Soft play and gymnastic areas enable children to explore their environment with confidence and independence – no dangers or discomfort from hard or sharp surfaces. Children love this unique and valuable opportunity to test out their motor skills, including climbing, rolling and jumping abilities, within an environment that they quickly realise does not present all the risks they (and their parents) usually have to be wary of. Read More
Free of the fear of hurting themselves, children develop a sense of adventure, confidence and independence as they can make use of all the equipment without parents constantly cautioning them or having to escort them and manage their movements.
Every child has the chance to become an explorer or gymnast – soft flooring allows for comfortable rolling, tumbling and falling; soft cubes, stairs and tunnels create a fun, colourful, safe adventure environment in which to play and explore alongside equally relaxed young friends. All of this under the watchful but unusually distant eye of unstressed parents and carers.
The potential benefits of soft play have unleashed the imaginations of educational product designers. Soft play areas are filled with an exciting range of exotic shapes and colours – stairways, banana rockers, cubes, wedges, wheels, rods, mushrooms, barrels and bridges in strong block colours. This in itself creates an energetically inviting space to attract the attention of even the most reserved child. The colours help children to navigate their environment independently as they begin to recognise the shapes and activities and establish their bearings on their own.
Seeing other children racing onto the mats and into the soft play adventure, encourages all children’s curiosity and they can take everything at their own pace. First timers can perhaps just explore the softness of the floor and the fun, for a change, of falling over. New friendships can be made from the safety of the other side of a cube or mushroom until the amusement of leaning and rolling on the shapes takes over and soon pairs of children or small groups are falling around, chasing, tumbling and jumping together.
Children relish this opportunity to make choices and decisions on their own, in safety and comfort. Second and subsequent visits to the soft play area further develop this confidence as children become increasingly adventurous, trying out different equipment and areas, and recognise playmates from previous sessions.
With soft play experiences established, children can carry this confidence into their everyday, ‘real’ lives. They have learned how to balance and move more efficiently and safely so there is now less risk of falling over and hurting themselves. They know how to navigate around obstacles and make the best use of different equipment. They know how to initiate interaction with companions and how to share equipment and spaces.