*This is a collaborative guest post
If you want to provide your little one with a super fun yet safe playing experience, soft play is the perfect way to do so. Aside from sheer enjoyment, soft play offers plenty of developmental advantages that are important to your child’s growth!
So, what exactly is soft play and how can it benefit your toddler?
What is indoor soft play?
The perfect playing environment for toddlers and young children, soft play refers to crawling and clambering safely amongst cushioned foam elements, including ballpits filled with smooth colourful balls and obstacle courses made up of padded ramps, tunnels, and steps.
Children can play among the above in public play areas and from their own homes!
Is public soft play good for my children?
Soft play can be experienced at public activity centres that are filled with exciting equipment for children of all ages – but they are often noisy and overwhelming and because they mix children’s development levels in the same areas, leading to boisterous play around very little ones.
For this reason, many families prefer to experience soft play from the comfort of their own homes, allowing children to engage in soft play more safely and calmly whenever they please. Furthermore, any hygiene concerns associated with public play areas are avoided with at-home soft play.
Why is soft play beneficial to your little ones?
There are several fantastic advantages to soft play, ranging from physical advancement to creative stimulation:
Soft play offers a thrilling exercise experience for your child, contributing to the enhancement of their fine and gross motor skills.
As they ascend steps, navigate through tunnels, and emerge from the ball pool, your child actively engages their leg, arm, and torso muscles, encouraging strength development and honing their gross motor capabilities.
Moreover, grasping, clutching, and rolling plastic balls actively engages their fine motor skills, which promote the coordination of the small muscles in their hands and fingers. Over time, these activities will aid your child in acquiring essential skills like tying shoelaces, dressing independently, and confidently holding crayons during their time at nursery.
As your little one develops their quirky personality, they’ll begin to create their own stories and scenarios as they play amongst soft play elements.
Your child could venture into soft play ready to explore the high seas, pretending to swim amongst soft plastic balls or they could turn the elements into race ramps for their toy trucks, tunnels to a fantasy land or even the entrance to a medieval fort.
Their options are as limitless as their imaginations.
A full sensory experience
Soft play goes beyond providing an enjoyable physical activity for children – it also engages your child’s senses through sleek plastic balls that offer a unique touch sensation.
If you create your soft play area at home, you could even select velvet elements that provide a smooth and delicate sensory experience. The plush feel of the fabric also serves as an excellent tool for soothing and comforting your child who may feel frustrated or anxious.
By immersing themselves in the sensation of the gentle tufts around them, children can alleviate their stressors, allowing them to gradually fade away.
Soft play is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed alone or with friends. Whether your little one plays with other children at activity centres or playgroup peers visit your home for a play date, soft play can boost social skills and etiquette from an early age.
Your tot will learn to share, communicate, and listen to different ideas aside from their own through playing and taking turns playing with each element.
Indoor soft play for home – building your own play area
It’s incredibly straightforward to create your soft play area at home – simply select the indoor soft play equipment you think your child will enjoy the most and arrange them around their room close together and away from any doors.
You could even purchase full play sets that feature a complete soft play area to save you the hassle of ordering separate pieces – each features a ball pit, ramp, tunnel, and coordinating steps.
We do recommend buying soft play equipment from a trusted retailer with plenty of experience supplying parents with the safest and most robust children’s play products. To check if a company is reliable, be sure to check their customer reviews through sites such as Trustami and Trustpilot, as this will give you impartial opinions from previous customers to consider before you make your choice.