You know what a soft play is. They’re the things that knacker your toddler out but you as well, they make your hair static and if your toddler is wearing Primark trousers, it makes them static too. I have learnt this the hard way. So, the local soft plays to us don’t really warrant separate posts each but I thought a summary would be good.
Peckham Pulse: The cheapest of the lot. Fairly new. Quite limiting for younger children cause adults aren’t allowed on the higher levels, so if your toddler is a bit unsteady, you should probably leave them on the ground. Otherwise, they could get stuck and you wouldn’t be able to get to them to get them back (at which point you retire to the cafe for a cup of tea. Ah, bliss…). Stuff on the ground level includes a couple of ball pools and some bits they can run around. It kept Roo entertained but he was about 18 months when we visited. Not sure how much he’d like it now.
Brixton Leisure Centre:Also known as “tough play”, this is a staple for us, due to its locality and fairly cheap prices (more expensive than Peckham, less than Battersea). There is always a weird smell in Playzone and it’s not the best maintained. There’s a small baby area, with a little slide into a ballpool, which Roo will happily play in for a while (and I sit in the ball pool, pretending I’m in a jacuzzi). The main frame is a lot more challenging – it has three levels, each about the height of an adult, and some pretty sheer drops. Roo (at 2) is just about learning to climb down the steep slopes but when he was smaller, I was terrified he would just fling himself down. So, vigilance is key. And it’s a pretty tough workout for a parent, clambering up ladders and squeezing through little gaps. So, it’s well equipped but you will feel as knackered as your toddler.
Battersea Latchmere: The most expensive and also the smallest but comes with a big advantage – the soft play frame is in the cafe and there is only one exit. So, you can sit and have a coffee while they play inside, knowing they can’t escape. No particularly scary drops either, so I don’t tend to follow him round unless he needs me. Mmm, caffeine-y goodness!