We Tried It: Got Funn? at Windward Mall
Spend a day at an imaginative play center and enjoy an hour of preschool class with songs, crafts and stories.
What: An indoor play center with free preschool classes
Who: A mom and her three-year-old son
Where: Windward Mall, 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy.
When: 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday
M y three-year-old son Noah goes to a library story time every week, enjoys playdates throughout the week and attends Sunday school, but he’s never been enrolled in preschool. And, he doesn’t sit still—ever.
So, I was both excited and nervous to see how he’d do at Got Funn? at Windward Mall. We recently discovered the place through trusty old Google and to be honest, the Yelp reviews seemed too good to be true. Got Funn? is a play center where infants and keiki ages two through five can enjoy playing with toys all day (no hourly restrictions!) and even get to participate in preschool classes.
I ended up calling the play center just to be extra sure. Is it really still open? The pandemic didn’t shut it down? Is it truly just $10 unlimited play on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Do they really offer preschool prep classes included in the price? The lady on the phone was friendly and straightforward, answered all questions and encouraged us to come by.
Got Funn? is located on the second floor of Windward Mall by the old Sears entrance (FYI Sears is now closed and construction is underway for a new Target). You will need to sign a waiver before you enter through the play gate, then put your shoes in cubby holes. The owner Kim Funn (aka Aunty Kim) is there to greet us cheerfully. She checks our temperature and makes sure we sanitize before entering. Masks are not required, but I noticed a few keiki wearing them.
SEE ALSO: We Tried It: iTrampoline
By around 10:30 a.m., there are about 10 kids, all playing independently. There are so many toys! The rooms are designed in sections. A number of trikes, bicycles and cute scooter vehicles are placed on a designated track on the front side of the room. Noah immediately went for one of them and rode around the track. He then explored a kitchen area with food and cooking toys, followed by a section with cars and train tracks, a doctor’s stall, a table piled with dinosaurs, a Lego area and even a mini stage with costumes and fun musical instruments. There’s also a small ball pit and slide, a mini library and a Thomas and Friends train to ride.
Children-sized chairs and tables are already set up for the preschool class with scissors and glue.“The bell will ring soon for preschool class to start, so Noah can play for now and then join the rest of us at the table if he’d like,” Aunty Kim tells us.
The décor is reminiscent of preschool classroom with various alphabet, calendar, colors and shapes posters. Arts and crafts made by students are displayed on the wall. Further in the back is the bathroom. Next to the bathrooms is the infant section with foam mats and more baby-oriented toys.
At around 11 a.m., there are now about 20 kids. Aunty Kim rings the bell—some kids are already waiting and sitting in their chairs. She’s familiar with almost all of them by name and I was happy to see her praising and correcting throughout the class. The kids are responsive as she prepares the first activity. She passes construction paper to cut with scissors or rip, depending on their ages. The keiki then trace the letter P with glue and place pieces of paper on top. Noah is one of the first to finish.
Once everyone’s done, she asks them to place the papers on the bench to dry and then sit quietly on the carpet. Next, she sings songs (my personal favorite was the affirming “I am special” song) then goes over letters and their sounds with flashcards. She passes out old shirts for the kids to wear and then sets up the tables next for painting. Although Aunty Kim was the only one teaching, at least three of the parents were helping set up and clean.
Other parents remained outside and were sitting, chatting and eating at the provided tables. In fact, they were hosting a potluck for someone who was going away. It was sweet to see that Got Funn? had been a way for moms to get together and become friends! One parent had her laptop open and looked like she was working.
Later, Aunty Kim tells me that she’s a former teacher at St. Ann’s before she opened Got Funn? nine years ago. She loves the ability to offer flexible enrichment classes while also offering some structure and independent play. “It’s not a preschool, but a great way to introduce kids to what preschool is like,” she says.
After the class, most of the kids went back home while others went back to independent play. We stayed for another hour to play. In fact, I wrote the first draft of this article on my phone while Noah played with new friends! It took a while to pry my son away and I promised him we’d be back the next week.
$15 admission for unlimited playtime (good for one chaperone and one child)
$5 each additional child
$10 Tuesdays and Thursdays
$80 Mini Monthly Admissions Card, up to 8 visits per month
$140 Part-Time Monthly Admission Card, up to 12 visits per month
$200 Monthly Admission Card, unlimited number of visits per month
Preschool classes take place from 10:30 a.m. on Mondays through Friday. The classes are included with admission fees.
If you want to drop off the kids with Aunty Kim and go run an errand, watch a movie or do lunch with a friend at Windward Mall, prices start at $25 for up to two hours and $10 each additional hour. Aunty Kim also offers kindergarten readiness and tutoring services that start at $120 per month. The facility is only open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Military families get a 20% discount every day for open playtime.
- Swing by to play after 2 p.m. for a 20% discount.
- Keep an eye on the younger keiki. If your child puts any toys in their mouth, you should put those toys in the black boxes on shelves—these boxes are marked for sanitization.
- Use the in-and-out privileges For example, if you want to let your child play longer but you are both getting hungry, you can step outside with your child to get lunch in the food court and then return for the same fee. Amazing!