The iKIDS interactive zones in Cork and Glanmire in Ireland, are designed to make a positive impact on children's health and well-being by making fitness activities exciting and inspiring.
The iKIDS interactive zones, located in Cork in Ireland, offer a variety of innovative, inclusive exercise programs suitable for children of all ages and fitness levels. The iKIDS concept is designed to motivate children to be more physically active and to learn to look forward to exercise as an activity they can genuinely enjoy.
iKIDS combines physical activity with music, games, and socialising, blending these into a program that helps advance kids' psychomotor development and physical and mental health. Instructor-led fitness games available at the facility include mini trampolines, an interactive climbing wall, dance games, and the CardioWall.
iKIDS was created by Aidan McCarthy, a certified Health and Fitness Instructor (CEHF) and Physical Therapist (IIPT), who discovered the concept of active gaming while researching ideas for opening his own gym. After seeing exergaming equipment in action in the UK, Northern Ireland, and Holland, and witnessing first-hand the positive impact it had on children, McCarthy selected the active gaming solutions most suitable for a progressive exercise program for children, ones that would also make physical activity entertaining and engaging to kids. The exergaming equipment used in the iKIDS zone helps children improve their health and fitness level without even realising that they are exercising because they are too immersed in the interactive games to notice.
The iKIDS program uses dance mats, a climbing wall and the CardioWall to deliver a wide range of benefits to children. The dance games let kids get an aerobic exercise while they are moving to the sound of music. The CardioWall is used for circuit training and helps children improve their agility and speed. The interactive climbing wall is used for building strength and improving hand-eye coordination.
iKIDS was the first to introduce the CardioWall to Ireland. The interactive wall is a versatile piece of equipment, and can improve children's stamina, strength, hand-eye coordination, focus, and mental alertness. The traverse climbing wall helps build core strength, and improves agility, balance, and concentration while children are engaged in pressing the grips as they light up. All the activities improve children's social skills, help them meet new friends, and make them feel better about their bodies and physical abilities.
The exercise programs are ideal for schools as they are safe and promote inclusive play. The entire class can take part in the activities regardless of fitness level, and be too immersed in the games to notice how much physical effort they are putting into them. iKIDS organises team activity programs supervised by qualified fitness instructors and brings the exergame experience to the school environment for the entire day, giving students and teachers an opportunity to get active and enjoy fun activities together.
The concept is also an excellent solution for after-school activities, camps, clubs, and special events. The iKIDS Summer Camp, open to children aged 8 or older, combines interactive fitness with educational workshops on healthy eating and arts & crafts. The iKIDS program is also excellent for parties, with hosts guiding children through the various physical games and activities and making sure all the kids are engaged and enjoying themselves.
The most important factor in these games is that they make exercise fun, as this is the best way to inspire children to stay active. Active games help kids develop a positive attitude toward exercise at a critical age, which is part of the reason why iKIDS and similar programs are particularly effective in instilling good habits in children.