Soft play time with your darling child- Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
You imagine the beautiful sound of your little one giggling, intertwined with the occasional low pitched scream of sheer excitement, whilst you flick your eyes between your child having the “time of their lives” and your OK magazine… the only thing missing is hearing that slight fizz of prosecco in your glass next to you as you relax (why don’t play areas serve alcohol by the way? if you know any that do – please send me a message with their address)
But what is the truth about these “soft play areas“?
Well let me tell you, the term “soft play area” leads you in to a false sense of security. Sure, it sounds cute doesn’t it… but believe me they are not, these places can be a terrifying place. Imagine a Zoo, a Zoo with no fence, where animals can run wild – stampeding, attacking and toying with their prey. This describes a soft play area to a tee, however the Zoo isn’t full of animals its full of kids – wild kids!!!!
Perfect Place to Visit
If you are getting broody, a soft play area can be the perfect place to visit to make you realise that having more kids is just not a good idea. If putting your hand in accidental wees, snot or vomit isn’t enough, visualise this (because this was me last week);
Your lying on the floor trying to grab hold of your toddler’s foot as they enter the dreaded “over 5’s area“, (why do toddlers always want to go where there are not supposed to go?) You follow them through the play area and let them explore and then all of a sudden you hear 4 words… 4 words that have always been harmless, but not today – oh no, definately not today. “ITS LUNCH TIME KIDS” and within the blink of an eye, you have around 20 kids jumping through the ceilings, throwing themselves to the ground and then running towards you and your toddler at high speed. They are travelling THAT fast that you see their cheeks drooping at each side and drool springing out of their mouths on to the soft play area floor. Instantly, you make a decision – it’s them or it’s us and you pick yourself up from the floor and run towards your toddler with your arms out for the grab, turn and run method… luckily enough we made it out unscathed but since then I have developed an uneasy feeling about these “soft play areas”.
I have had a few mind blowing experiences in my few months in the soft play world and based on that I thought I would share some tips with you.
Here are my personal 5 tips on surviving in a soft play area;
Dress your child and yourself based on slide speed safety
George loves slides but his first experience was like something out of fast and furious. I dressed George in his material comfortable tracksuit which seems the obvious choice if you are in a play area but no no… my poor little child had the shock of his life as he went down his first big slide at record speed and very nearly ended up in the ball pool across the way.
Don’t lose your shit with the over 5’s in the under 5’s area
It’s so easy to get aggravated when you are in the small toddler area playing with your little one and then suddenly a massive kid who is virtually adult like decides to jump in the air kicking his legs around like Bruce Lee but simply take a deep breath, ignore it and protect your little one. If you feel that they could be a danger – simply remove yourself and your child whilst they act like a tit, have a sip of your brew and once they have left – return to your rightful place.
Whatever you do DON’T put a pound in the moving bus
Those moving amusements – oh don’t get me started – as if it isn’t enough that you have paid £4.50 to enter the hell hole that we call “soft play” your little one now wants you to pay more money for them to sit in the fake car that plays music. This is a trap God dammit, I REPEAT THIS IS A TRAP!!! Believe me, once that first pound goes in you will wish you never started. They will want to go in every moving amusement on earth and they will go absolutely nuts when you say no!!!
Don’t wear low rise jeans
I love low rise jeans but they are not made for play areas. When you are trying to pull your child out of the play area low rise jeans are not your friend. When I wore my low rise jeans they seemed to attract the sound of children giggling. Apparently bum cracks are really funny and they like to point you out to their parents afterwards!!
Try not to go bat shit crazy at the bullies’ parents
Every play area tends to have a bully, they come in all shapes and sizes, some are sneaky and some don’t give a crap who sees them and their wicked ways. When you witness a bully first hand it is easy to blame the parents but don’t – if anything feel sorry for the parents – they probably behave worse at home and then reward yourself for being so mature with a massive wine or chocolate bar!!
So those are my 5 simple tips on soft play survival – if you can think of any extra tips for parents out there please do feel free to comment on the post 🙂
Lots of love