The smallest Lockportians will soon have a new place to play and develop: the Wee! Fit Gym for Kids.
The “gym,” located in the second floor of Christ Community Church on Genesee St., features a range of toys and activities for children ages four and younger. Amenities include ball pits, inflatable jungle gyms, building blocks, puzzles and more, all child-safe. Four separate rooms can accommodate toddlers of each stage of development: infants, crawlers, cruisers (young-ones who haven’t quite mastered walking) and walkers/runners.
Each room has its own theme, which founder Loretta DiCarlo hopes will help children learn and prepare for school.
“Kids are coming into kindergarten and they don’t know ... a giraffe or zebra,” said DiCarlo, who is also a teacher at Emmet Belknap Intermediate School. “It blows my mind because they’re exposed to so much more now.”
DiCarlo was inspired to start Wee! Fit when she realized the lack of recreational opportunities for children who either are too young for or not enrolled in pre-school. Then, when the Orleans/Niagara Boards of Cooperative Educational Services vacated the upper floor of Christ Community Church, she had space for her idea.
“‘The pastor said, what would you like to do — have a daycare?” I said, ‘To be honest, I’d like to have a playroom,’” DiCarlo said.
DiCarlo and co-director Jackie McClain are planning to open Wee! Fit from 9:15-11:15 a.m., 1:15-3:15 p.m. and 6:15-7:15 p.m. Parents will be asked to supervise their children at the gym and required to pay use or membership fees. For families, a day pass costs $5, weekly membership is $20 and monthly membership is $65, individual children can play for a $2 day pass.
“The only reason I’m charging anything is so I can buy new equipment,” DiCarlo said.
Families can also try the Wee! Fit for free at its grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday.