With an MBA in Technology Management Elaina Herber worked in IT as a software engineer for 13 years. She focused on information technology and customer service and helped provide solutions to well-known businesses such as AT&T, Qwest Communications, SAP, and Microsoft. Then as a married mother of two she found that children in the Greater Seattle area needed more safe spaces for indoor play that allowed them to move using their large muscles. She also found that playgroups needed more places to meet that would allow groups of children to play safely while parents observed nearby. So she applied her research and customer service skills to reviewing playcenters around the world. She evaluated equipment, layout, staffing, policies and pricing and identified best practices. She chose to develop playspaces for children up to 48″ tall. She selected the Yukids PlaySystem by BLD Oriental Ltd. because it provides a completely soft play environment that moves (spins, bounces or swings) so that children can experience the best in interactive play. She decided to name the business WiggleWorks kids which embodies the idea that Fun is Always in Motion. She identified special events and activities and drafted calendars for parents. And she chose to incorporate party options from the start. As she and her financial analyst husband built the business model and its first location in Bellevue, their two children served as testers of each piece of equipment and of the total experience. Once this location was successful they built another location in South Hill Mall.
When families visit the playcenters they find that their children get invigorating exercise while building physical, social, and emotional skills all while burning off extra energy. Children who are more extroverted love the bouncy upper story space that has colorful balloons breezing by them. The extroverted child doesn’t mind having other children in his/her space bubble and bumping around netted walls and floors. Whereas the more introverted child prefers the carousels (one near ground level and one suspended from above) as their space bubble is preserved by the spacing between the seats. Both extroverted and introverted children love the Lucite slide that provides view of a waterfall under the slide area and the block station where they can build walls and rooms with giant sized Lego-like blocks. The layout of each location accommodates creepers, crawlers, toddlers and preschoolers. Parents can move through the ground level activities with their children and can sit at a counter watching their children.
Staff are ever present to check children in and out and observe children and frequently clean spaces. Socks are available for sale for children who arrive without them.
In just 2.5 years WiggleWorks kids has become known as the best play space for playgroups and place for birthday parties for children 1 to 6 years old. It also is a favorite destination for children who need to burn off some steam when weather prevents outdoor play. Many families post WiggleWorks kids’ colorful monthly calendars on their refrigerators so as not to miss special events such as the monthly takeovers (days in which parents can drop off children for a themed 5:30-9pm Friday extended playtime).
If you have young children or grandchildren who would like to try a new indoor play experience, please check out WiggleWorks kids’ locations in Bellevue’s Crossroads Mall or Puyallup’s South Hill Mall. Learn more at http://www.wiggleworkskids.com.