Right off of Temple, TX’s main thoroughfare—31st Street—is a place where children can not only have a day of fun and active play, but they can also develop important motor skills that they might not develop anywhere else. Little Land Play Gym combines a kid-centered gym with developmental play, and Temple residents can’t seem to get enough.
Owners Casie Turner and Art Wadford opened the gym two-and-a-half years ago and continue to add programs and events that capitalize on their unique play place.
“Everything in our gym has a developmental purpose,” Turner said. “Our equipment and our toys are hand-picked by occupational, physical and speech therapists so children can develop while they’re playing.”
Turner said that kids are just enjoying time with family and friends and don’t even realize that they’re developing fine motor skills, socializing and working on balance and equilibrium.
One of Little Land Play Gym’s biggest attractions is their swings.
“Our swings are the types of swings that you might find in a therapy clinic,” Turner said. “They do more than your typical swing. They pivot, they spin, they teeter, they totter, they swing, and they swivel. There’s a whole lot of range of motion.”
These unique swings can even hold up to 400 pounds, so parents who have young children or children with disabilities can swing with their child and allow them to enjoy the experience.
While the play gym has been a success from the start, Turner said she and her staff are constantly looking for ways to update and improve their Temple location and their newly-opened Waco location. Not only have they added programming like Parent’s Day Out and Parent’s Night Out events, but they have also begun hosting a weekly story time at both locations, as well as spring, summer and winter camps.
“We also try to make the gym accessible to larger functions as well,” Turner said. “If there’s a big group out there looking for a place for a larger number of kiddos and adults to come and enjoy themselves, our gym might just be the perfect fit.”
Little Land Play Gym also offers birthday parties and field trips, as well as speech, occupational and physical therapy sessions at their Waco location. For more information about this gym, call (254) 231-3752 or visit their Temple location at 4311 S. 31st Street.
Photos by Rachel Thomas Photography
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Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.