If you are a parent, chances are that you have been to a soft play centre at least once. And if your child is seven or eight years old, then it’s likely that you’ve been to the soft play at least 57 times. Moreover if you have more than one child. Most adults are not big fans of the noise and chatter of the soft play. Though it can be a godsend on a rainy day when your children are about to tear your house down brick by brick. But I think there are several important lessons that children can learn at the soft play. Practical lessons that will help them in the future.
1. Survival of the Fittest – Despite its name, the soft play can get rough. Children push, shout, kick and spit. And that’s your own kids. Other people’s children are even worse. The soft play teaches kids how to deal with a kick to the ribs and still get to the slide first. That’s how future CEOs are made.
2. There’s Always A Bully – In the real world, not everyone will be kind and caring. There is always someone, be they big or small, who will act like a bastard. You might not be able to ignore this person but you don’t have to let this person get you down or keep you from having fun.
3. Building Relationships – In an unfamiliar land of play structures, strangers come together to form alliances. There the smaller ones become fast friends in order to protect themselves from that one mean kid. A smaller child will follow an older child around. Maybe they are of the same gender or age, but kids can find common ground easily if they want to make a new friend.
4. Run, Run, As Fast As You Can – Speed is good. Really good. Climb to the top, jump over the thingamajig, race to the slide. Caution is not always best. Sometimes you need to just go as fast as your little legs can carry you.
5. Having Fun Alone – Many children do not want to play by themselves. The soft play can be a way for some children to want to do things, without being attached to their mummy or daddy. Conversely, this can be good for parents who sometimes just want to sit quietly and have a cup of coffee.
So the next time it rains or the kids are going stir-crazy, just take them to the soft play. It’s not that bad. Plus you could even get a nice cup of tea out of it.