Winter is in full swing! We seem to get less active during the winter months, but that doesn’t have to be the case for our NYC kiddos. Instead of sticking to sedentary activities such as the iPad, TV, and computer, get your children crawling, running, and jumping! We as speech pathologists have done workshops and speech therapy sessions in some of the city’s most fun indoor play spaces! This month we will be talking to you about our absolute favorites.
Play can be structured, semi-structured, or even free play! It serves as a perfect opportunity for socialization. It allows your child to naturally work on skills such as: turn-taking during a game, initiating play with a new friend, maintaining a conversation, using polite language, etc. Receptively, your child will be targeting following directions and answering questions without it even feeling like “work”. Expressively, the natural language models for your child will encourage him or her to say new words as well as join words together to make longer sentences. Overall, it not only leads to improved speech and language skills, but also long-lasting friendships!
A big upside of this play space program is that they have locations all over the city! All of their equipment is state-of-the-art and they offer supervised, unstructured play regularly. Children are free to manipulate their environment and build their muscles by climbing, sliding, and jumping. We especially love parachute time! Activities range from gymnastics to martial arts. It is the ultimate way of staying active during these winter months! View NYC locations.
It’s the perfect city escape for your little one. A nature-themed indoor playground features a cavern illuminated by stars, two-story treehouse, complete with a slide, and a large water table where kids can build dams, race toys, plays with pumps and aim water jets at floating toys.From water play to climbing and sliding down the tree house, this place is heaven for kids! The best way to learn is via exploration and this place promotes an interest in science at a very early age. Their baby playgroup is on weekdays from 1-3 PM and is $10 per child. You can also join a playdate for 10 children…what better way to target social skills! They also offer children’s music, movement arts and cooking classes, parties and playdates as well as annual memberships or drop-in play sessions. This space is open to children up to 8 years of age. First-time visitors cost $10 for the first hour, then $20 per hour. A great way to save money is purchase multi-visit passes.
129A W 20th St, New York, NY
Home to New York City’s only indoor petting zoo, The Art Farm provides a great environment for your child to meet and interact with animals. Your child can pet and feed different types of animals such as bearded dragons, rabbits, chinchillas, chickens and turtles! The Art Farm also offers music, art and cooking classes, birthday parties, and camps that your entire family will enjoy! Mondays to Thursdays from 12:30 – 3:30 pm children can come by to enjoy Open Play in their awesome playroom that encourages creativity.
$20 per child/ visit
Play Date pass $150 per 10 visits – can be used by multiple children
419 E 91st St, New York, NY
They offer various creative classes for a range of ages at many locations throughout NYC. During gym classes, children are encouraged to practice their gross motor skills during obstacle courses. Our favorite is stacking the super-sized blocks! Not only do the classes make them stronger, but it increases their confidence. Specific sports include gymnastics, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Caregivers must be present for newborns to 2-year-olds, for 3-year-olds it is optional, and for 4-6 years old, there are drop-off programs. View locations in NYC.
The range of classes is huge. It begins with “Teeny Tumblers” that targets basic exploration involving tumbling, clapping and movement. It then goes onto “Mighty Muscle Movers”, which involves higher level gross motor skills that builds more spatial awareness. Free play and circle time is also incorporated. The programs are endless… They offer programs for children ages 9 months to 12 years old – including gymnastics, art and music.
244 East 84th St. New York, NY
Their playspace programs have it all from structured sports to classes geared toward cardiovascular health. The teeniest of babies can even join in the fun from 6 weeks to 6 months. It is never too early to start exploring your environment and it also strengthens the bond between the caregiver and the child. Find a location near you today!
This play space offers tons of enrichment programs to choose from. Their gymnastics program is a perfect way to get your little ones to start jumping, stretching, balancing, tumbling, and flipping. The Tae Kwon Do classes are also top notch. These are some of the best ways to increase confidence!
1520 York Ave, New York, NY
First off, we LOVE the architecture in this place. It is inspired by Scandinavian design. The play space includes a climbing corner, tunnel, Lego area, and train table among many other activities. Overall, they try to give children a sensory experience and what better way to learn a language than through our 5 senses! Their Playing & Learning Center is open to the public on Saturday from 12-5 PM and the cost is $15 per child.
58 Park Ave, New York, NY
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. She is a speech-language pathologist for the New York Department of Education and was an adjunct instructor at New York University. She co-authored two chapters (Community-Based Speech-Language Pathology and Joint Action Routines) in “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism”, and is PROMPT trained. She is also the co-founder of Gift of Gab Resources and has been in private practice since 2008.
Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an undergraduate of St. John’s University where she received her Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie is PROMPT trained and has had over 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and has been in private practice for over 7 years. She is also the co-founder of Gift of Gab Resources.