I am a big fan of Gympanzees because it is the one place I can take my boys that has been designed for them. Plus they love it and all the sensory activity means they sleep well which is always a bonus! This week I have been to the Gympanzees roadshow twice. We are also booked in for more sessions over the Summer.
Gympanzees is planning to open the first play and exercise centre specifically designed for children and young people with disabilities. Whilst work is ongoing to get funding and the facility up and running they hold events like this roadshow. I wrote about the last Easter Pop Up in 2019.
The roadshow is a slightly smaller version of the pop up with three interactive rooms. They are going to 5 different venues (all schools) in Bristol, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare and Newport. It has been a while as the last events were cancelled due to covid lockdowns but as soon as I told the boys we were going to Gympanzees their eyes lit up!
One thing they do perfectly is provide you with everything you need to know in advance. Over on their Facebook page you will find pictures and a video of a walk round the venue so you can easily prepare the kids in advance.
Sessions have already been split into categories so you can make sure you book the one that suits you. We always go for the Jungle sessions which are a good fit for both my boys.
The Gympanzees Roadshow is full of fantastic equipment designed to support sensory and physical needs. Some of our favourites include the swings, a hammock, a soft play ship and vibrating massage mats. There is plenty of equipment to keep the kids busy and friendly staff on hand to help you out. My eldest particularly enjoyed the dark tents in the sensory room.
The new sensory table was lovely and really calming as it changed colour. Whist we had a few calm moments my boys are pretty active so were flying round the rooms very excited at all the activities to choose from. One that is a big hit is the motion activated projected games. Below my youngest is enjoying splatting the berries with his feet.
If you are in the area this Summer I highly recommend a session at the Gympanzees roadshow. It gives a fantastic opportunity to have fun and find out what sensory / play equipment your kids get on with.
The boys absolutely love it. On the day of our second visit I said we are going to Gympanzees and both boys ran to the door putting on their shoes (this never happens normally). Skipping and giggling through the entrance with excitement it is wonderful to see how much the boys enjoyed themselves. We have had a really good week and I know that our visits to Gympanzees have been party of that. With their sensory needs met they are more able to cope with things they often find challenging (such as sleeping / eating).
Thanks to pandemic lockdowns the Gympanzees lending library was born. The library now has a huge array of equipment on offer. We have used the lending library a few times with things like the egg chair, hammock and soft play bundle (below). I know we will be regular users. It is such a great way to use equipment you either can’t afford or wouldn’t have space for permanently at home.
I know how important sensory and physical activity is for both my boys. We are very lucky to have Gympanzees in our area. I can’t wait for the centre to open, in the meantime if you are in the area do visit their events. You can also access a number of great therapy webinars over on the website. You can also make a donation there too.
A student was asking questions during one of my visits and we discussed how much difference it makes having somewhere that is designed to meet my kids needs. They don’t have to fit in / adapt they can just be themselves and that means I can relax. He made the point ‘I don’t know why this doesn’t already exist everywhere’ and its a very good point. I certainly look forward to the day accessible play / exercise centres are available to all children and young people with disabilities.
Have you been to Gympanzees – what do you think of an inclusive leisure centre?