As a mother of two, all new children’s products and services interest me a lot. That is why I was very excited about going to get to know Gymi and Gymi Shop in Herttoniemi as well as Christina Nurmi who is in charge of the company.
Christina has a long history in gymnastics as a gymnast and as a trainer and has worked for long within the wellbeing of children. After becoming a mother she wanted to improve the children’s possibilities to exercise and came up with the idea of Gymi, a children’s and teenagers health club. Gymi offers many ways of physical activities, such as gymnastics, parkour and exercise with all kinds of equipment.
Nowadays there are two Gymi health clubs, besides Herttoniemi one in Niittykumpu, Espoo. Gymi is not offering services for children only, but for adults as well. The gyms include apparatus and equipment that you can use for exercise and play in many ways using the natural movement and weight of your own body. The gyms offer instructed classes as well as free classes where children can exercise with the guidance of their parents. Gymi hosts also different kinds of events: public events during the holidays (Christmas, Easter or Helsinki Day), camps or private events such as birthdays or bachelor parties.
Christina has now gone further with encouraging children to move and has invented and designed a set of functional furniture for children. The starting point for the furniture has been to create furniture for the homes that encourages children (and youngsters) to move and exercise while playing by using their natural moves, poses and balance. The set includes a bed that can be enlarged into a bunk bed, wall bars, a box that can be used for storage, a ladder, a bar, a plank and rings. Some of the items comes in two sizes so they grow together with the child or they can be used in bigger spaces. As the furniture wants to utilize the natural poses and movements, there are no seats in the set. Instead the child can sit on the floor, on knees, on a fit ball or stand when working by the “table”.
All pieces can be easily combined to each other and form a sporty and playful ensemble that can be used for climbing, balancing, hanging, swinging and crawling. The furniture takes also the weight of an adult so the whole family can use them for exercise. At the Gymi furniture web pages you’ll find many good hints how the pieces can be combined and how to build a fitness-climbing-adventure-track into your own home.
The set was brought on the market in 2015, presented on the Habitare (furniture, interior, decoration and design) fair the same year for the first time and received some international interest already then. The set is designed and made in Finland, they are durable, toxic-free and delivered ready-made. The furniture is at the moment sold only in the web shop and at the Gymi Shop but they are looking for retailers already. It is possible to try and get to know the furniture at the Gymi Shop in Herttoniemi.
It is an excellent idea and an excellent implementation! The pieces of furniture are simply beautiful and seems very high class, robust and functional. They surely seem tempting to children (and their parents) to move and try out own skills in a safe and diverse way at home. Christina told me that children do get the idea right away, when families have visited the shop, small toddlers, even one year old ones, have instantly figured out how to climb in bed safely on the ladder without any help or advice. My first thought was that the furniture would need a huge space but that is not the case, they are planned to fit in a regular home and do not take more space than regular furniture.
The common concern about the fact that children do not move enough nowadays would be solved easily with these pieces of furniture. One could safely, easily and diversely move and exercise at home unnoticed only by playing.
P.S. Gymi Shop do also sell gliders named Wuuf which are soft, plastic pillows with handles and filled with Styrofoam. We tried it out in a sled hill and it went fast! It is a nice, warm and soft seat if the ride gets too bumpy.
Shopping centre Megahertsi, 2 floor, Insinöörinkatu 2