Soft Play...Love it or hate it?!
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  1. #1
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    Default Soft Play...Love it or hate it?!

    How many of you go to soft play? Do you like it/hate it? What age children do you take, which ages dyou think it benefits most?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    How many of you go to soft play? Do you like it/hate it? What age children do you take, which ages dyou think it benefits most?
    I go to soft play occasionally. I think it's great for the 2yr plusses who are able to go off and climb and explore by themselves.
    I'm not keen on going with babies or little ones that need you with them every 2 seconds! I DO go and play and slide but equally I encourage the children to do their own thing! I like a ball pool for little ones, but I'm usually a bit wary of 'what lurks beneath' !

    They are great on a miserable day as somewhere for the children to let off steam :0) or just for a change of scene/treat.

    The soft play I usually go to is quite small and you can pretty much see all the way round and easily keep an eye on your Mindees. There were several where I used to live and you always had to go with at least one other adult so you could keep track of all the children between you! Arghhh!

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  4. #3
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    Our children love it and we love taking them! We go quite often and there is an excellent chef at our favourite place who makes lovely food ... we get a childminder discount as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    How many of you go to soft play? Do you like it/hate it? What age children do you take, which ages dyou think it benefits most?
    I don't really like soft play! I never take my own kids. Have taken my mindees once - it was a small place so I could see them at all times. A new one has opened near me and I will try it out at some point but probably when I only have one or two kids with me.

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    We have a really tiny one but in a big hall so bikes and go karts to play with as well as a fantastic outdoors space with a park like set up. It's lovely when it is quiet and when that one child is not there (I'm not talking about one in particular there is just often one whose grown up doesn't notice their bad behaviour)

    The other one is bigger all indoorsno windows suits crawlers to 10 as separate areas. A definite no go in school holidays , it's always noisy and not really my thing I prefer being outdoors.

    We maybe go tosoft play twice a year.

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    I don't go because I have a baby who would need to be in the baby area and 2x3yr olds who would want to be in the bigger area.
    Although there is a gate and they are secure I wouldn't feel 100% confident of leaving them to their own devices. A lot of parents just go and sit with coffee (like I used to as a parent) and they don't watch their children.

    Last time I went without the baby I ended up supervising about 7 kids as they were climbing up the slide as other kids were hurtling down it. One had been injured and screamed off to find his mum so I was trying my best to stop another accident which included my 2 coming down
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

  8. #7
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    Not my favourite place so I only go about once or twice a year - when I had 3 children aged 3 & 4 I used to be crawling around after them as it was a big soft play with tunnels at the top which took children into a completely different room when they came down slides etc so I wasn't happy just sitting and letting them get on with it. Our local sports centre has just opened a new soft play in the old gym area - it is really small and children have had enough after 1.5 hours which is fine as so have I - went a couple of weeks ago with another childminder and we had it to ourselves (and 6 mindees). We did initially play with the children but then did allow ourselves to sit down and relax.

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    I love them AND hate them - well actually I just hate the other people in them.

    I've never taken mindees because we don't have one that close to us and they are expensive, plus I would find it too stressful. I took my DD from when she was one and then the last time we had a free day she asked to go to one again, and she was almost 8 then. Obviously different ones are better suited to different age ranges. They are fantastic in terms of physical development, risk taking and confidence. You would get some great observations for CofEL too.

    When DD was three we went on holiday out of season and the hotel had a soft play area. We had it to ourselves for most of the week and DD's physical skills, confidence and risk taking came on so much in that week. She liked to do physical challenges at her own pace, but crazy soft play areas don't lend themselves to that! In the ones at home she would often be a bit overwhelmed because they were so busy, fast and furious and so she would want me to follow her around and she would 'let' other children push in front of her and dominate the area and so I didn't feel that we always got our moneys worth. After that holiday though she was more confident with her physical skills and in turn that seemed to help her confidence in general in soft play areas.

    Definitely take your son though. Visit all your local ones just with him and you might find one that is suitable for you to take multiple children at once. I always arrive as they open the doors in the morning as they are quieter then. Also, ours used to get fairly quiet straight after lunch because a lot of adults took the toddlers home for their nap then, and so there was a lull before the after schoolers arrived.

  10. #9
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    We love our local soft play, they run toddler sessions during school hours so the little ones can explore the big areas without the fear of a bigger kid shoving them out the way! Plus it's only £1.50 for an hour so it's pretty cheap.

    We used to go most days (especially in winter!) when I had 3 and 4 year olds as they had made friends there and wanted to see them, now I've got babies we're not there as much but we do still go.

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    I don't like the mega big ones but we do use smaller ones now and then.

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    Don't like them in the school holidays as I can't watch everyone otherwise I like the smaller ones with the eyfs children. I think they are good for PD. Although in my experience I seem to always get that one child who takes a dislike to one of mindees and constantly annoys them tripping them up, shoving on the steps of the little slide etc.

 

 

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