Soft play: The good and bad
There are some great things about soft play but also some not so great things, we sum up the good and the bad
For parents with young children and particularly when the weather is bad, soft play may start to feel like your second home. A great idea for entertaining tots in bad weather and if you’re lucky possibly the chance to sit down and have a cuppa while they play. So what’s not to like?
We take a look at the pros and cons of soft play:
Pros of a soft play centre certainly include somewhere to take the kids on a wet day where they will have fun and run around without getting soaked.
It’s also a great way for little ones to burn off some energy and usually accommodates children of different ages so as they get older can venture off and have fun while you get a break.
Soft plays often have a nice café where you can sit and enjoy a cappuccino while the little ones play. Their facilities are also normally good with decent baby change areas and plenty of highchairs.
They are often well-equipped venues for kids’ parties with fun and food all in the same place.
The activities at soft play are great for little ones’ development in jumping, climbing and swinging. Essentially, they are places where little ones can learn to play and explore in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
They can also give parents the opportunity to meet other parents with children of a similar age.
The downside of soft play centres is they can often prove quite costly particularly with more than one child. With food and drinks often on display, it can end up being an expensive day out once they have had a meal, drinks and ice creams.
The germs are another issue with soft play centres as some can have dirty toilets and facilities. Plus there’s always the risk of the spread of germs with that many children running around in a confined space. So make sure you’re armed with hand sanitiser and baby wipes as some parents swear that some soft play venues have made their child ill.
You can also get an uncomfortable encounter with other parents if your little one has decided today is not the day to play nicely with everyone.
Likewise look out for unsupervised ‘big kids’. Of course you won’t want to be too over protective as most areas aren’t designed to have adults climbing around in. But the chances are you’ll come across the odd parent who’s not got an eye their ‘bully in the making.’
Lost socks or shoes is another downside when little ones tend to fling them off wherever they are making it a headache to find a matching pair when it’s time to leave.