FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS…

Still want to know more? Here we have answered some of the common questions that we are often asked.

Planning

How do I start a play centre?

House of Play has assisted numerous clients over a 25 year period to establish successful leisure businesses. The fundamental difference between House of Play and other indoor play suppliers is that we don’t just supply product but we can guide you through the whole process using the leisure expertise we have gained from setting up and running Astrabound Play Centre and Go Bounce Extreme Trampoline Park, both showcase leisure parks owned and operated by House of Play. 

How much will it cost to start an indoor play centre?

As a general guide, indoor play centres will cost broadly £120,000 to set up a 5000 sq ft unit and £240,000 to set up a 10000 sq ft unit. The budget will cover all set up costs including fitting out the building including kitchen, flooring, tables and chairs and play equipment. House of Play will help you to design the optimum layout for your building and will design your play equipment to suit your building characteristics, your play preference and your play budget.

How do I write a business plan for my indoor play centre?

House of Play can assist you in writing your business plan for your indoor play centre. House of Play has written a template business plan that can be adapted to suit your business circumstances and backs that up with an interactive forecast model specifically written for starting an indoor play centre.

How do I obtain funding for my indoor play centre?

Most clients would consider Bank and Asset Finance funding streams when starting up an indoor play centre.

Services

Where do we supply?

House of Play supply Indoor Playgrounds, Trampoline Parks, Ninja Warrior Courses and Parkour Arenas all over the world.

Can we install?

All Indoor Playground and Trampoline Park Products are offered with an installation service, subject to appropriate transfer and subsistence arrangements being available.

What operational support can House of Play offer?

House of Play owns and operates a showcase indoor play centre in Doncaster trading as Astrabound indoor play and party centre. The operational blueprint developed by Astrabound indoor play centre, is available to House of Play customers and we will share our best practices and documentation with you. Further, you will have access to Astrabound for real life training as and when you require.

Products

What standards do your products comply to?

Indoor Playgrounds comply with British Standard BS 8409 and the internationally recognised standard EN 1176. Trampoline Parks comply with BS PAS 5000:2017 and the internationally recognised ASTM 2970-15. House of Play customers to choose to buy our product because it is high quality, fairly priced and backed by long term reputation and high-quality service ethic.

What is the price of your equipment?

All House of Play products are designed and manufactured in-house from the highest possible materials and using the highest quality techniques and represent very good value for money.

  • Are our prices competitive with other quality product suppliers? Yes.
  • Is our product quality superior to most suppliers? Yes.
  • Is our product easy to maintain? Yes.

Design

How do House of Play design your project?

Each of our specialist designers have years of experience designing both Indoor Playgrounds and Trampoline Parks using the industy’s most cutting edge software. Customers usually provide us with dimensioned drawings and a general brief after which our designers then draft a simple block plan layout and provide a budget.

Once the layout and product mix is agreed we draft visuals in your selected colour scheme and present this with a fixed price. In order for customers to see their 2D layout/3D designs in real time we can screen share our computers with you so you can be involved in the process.

How to design a kitchen for an indoor play centre?

House of Play can help you design a kitchen which is optimum for your indoor play centre. The kitchen layout and equipment inclusion will be determined principally by the menu offering. House of Play can bring expertise to the menu offering through hands on experience of what sells as demonstrated by its trading showcase site, Astrabound indoor play and party centre. For more details please call House of Play on 01302 846876.

soft play equipment

What staff levels and qualifications are needed to run an indoor play centre?

There is no prescribed ratio of staff to children required to run an indoor play centre. Accordingly, staff levels will be determined by building layout, customer service levels and fulfilling the duty of care to your customers. There are legislative requirements that certain staff must hold and to find out more, please call House of Play on 01302 846876 and we can share with you our staff profile for Astrabound Play Centre, the indoor play centre owned and operated by House of Play.

How much will insurance costs be for an indoor play centre?

The broad classes of insurance required are buildings and contents, public liability and employers liability. There are 3 main insurance companies that insure indoor play centres.

What sort of venue do you need?

Both Indoor Playground and Trampoline Parks can come in a variety of sizes and ideally require a suitable open space. If there are existing rooms and mezzanines these may be able to be integrated into the wider facility dependent upon their location and size. A concrete slab floor is required and some natural light is always good.

Height is very important for both Playground and Trampoline equipment. Whilst there are no height restrictions for Indoor Playgrounds, Trampoline Parks require a minimum clear height of 5.20 metres.

Other key factors that influence scale are catchment, competition, required product mix, available capital and required income.

Why Is Soft Play Important?

Soft play equipment has a wealth of benefits for the children using the equipment and their parents. The most documented benefits of soft play equipment are that it helps to develop motor skills and enhances fundamental cognitive skills.

Children learn to move in a safe environment with a greatly mitigated risk of injury due to the softness of the equipment, overcoming small-scale problems and motor tasks. Moreover, users enhance their independent thinking, problem-solving and their cooperation with others when playing with other children.

Alongside these exceptional benefits, children and their wider families can experience lesser-known benefits of soft play equipment. It prepares them for an active lifestyle, provides family leisure time away from electronic devices and provides mental health benefits to parents and children. Any parent feeling isolated can attend soft play centres and take advantage of supervised facilities (which Play England strongly recommends), while also socialising with other parents and friends.

Last but not least, even children experience mental health benefits from soft play as it becomes a therapeutic exercise that can reduce their own stresses and anxiety. Overall, soft play equipment is important for so many reasons!

INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS

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SENSORY EQUIPMENT

What Is Needed for a Sensory Room?

The first thing you need to create a sensory room is space. Despite what the name suggests, sensory rooms come in all sizes from small zones inside a room to full rooms. However, it is better if you can make your sensory room a separated space to avoid outside interference and noises, especially if you want to harness their therapeutic benefits.

You may require softer padding and safety equipment to ensure the wellbeing of users. This is not always necessary depending on the room and its purpose, but it is certainly necessary if some groups will be using the sensory space, such as children with Dyspraxia.

And, of course, you will need sensory equipment to create your sensory room. Sensory equipment comes in different shapes, colours and sizes (quite literally!) and there are plenty of options to choose from that can be tailored to your needs. House of Play has one of the largest selections of sensory room equipment in the UK – and we manufacture our equipment ourselves!

What Is Sensory Equipment?

Sensory equipment is a specialised type of play equipment that is incorporated into sensory rooms. The equipment is designed and manufactured with the assistance of sensory experts to ensure the equipment can promote safe sensory activation among young children and disabled groups.

But sensory equipment is a broad term and there are many categories of sensory play equipment. House of Play stocks bespoke sensory play items by category to make it easier for you to find what you need.

Below are the popular sensory play equipment categories (note, some products can overlap between two or more categories):

  • Sensory lighting
  • Interactive sensory equipment
  • Tactile stimulation products
  • Early years sensory equipment
  • Audio sensory equipment
  • Visual sensory products

The sensory equipment you choose should be tailored to the intended users of the sensory room. For example, if you made a sensory room primarily for therapeutic reasons, you would choose calmer lighting and less interactive products.

When sensory room equipment is put together it can create plenty of colours and shapes – but there is always a method to the madness. For help designing a sensory room with the best sensory equipment for your needs, speak with House of Play. 

What Skills Does a Sensory Room Develop?

Sensory rooms have been scientifically proven to provide therapeutic benefits to users. They afford safe opportunities for children to feel confident in playing and exploring their senses. This is especially true for children with disabilities who may have experienced anxiety or even pain outside of a sensory room.

But sensory rooms can offer even more. They provide an opportunity for all children to enhance their cognitive development and specific skills.

Some sensory room equipment encourages movement from users. Products like mirrors, lighting bubble tubes, some audio sensory items and interactive panels all get children up and moving around in a safe space. This helps to develop their motor skills at an early age. Many facilities that assist children with Dyspraxia use sensory rooms for this reason. These children can learn to explore movement patterns in a calming environment that is 100% safe.

And it doesn’t end there! Using the sensory play equipment on their own can promote independent thinking, problem solving and creativity. When using the sensory room with others, it can develop their cooperation to work on tasks or play together with other children. There are so many skills that children can start to develop in a sensory room.

What Are Multi-Sensory Rooms?

Multi-sensory rooms were thought up by the Dutch in the 1970s. They were – and still are – rooms that include play equipment designed to encourage safe use of users’ senses. These spaces are typically used by children with Autism or Dyspraxia and adults who have dementia. Although any child can benefit from experiences inside a multi-sensory room.

A multi-sensory room is usually a colourful place with sensory equipment that promote activation of the senses by moving around in different ways, playing, socialising, exploring equipment, and problem-solving on their own or with others.

When a child has a sensory disability, they may find that using their senses in everyday life causes them stress and pain. The multi-sensory room helps overcome these difficulties by making sensory exploration safe, therapeutic and instilling confidence. These positive experiences can then transfer outside of the multi-sensory room for wider benefits.

You may hear other names for multi-sensory rooms, such as sensory rooms, sensory rich environments (although they are not 100% the same) and multisensory environments.

What Is a Sensory Rich Environment?

A sensory rich environment is a term used to describe any space or place that engages the senses more than usual. Some examples of sensory rich environments include a garden or flowers with strong aromas, a mirror maze at your local fairground or a firework display.

These environments include objects or events that engage our senses more than normal in everyday environments. The strong smell of the roses, the sight of funny mirrors and the sights and sounds of fireworks will all heighten the respective senses activated more than usual.

Some people use the term ‘sensory rich environment’ to describe a multi-sensory room too. The sensory room is a space where senses are purposefully heightened and can also provide a therapeutic benefit to its users.

It should be noted that all sensory rooms are fantastic for children with sensory disorders and ASD, whereas other sensory rich environments may not be. For example, a child with ASD can feel safe, comfortable and in control in a sensory room, which they might not when watching a firework display or in a mirror maze.

What Is a Multisensory Environment?

A multisensory environment is a name given to a dedicated space that activates the senses. The name is usually used interchangeably with sensory rooms or multi-sensory room. If you attend a school or care facility, you might find that the workers at the venue will call their sensory room a multisensory environment. They are almost always the same thing.

The multisensory environment will be designed and made with sensory products and sensory play equipment for children. It will provide the same benefits to its users, such as mental health benefits and cognitive development.

If you are looking for a local facility that has a sensory room and are not finding anything online, try searching for a multisensory environment instead. You may find something near you.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Still can not find what you are looking for? Simply contact one of our helpful House of Play team members to discuss your project today.

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