The midweek list: 8 kids you always see at soft play



When your kid is manic or the weather isn’t good, where you gonna go? Soft play! And rightly so. These easy to explore, safely padded worlds offer your toddler more exercise and stimulation than just about any other activity out there. The only downside is you have to share the facility with loads of other kids letting off similar amounts of steam. Kids who tend to fall into the following categories…

Hungry Kid
Several signs explicitly state that eating is prohibited inside the soft play fences, but if a child is getting hungry and angry, what’s a mum or dad to do? Pick him or her up and carry them to the specifically designated eating area that is about 20 yards away might be the logical answer, but Hungry Kid’s parents don’t think like that. They reckon their little prince or princess is above the law, so see no problem with shoving a packet of yoghurt in their gob in situ. Obviously, it goes everywhere. Obviously, they do a pitiful job of cleaning up. And obviously, they are also flaunting the no shoes rule.

Hyperactive Kid
Blink and you miss this bundle of energy, who is usually male and often wearing just a T-shirt and nappy. He charges in screaming, scales the fences, empties the ball pit, climbs up the slides, throws anything that’s not stuck down across the room and then storms out, never to be seen again. Take away the ringing in your ears and you’d wonder if it was all a dream.

Shy Older Kid
If you had a little more time and patience you would endeavour to explore, and perhaps even attempt to fix, the issues that have left this six or seven-year-old humming and mumbling to themselves in the area for under-3s. But you don’t, so you’re simply going to ask them to budge up and give your child a slice of the ball pit action.

Full Nappy Kid
My nostrils! My eyes! How are Full Nappy Kid’s parents not able to smell this? And why has my little one chosen to follow Little Miss or Mr Stenchbottom around?

Combative Kid
This tag does not refer to the cherubs who steal toys, poke eyeballs and shove people off soft rocking horses (they all do that). It refers to the borderline demonic toddlers who think it’s funny to chuck plastic balls in your face from a distance of around three yards. In your dreams you grab some ammunition, wind up your throwing arm and fight fire with fire. In reality, you do all you can do. And by this I mean, meekly ask them to stop and then threaten to tell their dad.

Hugging Kid
This kid is cute. And at some point in the future his or her peers will realise this. Right now, however, they want their personal space to remain personal. Thus poor Hugging Kid experiences nothing but face-pushing, balance-toppling rejection. You’d think all this hate would make them reassess their actions. But no. Every time they get knocked down they get up again, arms open and smile beaming. It’s enough to make you cry. Or it would be if you weren’t telling your child off for bundling them over.

Toy Hogging Kid
The smaller the soft play, the easier it is to pinpoint the child who gets more than a little feisty if anyone attempts to touch, move or, worst of all, play with the object they’ve chosen. It’d be easy to blame in the parents, but in North London these challenging specimens tend to be accompanied by their grandparents.

Confident Older Kid
Confident Older Kid is supposed to be taking care of his or her younger sibling. But since that job is B.O.R.I.N.G, they’ve decided to see how quickly they can scramble up the stairs, across the netting, through the poles and down the slide. It’s a potentially dangerous activity you should probably be discouraging, but another parent has bet you a £5 they won’t duck under the 20 second mark, so stuff health and safety. Go kid, go.


12 comments on “The midweek list: 8 kids you always see at soft play

  1. Haha! Yes, so true! Full nappy kid always makes me cringe and run in the other direction! There’s also the lost kid. There’s always one! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky


  2. dadsense says:

    Haha oh the things I have to look forward to! That’s brilliant!


  3. diynige says:

    Haha so funny remember it well super post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please


  4. MANternity says:

    I also find that you, as a dad, attract these types of kids? When I go to soft play I always end up with 5 other kids following me around or sitting in the ball pit with me.
    Their mum’s are sitting enjoying a peaceful coffee, catching up with each other. Its ok, don’t worry, I’ll look after your child for you for an hour, no bother!


  5. […] to baby classes. I’m palming  him off on the grandparents less. I’m hitting up all the local soft play facilities. I’m regularly attending the Popo (porridge) Boys Breakfast Club. I’m […]


  6. […] it’s simply being a decent dad who chases his son around the living room, crawls after him at soft play, rocks him to sleep and carries him when we’re out and he starts screaming in his buggy. […]


  7. […] do I want? A picture or video of my baby doing something cute or funny or new. When do I want it? Now. Only I can’t get it now, because my stupid 16GB iPhone 6 is […]


  8. […] it? The collective screeching does very little for a hangover. At weekends and after school hours, the number of kids attempting to enter the same ball pit can be borderline farcical. The busier it is, the more likely […]


  9. […] or in the street. Have I done the same with the dads I’ve got chatting to at the station or down the soft play? Have I heck. I mean, what if they reject me? Or come on to strong? Or give me their number and […]


  10. […] due to all the cash we spend on food and bibs and toys and clothes and wipes and baby classes and soft play and Calpol and milk and nappies and wine, my wife and I are bamboozled as to how any parents could […]


  11. […] but other good last minute options would be the zoo or the science museum. Not soft play? No, not soft play. It’s fun, but it doesn’t exactly give off that special occasion […]


  12. […] simply find myself saying stuff like: “He’s 10 months,” when I discover that the soft play centre charges kids aged one or over; “They’re for me,” when I’m buying my […]


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