms are spoiling themselves.
While we were at the gym this Saturday, there was a birthday party taking place. I’ve not seen that many kids since we hosted our son’s 4th birthday party. I was pleasantly surprised by how well organised the whole experience was. From the table settings to moving the kids from one area of the gym to their next activity while the parents sat about catching up on small talk. No time for cliques with the kids, everyone took part in the pre-planned activities. So if you’re still looking to secure a venue for your child’s next birthday party, there are two theme options, a Ninja style or Fun’lympics birthday party package. A 2-hour, fun-filled party for boys and girls. Party packages include Non-Slip socks, Sugar-free Slush, Popcorn for the tables, a Party Box Filled, Balloon on a stick per child at…
- Monday-Friday – R200 pp
- Saturday / Sunday – R260 pp
- Minimum of 10 kids and a maximum of 30 kids
In Cape Town, The Kids Gym even offer a “Parents Night Out”, perfect for parents to catch up on some “Just The Two Of Us” time. An evening of filled with fun activities for the kids. I can’t wait for it to hit Jozi in the future!
The Kids Gym is open 7 days a week at Cedar Square Shopping Centre(JHB) across from the Woolies on the Ground Level and as you know parking there is free and abundant or Sable Square Shopping Centre (CPT). For more information contact The Kids Gym on 010 601 6444 (JHB) or via email email@example.com
SEE YOU THERE!
- Mon – Thu :9am to 6pm
- Fri: 9am to 7pm
- Sat: 9am- 5pm
- Sun: 9am to 3pm