Breaking out of our comfort zones on a regular basis is good for us. Here’s why:
- it can make us more productive
- it can help us perform at our peak
- it improves our ability to handle the new and unexpected curve balls that life throws at us
- it helps us get used to pushing our boundaries
- it helps us grow as individuals
- it can make us more creative
So from time to time, I like the kids to get involved in activities that help them break out of their comfort zone. One way to do that is to go on an adventure and that’s just what we did…
The plan was originally to head to Sky Trex but it was booked out by the time we got our act together so it was off to Funtopia instead. This was our first time there because it is a little out of our way but here’s what they have on offer:
Funtopia is actually a lot smaller than I thought it would be but there is enough there for the kids to be entertained for a couple of hours. Mine would have been happy to stay on longer but it was lunch time.
Once you’re signed in, all participants are equipped with a harness and helmet. This is followed by a video briefing on safety and rules. After that, you’re pretty much free to try anything.
The Fun Climb consists of a series of easy and fun climbing walls with auto-belays. There are staff wandering around to help you clip in and unclip at the end of the climb. In addition to the usual climbing walls, they have interesting climbing challenges, like rope ladders, giant spiderwebs, geometric shapes, and speed walls.
For one of the challenges, you are required to work as a team with a buddy. One person builds a structure of blocks while the other uses the structure as a stepping stone to climb higher. It is a lot trickier than it sounds because the protective mats on the floor have quite a bit of give, making the blocks tip and tilt. It only gets worse the higher up you go, especially if your partner has not designed the structure well.
Another interesting wall is the large geometric shapes with handholds. It can be quite a challenge for the kids because they need height and reach to get to the next handholds. I like it because you can get in a hands-free, knee-bar rest (where you jam your foot and knee in between the shapes).
They also had a wall challenge with spinning wheels similar to the one that I bombed out on in District 21. I did better this time because this route had intermittent handholds that made a big difference.
The Giant Slide is a feature I have seen at District 21 but never seen in action before. You are required to put on a special suit and a T-bar is lowered to pull you up. Once you reach the top, you have to let go and you will be in free fall for a split second before sliding onto the horizontal section. You have to keep your body flat and your head lying back, or you could end up bumping your head as you round the bend.
This was definitely not my cup of tea but it was right up G2’s alley. He couldn’t wait to try it. I’m sure he would have gone again and again if he had been allowed. Aside from the building blocks, it was the only activity he wanted to do. It seems strange for my normally acrophobic boy to find such an activity so captivating.
If you’ve ever seen the “high ropes” in District 21, the Sky Trex rope course, or the Gut Builder at Enerz, then you’ll know what the Jungle Ropes are all about. The Jungle Ropes are a series of challenges requiring participants to walk across balance beams and other roped obstacles at a height. It challenges your fear of heights while you exercise your balance skills.
Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you get better at it the more you practice. Well, I can say for certain that this has definitely been true for G1. I can still remember a time when there was no way G1 would be caught dead on a rope course. On this particular day, he was one of the first team of 12 lining up for the Jungle Ropes (they only allow 12 participants at a time). I’m so proud of how far he’s come.
The Magic Maze
The Magic Maze is a mini jungle gym for children under 12. It’s perfect for younger children a little too apprehensive for the Fun Climb, Jungle Ropes, and Jungle Slide. It’s also a great place for the bigger kids to play while they’re waiting to get into the other adventure areas.
Requirements for Funtopia
- Jungle Ropes and Fun Climb require sports shoes to be worn so don’t rock up in sandals, flip flops or crocs.
- Minimum age for entry into Funtopia is 4 years old.
- Children must be at least 15kgs to use the autobelays. Adults must be below 150kgs.
Funtopia is located on Level 1 of SS15 Courtyard Mall.