Blog
Contact
Gallery
About
Home

Jumping for Joy at We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake, VA

A toddler, wearing a teal dress with cats on it, jumps on a trampoline at We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake, VA.

We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA: An Indoor Play Gym

As parents, we are always looking for ways to entertain our kids. That’s especially true when the weather makes outdoor activities less than ideal. Enter the indoor playground. There are a few options for indoor play in the Hampton Roads area, but We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA stands a cut above the rest as an exceptional indoor gym for children of all ages. With a commitment to providing sensory-friendly, inclusive play We Rock the Spectrum is a haven for parents and kiddos of all ability levels. Recently, I had the chance to explore the gym with my own children. In this blog post, I will talk about this amazing gym. I will include my own experiences. But I will also cover insights gained through a Q&A with We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake owner, Whitney.

The Design of We Rock the Spectrum

When I visited the gym with my children, I was impressed with the variety of activities available. When you first arrive, you will clearly see the major pieces of equipment meant for play; the trampoline, the zipline, and a variety of swings. But as we explored together, my girls engaged in pretend play with a doctors office set up, a play kitchen, and even a dress-up box. They also found the instruments, dolls, and fidget toys. The huge variety of activities absolutely ensured that they remained engaged through our entire visit. 

 

Given the wide variety of activities, I was curious about the design of the play gym. I asked We Rock the Spectrum’s owner if there is anything particular about the design that caters to children with sensory sensitivities. Here is her answer:

 

“We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake is centered around 12 main pieces of sensory equipment that emphasize stimulating any of the seven senses through positive physical, emotional, and social development. Some of those pieces include our custom crash pit, zip line, & zip box with slide attraction, climbing structures, our popular bolster swing, and custom rope bridge & climbing mountain. Each piece of additional equipment was hand-picked with our goal of encouraging children to “Play with A Purpose” in mind. “

 

An info graphic about the different pieces of play equipment at We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake, VA

 

Inclusivity for Children of All Abilities

A huge selling point for myself when I found We Rock the Spectrum was how inclusive it is. My girls have a nearly six year age difference. It’s difficult to find places to play where they can both enjoy themselves, and be safe. We Rock the Spectrum met both of those needs for me! During our visit, my children had an absolute blast. But I also truly saw children of all ages and abilities playing together and enjoying themselves.

 

I asked Whitney how they ensure that ALL children enjoy themselves at We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA. Here is what she had to say:

“ We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake ensures inclusivity for all children in a few different ways:

  • We provide access to equipment that caters to various sensory needs, like tactile, auditory, and visual stimuli.
  • The accessible layout at We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake is something we take pride in. Whether youth have wheelchairs, walkers, or even adaptive shoes, they are all able to navigate this space.
  • We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake has a quiet room specifically for our rocking guests who may need a break from sensory stimulation. 
  • We Rock the Spectrum ensures that all Coaches and volunteers receive proper training to understand and support children with diverse abilities and we foster a welcoming & understanding environment. 
  • We Rock the Spectrum offers activities that cater to a range of abilities and promote participation for all children.
  • We Rock the Spectrum provides sample communication tools suitable for children who have limited verbal language to communicate such as visual schedules and a picture exchange communication system (PECS). 
  • Finally, We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake has established policies that prioritize sensory needs and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and included.”

 

Training for Staff and Volunteers

In addition to having specially designed equipment, the staff and volunteers are also specially trained to accommodate all children. Whitney King, the co-owner is an experienced Positive Behavior Support Facilitator (PBS-F). She is very hands-on and incredibly friendly, welcoming each child and parent with a friendly demeanor and smile. In our Q & A, Whitney also mentioned that, “All staff members and volunteers receive specialized training that includes the 40 Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) course, an introduction to developmental disabilities, an introduction to Autism,  and CPR/First Aid to name a few. [She] also takes opportunities to model various ways to provide support to children when an opportunity to do so arises.” All in all, you can rest assured that We Rock the Spectrum is a safe and welcoming place for your child!

An Excellent Addition to the Community

For parents looking for an indoor play option for their children, We Rock the Spectrum is the top of my list of recommendations. The owner herself says, “Many people in our community don’t have a space where their children can simply play without feeling the need to apologize for them simply being kids. We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake is certainly ‘The place where you never have to say I’m sorry.’ The community feels this as soon as they enter our doors.” 

The plethora of positive reviews is marker enough for what a great space this is. However, I asked Whitney to share with me some of her favorite moments since she opened her play gym. Here is what she had to say:

“I have so many memories in just one year. There are two that come to my mind immediately because I talk about them often.  I remember a young man around 4 years old visiting with his ABA specialist and his mother. They were working on the prompt “ready, set, go”. He said “go” after a few prompts and we were all in tears. It was his first time using verbal language and I was privileged to witness this. 

I can recall a mother hosting a party for her 12-year-old son. They rented the entire facility and he did not want to go onto the gym floor. I encouraged them to bring the food to him in our lobby. He ate and gradually went into the gym and had a blast. As they were leaving he hugged his mom. I noticed her tears and she said he had never done that before as he doesn’t prefer hugs. That memory will surely last in my heart for years to come.”

Your Invitation to We Rock the Spectrum

Hopefully, this blog post has opened your eyes to what an absolute gem, We Rock the Spectrum is for children of all ages and ability levels. If you are looking for a safe and welcoming place to play you should absolutely check them out.

I asked Whitney for her thoughts about the importance of sensory friendly play. Here is what she had to share with me:

“We are proud to be a part of the larger picture and create a solution for families that often struggle to find inclusive indoor playgrounds in our community. Promoting sensory-friendly playtime at We Rock the Spectrum to Chesapeake is vital for several different reasons:

  • Sensory-friendly play ensures that children of all abilities can participate, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing social isolation for both the child and caregivers.
  • Sensory play supports various aspects of child development, including motor skills, cognitive skills, and emotional well-being.
  • Sensory-friendly environments help reduce stress for children who may be sensitive to certain stimuli, promoting a more enjoyable and comfortable play experience.
  • Sensory-friendly play encourages social interaction among children with diverse needs, which promotes understanding, empathy, and positive social skills.
  • Parents of children with sensory sensitivities are more likely to engage in play activities when they feel the environment is accommodating. This fosters a bonding within the parent-child relationship. 
  • Sensory-friendly play provides unique learning opportunities, allowing children to explore and understand the world around them in a supportive setting. 

In essence, engaging in sensory-friendly play at We Rock the Spectrum creates an environment where every child can thrive, learn, have fun, and BELONG.”

 

We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA

As a family photographer, I have had the honor and privilege of working with many different families. Like my own daughter, many of the children I have worked with have diverse needs. Their parents, like me, are always looking for places where they can play that are safe and inclusive. Luckily, we have only to open the doors to We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA and we have found our place!

 

I invite you to check them out for yourselves! I have no doubt you will fall in love, as I have. In fact, I have a special offer to readers of this blog! I would love to hear that this blog post led you to try out We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake. Mention this blog post when you book a family session with Justine Renee Photography and I will add a $50 print credit to the package of your choice. Happy playing!

A collage of images showing activities, times, and kids playing at We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA.

Collage Images Provided by Owner of We Rock the Spectrum in Chesapeake, VA

 

Looking for more great kid-friendly activities in Chesapeake? Check out these blog posts:

Featured Categories

advice

Family

Maternity

Senior