Joy In Motion -

The Importance of Movement for Children Living in the City

Koen, owner of Friends Call Me Jim, an innovative indoor play space located in Amsterdam South, could not be more clear: movement is everything, it’s what keeps us going as kids and adults, but it’s what literally moves us forward in life, in a social aspect, but also to remain healthy in our later years.


Throughout his life, Koen has always been an active individual. Growing up in the heart of central Amsterdam before the city was fully built and busy with thousands of tourists, there was room to play outside, less concrete and more green space and nature. During his formative years he always longed to be outdoors and to experience other cultures and even decided to move to Vietnam as a young adult.


“There is nothing better to see a child play freely while they still have their imagination, 

we are here to stimulate their imagination to the next level.”

After living and working in Asia for 6 years managing his own import, wholesale & distribution company Koen returned to Amsterdam feeling motivated to be an entrepreneur and began working as an Interim Manager (helping to grow start-ups in various fields) which eventually led to a project supporting a Child Care facility. It was then that he realized how he would be able to make an impact in the world. Together with his business partner he started to explore his vision, traveling all over the globe, observing how children lived in various places and surveying which children's activities were available in different cities. 


In a world where urbanization is ever increasing, and technological advances have the highest priority, they knew they would have to incorporate this into their vision to stay current and capture the interest of today’s youth while still encouraging movement and imagination… and with that, the concept of Friends Call Me Jim was born!  


“We wanted to create a place where kids would be stimulated to use their imagination

through our animated stories and characters while being active.”


With today’s technology, it’s so easy to keep your child entertained with an Ipad or a phone, even for a few minutes. This is the future, but movement and encouraging physical activity is still a vital to the growth and development of young children. “It’s not only about the physical development but also the mental development – gaining confidence and overcoming fear and fostering independence from an early age”.


The structured-play classes at JIM, available for ages 2-7, are hosted in English in two types of studios The ‘Playscape’ studio has various areas to climb and jump and crawl and even a rock climbing wall to test your strength and the ‘Lightscape’ studio next door incorporates animated stories projected on the wall and even a floor which lights-up and acts as a follow-the-leader type of guide to create a fun and interactive experience. 


Do you have questions about the classes, just ask the wonderful international staff at Friends Call Me Jim, who are all trained specialists from gymnasts, to dancers, to digital experts and coders, they will be able to explain to you how the adventures will benefit your child. While lounging in the cozy living room you can watch your kids go on an adventure with their new digital friends while you enjoy coffee or tea and meet other families from the area! 


Like to try out Friends Call Me Jim? Visit their website to see their full class schedule, including morning and afternoon classes (even with a school pick up service), and also weekend classes as well! 


Learn more at: