The Little Gym Gig Harbor: Developing. Growing. Learning.
The Little Gym Gig Harbor provides a safe, nurturing space for children to explore and discover By Jillian Chandler| Photo by J2G Creative
September 11 of this year marked the official opening of The Little Gym here in Gig Harbor. With deep family roots and ties to the community, owner Robert Wiles wanted to find a way to give back to his community and other families within it.
“My family is from here. The house I live in, my daughter Parker is fifth generation to grow up in this house, on this property, in Gig Harbor,” Robert shares. “It’s a special location, a special piece of property, with a lot of tradition and history; a great sense of family just sitting where I’m sitting right now looking out the window. It invokes all the great memories of being a kid.”
Robert was inspired to bring something new to children and families in the harbor after several conversations with his wife. “She was always looking for something to do with Parker, and there really wasn’t anything out there,” he recalls. “She had been to a Little Gym in Austin, Texas, and said a Little Gym in Gig Harbor would be amazing!” He started the process of researching The Little Gym franchise two years ago, quietly doing research, going through the process of getting vetted to be a franchisee of The Little Gym. “And here we are. I manifested the power of positive thinking, and we opened up a beautiful gym.”
Robert dedicated his time searching for the perfect location. As a real estate Broker, he understands building codes, parking, traffic impact fees … and location. “Location is the number one factor whether residential or commercial real estate,” he states. “Location, location, location.” Situated on Borgen Boulevard in the Target parking lot with great access to everything, lots of neighborhoods, the YMCA and an elementary school, The Little Gym is ready to welcome those 4 months of age to 12 years old.
“We’re really building something for the community, which is vital for child development and imperative for young parents, families, nannies,” he affirms. “We have a diverse crowd, and it’s such a community driven, growth-oriented, beautifully structured curriculum.”
At The Little Gym, they are not only building growth in the children they serve, they are building growth within the community by introducing families to each other through the avenue of their children.
“It’s a very non-competitive, nurturing, positive, loving, growth-oriented, milestone-creating environment with delightful advancements in all aspects of a child’s growth, whether it’s mental, physical, cognitive; that’s what three-dimensional learning taps into. And it’s pretty cool to witness,” Robert reaffirms. “We want people to leave knowing they had fun, they were safe, and they learned something.”
The Little Gym offers different membership tiers, such as locking in as a founding member. Each membership is month-to-month. Choose from one class weekly … or two! From parent/child classes, gymnastics, movement-based curriculum and dance to enrichment clubs, there is something for every child to enjoy while learning and building confidence.
“Even children who are a little shy, maybe have a little separation anxiety, we see that changing within the first two to three classes,” he smiles. “All of a sudden there’s pure joy, interacting with the other kids. You don’t have to integrate into the curriculum at the outset. That’s the beauty of this curriculum. Here we promote a culture and an environment where no is not said. We let them explore. We let them integrate at their speed. It’s a safe place. Letting them develop, letting them grow, letting them learn.” In addition to the monthly memberships, The Little Gym is available for birthday parties, special events, and “Survival Night—which invites parents to drop off their kids on a Friday night for three hours.
“We’re building a full environment and a point of destination where people can know they are going to be treated well and have a good time. To have that consistency with that spectrum of that specific age range we cater to, there’s nothing like this in the Gig Harbor,” notes Roberts.
Because The Little Gym opened on 9/11, and due to Robert’s close affiliation with the fire department (his wife is a firefighter) and first responders, 10 percent of all memberships signed from opening day until the end of the year will be donated to Tunnels to Towers, an organization that builds modified homes for disabled vets. “I’m building a legacy for my daughter,” he adds. “As a parent, I’m trying to create something long lasting. Money and material things aren’t sustainable, and they’re not what is remembered or thought about.
But impacting someone’s life is, that’s the culture we’re creating.” The Little Gym 5151 Borgen Boulevard, Suite A-202 Gig Harbor, Washington 253.987.1889 TheLittleGym.com/GigHarborWA