On Extreme Kids: Finding A Space to Be
We hear the glee and upset in dozens of voices, the trampoline squeaking and the ball pit rustling. We see primary colors, swinging swings, and bouncing children. A random soft ball glances off us as we play. Somehow we aren’t overwhelmed, overstimulated, or overtired. We spin on a tire hanging from the ceiling. We land on giant beanbags. Crawl through tunnels. Spin in, pop out of, or hide inside multi-colored foam barrels.
Climbing up the ladder, there’s a loft for hiding, reading, or playing your ukulele. There’s a slide with padded rollers, providing fun sensory massage. Hidden in the corner, a cozy reading nook.
For us it’s an indoor paradise. But the physical space is not what I love most. It’s the emotional space we are given to be ourselves. It is also what is absent: dirty looks, unwanted advice, and misunderstanding.
Extreme Kids’ mission is clear from the first welcome at the front door. Take off your shoes. Relax. We’ve been through this before. This is a judgement-free zone. You belong here. It’s okay to be yourself. Especially if simply being yourself usually draws stares or rude comments in typical play spaces.