Jyl and Keith Camhi, the founders of Great Play, have combined their passions for fitness and athletics, their strong desire to see children get off to a great start in life, and more than 25 years of prior business experience in the fitness and technology fields to create Great Play. As avid runners, exercisers and athletes, the couple began developing the concept for Great Play after exploring the existing crop of offerings for their own kids. They found the curriculums to be dated and often one-dimensional, based largely on just one discipline, such as gymnastics, rather than on a more well-rounded range of skills.
Their vision was to incorporate the latest science – on the progression of motor skill and athetlic development in children – into a high-energy, fun-filled program, housed in an ever-changing Interactive Gym that would make every visit feel like play to the kids. In the process, children would develop a broad range of skills that are critical to reaching their full physical potential.
Whether kids pursue competitive athletics, or simply play and move for fun, the skills and confidence developed by 5th grade generally determine how active a child will be for life. Great Play was developed to make it fun for kids to get off to a good, well-rounded start.
After years in development, the first patented Great Play Interactive Gym™ opened in Stamford in 2006 to rave reviews. In 2008 the second site opened in Scarsdale and grew even faster, and Great Play (and its loyal customer base) has been growing rapidly ever since!
Our mission is for every child to develop a love of physical activity that will lead to an active, healthy and confident life, whether they choose to pursue competitive athletics or simply play and move for fun.
While not every child will have the desire (or genetic capability) to be a professional athlete, every child does have the capacity to be physically successful, if armed with the essential toolkit of skills for success. With all the benefits that come from an active lifestyle, all children should be aided and encouraged to reach their full potential.
Great Benefits for Kids
As far as the kids are concerned, every visit to Great Play is nothing but fun and play and that's just how it should be! But underneath the games is a scientifically based curriculum designed to help children develop the full range of essential motor skills and sport skills to set them on the path to being physically active and physically successful for life.
The benefits of this to our Players are immense:
Start on the Path to a Healthy, Active Life
Initial success leads to confidence and the desire to play more, which leads to greater mastery of skills, more confidence, and more interest in participating. This virtuous cycle ultimately results in children thinking of themselves as being athletic and sets them on the path to a lifetime of physical participation.
Achieve Their Full Physical Potential
By tapping into key, age-specific developmental windows, we help children develop the right motor skills and sport skills at the right time - when their brains and bodies are prepared to absorb and master each essential skill.
Develop Good Physical Fitness
Fitness is a key byproducts of physical participation. Our Players increase their physical fintess both directly at Great Play and also through their increased active time that results from their skill development. This includes strength, endurance, flexibility and good body composition.
Get Plenty of "Touch Time"
We design our activities to minimize kids' time waiting in line, while maximizing the hands-on experience that keeps it fun and helps develop skills.
Develop Life Skills
While we get there through play, developing these skills is about much more than playing. Children who grow up thinking of themselves as athletic tend to have better life-balance, make better decisions about diet, drugs and drinking, have better focus and study skills, have improved social skills, and demonstrate greater confidence.
Research shows that children who are physically active are also more prepared to concentrate and learn, and therefore perform better in school.
Build Self-Esteem and Confidence
In their physical abilities and all facets of their lives.
Get in the Game!
Confident in their skills, our Players choose to participate, both at Great Play and beyond.
And, of Course, Have Fun!
Great Play is designed to be a great experience each and every visit.