Half term is approaching like a tsunami on the horizon, increasingly gathering momentum. The organised mother’s have sent out their texts weeks ago arranging meetings; “Hey Hun what day you free for a play date?” (Hun! Hun? Yuk! Hate it!) Outings are being booked, cake mix and craft activities bought for the rainier days and the cupboards are stacked with picnic essentials (all organic, obviously.) The more
unorganised spontaneous mothers, such as myself, will still succeed in a fun filled week although likely fuelled with chaos, coffee and sugar. I have decided to create a guide to the Half Term and hope you will enjoy reading. Hopefully you all have an enjoyable, stress free week with your children and make it to Monday 29th having conquered the Half Term obstacles. Best of luck everyone!
Soft Play – The Do’s and Don’ts
The Myth – Soft Play centres are those wonderful indoor play areas full of beautifully, bright coloured obstacles, slides, ball pits and climbing apparatus for children of all ages. A place where children can play harmoniously with their friends whilst their parents can catch up and drink copious amounts of high quality coffee and have some respite.
The Truth – A soft play centre is usually a warehouse type building, situated on an industrial estate, off the beaten track, to ensure the sound of children’s manic, slush – puppy filled laughter drowns out the crying, witling souls of their parents.
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Remember socks. Not just for your children but also yourself unless you want death stares from other parents. This may not be applicable to all but I personally never wear socks and neither do my children. I claim it is because “we have a thing about socks and don’t like wearing them” The truth is that I gave up years ago trying to find matching socks or any socks at all in my home.
- Arrive early. Early as in 30 minutes before it opens especially on rainy days. Within minutes soft play centres are completely packed and turning people away. My three are always awake super early so a 9:30 am opening time feels around 3pm for me and so this is usually achievable.
- Take back up. Always try to go with other parents for mob strength. If you think the School Gate Mafia are tough they have nothing on the Half Term – Soft Play Cliques.
- Secure a table. Sprint, charge, somersault – do whatever it takes to secure a table or risk being the awkward mum hovering by the side, ladled with coats, bags and shoes. The premier tables are those where you can see all areas of the soft play, these are the ones to strive for.
- Take plenty of fluids. The climate of a soft play centre resembles that of the Sahara Desert. Imagine walking through the Amazon Rainforest in a ski suit and you are beginning to imagine the sweat pouring from your body, as you climb 3 floors of netted, rope ladders.
- Don’t expect to stay seated. If your children are anything like mine you will be up into the depths of that rubber jungle before you can say “skinny latte.” Forget that romanticised image of coffee with friends whilst watching your children play – its not going to happen!
- Don’t leave any bare skin exposed. Arms, legs, ankles and elbows are all hot points for the merciless pain you will feel when you whizz down one of those plastic tubes, scalding your skin back to the bare bone.
- Don’t sink too low into the ball pit. Bright, beautiful, coloured balls for you and your baby to frolic and play in. However go sinking too deep into the ball pit and you have no idea what festering items await you. Possible items include; disintegrating food, aging dummies or other baby paraphernalia your child will immediately try to put in their own mouth, bodily fluids/bodily solids.
- Don’t forget your purse. Standard procedure in any children’s attraction being wonderful chocolaty goodness and glowing, artificially coloured drinks displayed for your little darlings to feast their eyes on.
- Don’t attempt it. Once you find yourself clambering through the intricate mazes of the soft play you may come across some of the tube – like tunnels to crawl through. Now if you are slightly more curvy than a size 6, like myself, the rule is just don’t attempt it. Nobody wants to be the mum having to be rescued with her bum wedged inside a soft play tube.
If you do have a trip to your local Soft Play centre lined up have an amazing time and if anybody would like to share any other do’s and don’ts they will be greatly received!