My Top Ten Tips for Surviving Soft Play!
Pre-b I’d never been to a soft play. Now that I am three years into motherhood, I am a seasoned soft-player. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly like soft play. I could think of better things to be doing with my time. But if it’s peeing it down outside and I’m stuck for something to do, then soft play can be a blessing in disguise. Our fave in Somerset is Brean Soft Play and you can read our review here!
Soft play tends to get a bad name but I have a few tips for making it a bit bearable…
Don’t attempt this slide with a hangover ;-/
- Pick a good soft play. I know this sounds silly but some soft plays are good and some not so. I can usually tell how good a soft play is based on the toilets. Clean and airy without an overflowing nappy bin = good soft play. Stinky, dark and nappies on the floor = not a good soft play.
- Once you’ve picked your favourite soft play, get there early. Remember the whole early bird catches the worm thing? Well here is where it pays off. Our fave soft play opens at half 9. We get there at half 9. There are loads of benefits for being there early haha – car parking good seating, minimal kids and parents, quieter – the list goes on haha. Bloody hell, you know you’ve made it in life when your excited by good car parking and seating !!
- The “get there early” rule certainly applies to any weekend, rainy day, soft play visit. We get there for half 9 and leave by midday, just as everyone else is queuing to get in and find a seat.
- If you are off mid-week then take advantage of toddler discount days and quiet days. Friday is my mummy and b day so if it’s raining, we sometimes head to soft play in the morning.
- Wear something with pockets. I’ve made this mistake before – popping to soft play with bloody jeggings on. There is nowhere to pop my phone or a pack of tissues.
- And socks! If you are wearing summer sandals or ballet pumps, you’ll need socks if you want to go on the soft play stuff too. My boy is three but he still likes me to go around with him. I secretly enjoy this haha as it means some impromptu exercise and it means I get to dive in the ball pool and go down the slides 😉
- Take a rucksack or some sort of bag you can sling across your body. B has a little Cath Kidston backpack that mum got him for his birthday and it is ideal for soft play. It is just the right size to pop in my purse, keys, phone, lip balm, tissues and a drink for b. I always like to keep my valuable stuff on me if I’m on my own. My friend once had her purse stolen at a stay and play (wtf ey) and it’s always made me less trusting!
- Don’t go hungover! And I only say this because I have and it wasn’t fun. Luckily I was with the hubby and my sister so I got to (mostly) chill on the sofa – bonus of being there at half 9 ey 😉 I did attempt the trampoline but it wasn’t the best move to be honest!
- Watch your child! I don’t wanna sound patronising but I’m so sick of having to accompany other children down the slide or back through the soft play maze to reunite them with their parents because they were stuck on the highest level bawling their flippin eyes out. Keep an eye on your kids, go in with them, especially if they are younger.
- And this leads on from the point above – embrace it! I don’t go to soft play to sit on my phone for two hours. I aim to get some exercise haha! To be fair if I’m with the hubby then yes, I will faff on my phone or take something to read. Fingers crossed the little man feels confident soon to go in on his own :/ ! Otherwise, if all else fails, you can do the pretend “slide”, where you sit with the little one on your lap and simply let them go…it really worked for me. Not. Poor b went down the whirly orange slide and screamed mummy all the way down. He then tried climbing back up. sigh.
So there, my ten tips for surviving soft play – what are yours? Are you a soft play fan??! When I was growing up, we never had ball pits, let alone soft play! I secretly like soft play on rainy days.