Do you want to create a soft play zone for kids? Uncover the benefits of soft play equipment for your home, school or commercial play space here. And find out where you can buy bespoke soft play equipment tailored to your space.
What Is Soft Play Equipment?
Soft play equipment used without a padded frame for multiple levels, is a special type of play equipment used by younger children. The equipment is made with softer materials, such as foam padding, to make it safe as possible in case children trip or fall. Some of this equipment can be small items that are easy for the children to move but it can also involve larger obstacle courses that encourage movements such as crawling, stepping and balancing. Soft play components can also be designed to be a permanent installation with a pre-determined configuration designed to fit a specific space (perhaps even themed).
Sometimes soft play equipment is wrongly used interchangeably with indoor play structures. The former is as we described above, the latter is configured within a padded steel frame structure and includes multiple levels configured with play components, for example, rope bridges, climbing nets and slides that are primarily used by older children.
How Old Are Children Who Use Soft Play Equipment?
Soft play equipment is mostly used by toddlers who are just learning to walk, crawl and play with others. Soft play equipment becomes a safe and enjoyable place for toddlers to learn simple motor skills without the risk of injury due to the softness of the equipment.
Sometimes soft play obstacle courses can develop cognitive skills as the toddlers must figure out ways to use items or progress and move around the equipment.
There are usually three defined target age ranges that soft play and indoor play structure designers consider. Firstly, there are the 0-2’s which is usually a ground level only padded environment, often enclosed with an appropriate soft ‘fence’ or foam and vinyl ‘retainer’ block.
Secondly and thirdly there is the 2-5’s and 5-11’s age range which is often a mix of both ground level and 2, 3 or 3 level ‘framed’ indoor play structure.
Note that the age ranges detailed are for guidance only, product can be designed to suit the operators target age range.
Examples of Popular Soft Play Equipment
Soft play equipment is usually placed in a zone or room that is just as safe as the equipment itself. To make these spaces safe, you might want to install soft floor padding or soft wall padding. Providing a padded environment
But what about the soft play equipment itself? What are some examples?
#1: Soft Play Shapes
Soft play shapes are individual items that are soft and either encourage children to move, climb on or even solve puzzles. You might find these in the form of motorbikes, animals or simple shapes that you have to put in the correct order.
Soft play rockers are usually different animals in the typical rocking horse design. You can get duck rockers, whale rockers, octopus rockers and many more designs. You will need soft floor padding when choosing these to keep toddlers safe.
These types of packages come equipped with everything you need to create a small soft play zone. In the package, you receive safety padding and a number of items like the two listed above. They can also be themed like this jungle soft play pack.
Where Can You Buy Soft Play Equipment UK?
Soft play equipment can be purchased at most retailers that deal with all types of play equipment. Manufacturers of soft play equipment tend to supply directly to customers so you may find that you can source what you require directly from a manufacturer either through on-line shopping or direct discussion with their customer services department.
Certainly, if you require a bespoke product manufactured to a particular size or theme, your best option would be to deal directly with a soft play manufacturer. These Companies will supply directly to all customer types, soft play centres, schools, museums, leisure centres, community projects, private use customers and, indeed, any and all outlets with a need to amuse children.
Is It Possible to Buy Bespoke Soft Play Equipment?
Yes, if you shop at specialised and commercial play equipment suppliers that manufacture the product, they are likely to be able provide bespoke soft play equipment that matches your vision. They will also be able to help you design your whole soft play area to fit with your space and your brief.
Why Buy Bespoke Soft Play Equipment?
Bespoke soft play equipment and bespoke play area designs can help you to target specific benefits of this equipment. For example, if you need a soft play zone for younger children with dyspraxia, you might want the equipment to focus on helping to develop motor skills and increased safety.
Moreover, if you are building a commercial soft play business, you might want bespoke equipment to match the space at your disposal. Or you simply might want bespoke equipment to stand out against a local competitor.
Other Types of Bespoke Soft Play Equipment
Most of the soft play equipment discussed in the post has revolved around young children and commercial play zones for toddlers. But there are some other types of soft play equipment, even for adults!
The latest craze is to install adult soft play equipment and create soft play gyms, agility play zones and climbing centres. These can be profitable businesses and lots of fun for the bigger kids. Even though these types of centres are becoming more popular throughout the UK, they are still a small niche.
And for that reason, anyone wanting to create soft play limbing centres and alike will probably require tailormade equipment.
How Much Does (Bespoke) Soft Play Equipment Cost?
Soft play equipment varies in price usually dependent upon the size and quality of the equipment. For items like soft play shapes, expect to pay between £50 to £300. And for soft play rockers, you will need to pay £100 to £300+. Larger soft play structures will cost more because they provide much more excitement and benefits to users.
If you want bespoke equipment or a bespoke design, it is only natural to pay more. A lot more thought, labour and work go into creating bespoke designs, and that nudges the price up. If you are purchasing soft play equipment for commercial purposes, all your costs will be deductible from your profits to save on your tax bill.
Where Can I Buy Bespoke Soft Play Equipment?
There are many suppliers of soft play equipment but there are much fewer suppliers who can create bespoke equipment and bespoke soft play designs. For this you need a manufacturer with an in-house design team.
House of Play is one of the few – and one of the best!
We create bespoke soft play equipment designs to make sure you get purposeful equipment and a design that matches your establishment.
Contact our friendly team now to learn more.