Dubai activity centres: Check out the newest trend in kids’ play

You’ll want to take your kids to these new centres

Dubai activity centres: Check out the newest trend in kids’ play
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Free play, kids’ gyms, activity centres such as the new Air Maniax and Velocity, they’re all everybody’s talking about these days. Seeing the kiddies having fun is the ultimate goal. Plus, getting them to ditch the iPads fcan’t be bad either. But is this new trend of any real benefit to youngsters?

“Yes, any type of movement can be considered a sport, since before a child is able to play sports such as football or basketball, they first need to develop their gross motor skills,” says Dr Rita Kovesdi, consultant paediatrician at Healthbay Polyclinic.

“In their first one and a half years of life, a baby will learn basic movements such as crawling, rolling, sitting, standing and walking. Once they’ve mastered these skills, they’ll move on to more developed activities such as jumping, climbing, catching a ball and riding a bike. Only after mastering these skills will kids move on to playing sports such as gymnastics or tennis,” she adds.

Through such activities, kids will become more aware of their own bodies and movement, thus improving their sensory processing. In turn, this will make them more alert to their surroundings and develop their attention skills too.

Quite surprisingly, movement even aids in developing kids’ life skills such as decision-making and risk assessment, even boosting self-esteem and confidence. It may not be a direct correlation, but it does exist.

“Such activities are also great ways for kids to release energy and alleviate stress, and serve as great distractions for keeping them occupied. I would advise parents to take them to both areas with trampolines as well as ones with interactive games that stimulate the brain,” expains Dr Rita.

While areas with trampolines improve the gross motor functions of a child, interactive games that stimulate the brain are essential for enhancing a child’s intellectual learning abilities, and laying the foundation for learning skills that require advanced thinking.

“It’s necessary to involve a mix of both types of activities in order to help kids develop physically and intellectually. It’s also advisable to let them engage with other individuals in all types of playtime in order to improve their social interaction and team-building skills,” she adds.

Parents, make the most out of these multi-activity centres by regularly taking your kids there and ensuring that playtime is, not only fun, but also functional and useful for their development. Play centres are crucial, particularly during the early years, for physical and intellectual growth.

Keep the kids fit at...
Velocity Sports and Recreation Club
Dubai’s newest indoor multi-recreational facility has opened at Al Quoz, and there’s so much to do in there – you won’t know where to start.

Sports fans will love the cricket and football experiences, which are enhanced using the latest augmented reality technology so kids can get the outdoor pitch feel, indoors.

For motor skills development, there’s a magical trampoline park where little ones can jump to their heart’s content, plus a soft-play area that goes on and on and on...

Tots also have their very own AR experience for a journey of learning and fun. They can also head to the rainbow and tree nets – built to develop coordination skills.

Velocity also features a fitness studio for some cool mum-and-me workouts, and a trendy café for birthday parties.

You can either pay as you go, or buy any of the available packages. 
Dhs78 (per hour), Dhs158 (per day). Sat-Thu 10am-11am, Fri 11am-midnight. Al Quoz 1, Dubai (04 320 0836).

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