Glowhouse Kids lights up the area

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:33

BUTLER — Although it’s great fun for the children, Glowhouse Kids is about a lot more than just glowing in the dark. It’s about creativity, building confidence and self awareness. It is imagination set loose on a 45-foot-long play mat. Glowhouse Kids is new and definitely different. And it’s not just for kids. Picture, for instance, a glow in the dark bridal shower. If ever there was a passionate new business owner it’s Elisa DiChristina-Kinailuk. She is the epitome of enthusiasm and she’s sure she’s on the right track with Glowhouse. Home-grown concept The concept for Glowhouse Kids was born in the Kinailuk’s West Milford living room as she and her husband, Kevin, played with their two children, Kendall and Kevin. “As a family we used to get some glow stuff, turn out the lights and dance,” DiChristina-Kinailuk said. The idea to have a place where kids could be creative just lit up the Kinailuk’s world. Glowhouse Kids, located on Route 23 in Butler, officially opened on Dec. 9, 2011. In this endeavor Kevin is the technology go-to guy and Elisa has years of experience working with children. She has a bachelor of science in psychology as well as a masters in social work. She is a licensed clinical social worker and for years has dealt with children, teens and adults in crisis. “I’ve seen where social skills have gone wrong. I felt that with my background in social work, psychology and counseling I could do something for wellness, create a supportive model. I’ve been doing the dark side for years. That’s what inspired me,” she said. Playtime paradise And inspired she was. Once the black lights and music come on at Glowhouse it’s a kid’s playtime paradise. The walls glow with brilliant nature scenes and the play mat and dance area await the child's imagination. When set up for a private party, the glow in the dark table settings look amazing. You can even enjoy glow in the dark cupcakes at your private party, if you like. DiChristina-Kinailuk wants to get kids moving, thinking outside the box and moving away from computers and texting. She wants children to get to know themselves and improve their social skills. But these are not formal lessons, rather the sessions evolve as the kids open their minds in a free atmosphere. It's all about creativity Glowhouse offers three basic services; enrichment classes, creative play drop-off sessions and private glow in the dark parties. “The enrichment classes offer a little bit of everything; stories, sports, music and movement. We might read a book about animals and then act out as the animals. Then we might dance like a horse, jump like a horse, then draw the horse. It’s cross learning. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong, it’s all about creativity. The magic is in the children,” DiChristina-Kinailuk said. She enjoys watching as the children work things out for themselves, what they’re going to do, who’s going to play with this or that. She also wants Glowhouse to be a blessing for parents, giving them some free time . “I’d like everyone to know that Kevin and I are about helping families. We are trying to achieve something for the community. You can see there’s something different about us. We really care,” she said. The creative play drop-off sessions are less instructional. “Here’s some toys, what would you like to do?” The children learn self expression, how to problem solve and prioritize. They play and dance and are entertained. The parents are welcome to stay or go, as they please. Create your own private parties If you choose to have a private glow in the dark party, the sky is pretty much the limit. Popular birthday theme parties include princesses, pirates, sports, fairies, Hawaiian luaus and sweet sixteen parties. What kid wouldn’t like some add-ons such as glow in the dark face painting, hair streaking and nail polish. They even have light up ice cubes available. You can bring your own food in for an adult or children’s party and Glowhouse will respect your traditions and cultures. The environment is safe and the children are protected, DiChristina-Kinailuk said. There are many variables to the programs and the best way to see what Glowhouse Kids has to offer is by visiting the Web site at “We are very accommodating. We learn what the families want; it’s a partnership. It’s a very cutting edge, creative model that pulls from traditional values. There’s nothing like it,” she said. According to the glowing reviews on the Web site, the Kinailuk’s have come up with a very bright idea.