Weekly Feature



2005-11-23 / Business

Fun Factor

Children learn motor skills while having fun at Rolly Pollies
by VICTORIA R. SPAGNOLI Associate Editor

Fun times abound at Rolly Pollies.

David Dale, 2, plays with Jim and Danielle Fleckenstein, owners of Rolly Pollies, in a foam pit at the business on Transit Road. Photo by John Rusac David Dale, 2, plays with Jim and Danielle Fleckenstein, owners of Rolly Pollies, in a foam pit at the business on Transit Road. Photo by John Rusac There are art classes.

Music classes that incorporate dancing and the use of simple instruments along with singing.

And a gym that includes an indoor rock climbing wall, a foam pit with a zip line and a bounce house.

And while it engages the fun factor of children, it also serves an important need in a child’s development.

Rolly Pollies is a new kind of early education facility that teaches children, ages six months to six years, fine and gross motor skills through three types of programs — gym, music and art.

Rolly Pollies, located at 9630 Transit Road, is part of a franchise and is the third to be constructed in the United States.

The original location is in Severna Park, Ma., with the other two franchises located in Phoenix, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla.

The local franchise is owned by Jim and Danielle Fleckenstein.

Jim Fleckenstein, who is originally from Grand Island, worked at the Rolly Pollies in Maryland.

But both he and Danielle, who is from Kenmore, decided it was time to move back home.

“We wanted to come back,” said Danielle.

“And we thought we’d bring this with us,” said Jim.

Rolly Pollies held an open house on Saturday, Nov. 19.

It is not a day care facility.

The center focuses on teaching motor skills to children during 45 minute classes once a week for nine weeks, Danielle Fleckenstein said.

“It’s a new kind of concept around here,” she said.

Parents attend the 45 minute classes with children ages six months to 3-years-old. For children ages four to six, parent attendance is optional.

The classes are broken down by age groups.

Each nine week session has a theme and each class has different exercises that pertain to that overall theme.

Parents can enroll children in one class, such as gym, or all three.

There is also open enrollment, so even if a session has started, children can join in at any time.

Helping children develop motor skills at a young age is expected to help them later, especially in sports.

“We want to lay a good foundation for whatever they pick,” said Jim Fleckenstein.

While the classes are fun, they are educational as well.

“Very educated people wrote these programs. It’s not something that was just thrown together,” he said.

The facility is located in a 5,500 square foot, brand new building.

And, while most of the equipment is scaled down for children, it is solid enough to hold parents should they want to participate.

“The parents have as much fun as the kids,” said Danielle Fleckenstein.

Rolly Pollies is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday for classes. The facility will also play host to birthday parties on Friday nights and Saturdays.

For more information or to schedule a free trial class, call 689-6151 or visit www.rpeastamherstny. com.

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