Getting through soft play is all about preparation, because you never know what might go down! Frantic children, long slides (that come with burns) and ball pits to get lost in. As soon as you enter, you'll experience a sensory overload, and through the sea of snotty noses, squeals of excitement and rainbow printed leggings, you'll be trying to keep your children in sight. Today, we're sharing some of our top tips for surviving a day of soft play with minimum stress.
ASK THEM TO PLAY NICE
Setting ground rules early on could help avoid any unnecessary drama later. Explain to your child before they head off that they need to play nicely and be fair to all other children that are trying to enjoy their time in the soft play area too. Also, let them know that if another child is not playing nicely, they should come and let you know or go and find another area to play in.
WET SOCKS, GROSS
Just as you would wear flip flops at the swimming baths, little ones should keep their socks on in the soft play area. However, come prepared with a spare pair to change into, as there’s likely to be some dribble, possible drops of fruit juice and more damp areas for them to run in to. You’ll also be surprised at how many children can’t make it to the toilet out of excitement, or vomit after too many turns on the slide!
TRIPS WILL REMIND YOU…
That not all parents follow the same parenting rules as you. Try to avoid getting riled up when you see an older child running wild in the infant area and wreaking pure havoc. If necessary, ask a member of staff to step in, but remember this could be a good place for you to make some new mum friends too!
SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE
This is obviously the most important factor when allowing your child to run around with lots of other kids and parents present. Be sure to remind them not to talk to any strangers, just as they wouldn’t outside of the play area. Generally, these venues have great safety measures in place, but you should not rely on gates and staff alone.
WEAR SOMETHING COSY
It’s unlikely you’ll get away with a day at soft play without having to get down on all fours and crawl to the top of the slide to save your screaming toddler. So, make sure you wear the appropriate comfortable clothing for your visit, just as the kids do.
THEY WON’T WANT TO LEAVE
It’s inevitable that your child isn’t going to want to leave the amazing space of soft play where they’ve just spend the last few hours running around, jumping, crawling and laughing. So, prepare for tears and tantrums and go with a trick up your sleeve; a little snack or the promise of a treat when they get home won’t do any harm this one time!
Do you have any top tips to share with the community on this topic? Let us know in the comments below.