Hello I am Emma and I love Soft Play. There, I said it. I love it. Me and Dylan have been fequenting the various soft play establishments around our area ever since he was a little nipper… he techically still is a little nipper except now he doesn’t actually nip!
I don’t love soft play because of the chips or the aray of horrendously iced cakes (one place we go to seems to relish in making their cakes look ghastly and garish). I certainly do not go there for the coffee. I don’t take Dylan there just as a means to run his batteries down so I have a zonked out kidlet who behaves himself, mainly because the more tired he is the more feral and crazy his behaviour becomes. I don’t like our visits to soft play as a way to parent other people’s teeny little toddlers who have been left teetering at the top of a flight of soft steps, 2 storeys up a castle… true story, I nearly had a few heartattacks. I don’t love going to soft play so I can catch up with my Mummy-friends. As anyone who has taken their kids to softplay so they can have a catch up with their Mummy-friends will be aware there isn’t much opportunity to actually have a grown up chat. Between the chasing the mini-humans around, the frequent toilet trips, the breaking up of fights and moderating disagreements and the visits to the cafe there isn’t really that much time to talk at all. No, I love soft play for the playing!
When adulting the only real outlet for play is the gym which I think we can all agree is a crap substitute. A lone grown up at the playground trying to propell themselves to a 360 around the swing looks odd, bordering on the weirdo. Sitting crossed legged at the play table in the lego store trying to contruct a tower as tall as you are sets the alarm bells ringing to most on lookers. It is a shame. We definately need more play in our lives.
When me and Dyl go to soft play I like to go on as much of it as possible all under the guise of “supervising”. Climbing all the way to the top of a soft castle, going down steps on our bottoms , clambering up nets, balancing on beams and shooting down huge slides is fun! Seeing your child’s face light up with joy as they bounce around on a boucy house fills you up with love and joining in makes you come alive!
One of the things that I really wanted Eilys to experience was going on the huge slide at our local soft play. I carried her all the way to the top and down the slide we went and she loved it. We got some looks and an audible tut from one parent… oh well, Eilys giggled all the way down and enjoyed herself which was the point. There’s no other feeling like it, so we went down twice more!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the social side of things too. I love the trying to catch up with my friends and trying to get parenting tips and advice as you race passed each other and it is great to let the littles play as I have a sit down and chill with a crappy cup of coffee with globbules of stuff floating about in the top. But most of the time, I want to have a play. I want to let my inner child out to have a little run around (allowing my outer adult some quiet time to worry about bills or brexit or whatever).
Thanks for reading