Going the Distance


Some see Creative Discovery Museum as an attraction. Others see it as a nice place to take the kids for a couple of hours. However, to Elizabeth and Nick Thornburgh, Creative Discovery Museum is a place that enhances development and makes an unbreakable bond even stronger. It began when Nick was four months old and Elizabeth brought him to PlayGym for the first time.

PlayGym is a carefully designed program that encourages the development of motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills and self-confidence. Fun-filled, age appropriate activities using colorful gym equipment and sensory stimulation provide a wealth of “food” for the brain. Research shows sensory activities are the best way for young minds to absorb learning. PlayGym, a one-of-a-kind program in Chattanooga, is designed to include multi-sensory stimulation and can have a huge impact on a child’s development. “The time spent in Play Gym was a bonding experience for Nick and me,” said Elizabeth. The Museum became an important part of their routine.

Soon, Elizabeth became aware of the importance of development activities and bonding time when the family moved to the Greater Washington D.C. area and she began to search for a new program. “I couldn’t find anything like PlayGym in the Greater D.C. area—not even Baltimore. There were no toddler activities—only activities for elementary age children,” said Elizabeth.

Her worries were soon relieved when Rick was transferred back to Knoxville, Tennessee. However, she still could not find a program that equaled PlayGym. Because she believes so strongly in the benefits of PlayGym, Elizabeth began traveling over an hour each week to bring Nick back to Creative Discovery Museum and PlayGym classes. Elizabeth, a former employee of the Museum adds, “I believe in the mission of Creative Discovery Museum because I worked in outreach and saw first hand the friendly and clean environment it provides to children and families.” Now, Elizabeth and Nick enjoy spending time in PlayGym every week and Elizabeth sees the benefits. Nick’s cognitive and developmental abilities have been shaped by time spent in PlayGym. “He even knows the songs and sings them out in public!” said Elizabeth.