Why is soft play important? If you are a parent of a young child, you should hear how soft play equipment can help your child to develop in an array of ways. And there are even benefits for you parents too!
Read on to discover the general benefits of soft play centres and other reasons why they are so important.
What Is Soft Play?
Soft play equipment is a genre of play equipment aimed at younger children. Specifically designed to help younger children to develop motor, physical, cognitive skills and much more.
Some of the most popular soft play equipment is a collection of soft play items known as packaway kits. Together they can create somewhat of a small obstacle course for young kids. This helps to develop motor skills while also maintaining their safety due to the softness of the equipment in case of falls.
But soft play is not just these packaway kits. It also includes soft play rockers, and shape games to develop problem-solving and independent learning.
The best suppliers make bespoke soft play equipment.
Soft play shouldn’t be confused with indoor play areas. These are aimed at older children and are generally speaking dedicated play structures.
Where Can I Find Soft Play Opportunities?
Soft play equipment is usually bought by nurseries, schools and indoor play centres, giving children an opportunity to enjoy the equipment every week.
However, not all of these venues own soft play items and parents may prefer to take their children to soft play centres across the UK.
When you hear the benefits of soft play, you’ll be even more inclined to look up your local soft play centre…
The General Benefits of Soft Play
As well as motor development mentioned previously, soft play equipment has other well-known benefits.
The equipment can facilitate problem-solving and encourage children to explore and learn for themselves. Creativity, imagination and the ability to cooperate with other children are all additional benefits of using soft play.
Other Reasons Why Soft Play Is Important
But there are even more reasons to use soft play, and these reasons don’t usually receive as much attention.
Here are the details with many points backed up by Play England’s The Charter of Children’s Play:
1. Tackling Obesity
Getting young children to play is not primarily to make them more active or to lose weight. Playing at an early age is typically for motor and cognitive development. However, by getting younger children active it can encourage such behaviours that lead to a healthier and more active childhood.
When UK child obesity has become a concern for many years, getting your children interested in staying active at a young age may be more beneficial than you realise.
2. Creating Family Time
Soft play can also be enjoyed at home or in soft play centres as a family. Playing together can be an enjoyable leisure time activity for parents, children and their siblings. It also gets us away from our mobiles and similar devices.
The Telegraph reported that parents who use their mobiles too much increased the chances of their children developing behavioural problems. Spending quality time together at a soft play centre (or at home) could safeguard against behavioural problems and their further consequences.
3. Helping Parents Socialise
If parents take their children to commercial centres, this can give them a break or the chance to catch up with other friends and parents while the staffed facility ensures their safety. It can provide a social escape for parents that may occasionally feel isolated, especially single parents.
And you shouldn’t feel guilty for sending your children to go off and play with other children rather than playing with them yourself. This can help their ability to work with others. And it can strike a balance between playing with parents and other children, which is actively encouraged by The Charter for Children’s Play.
4. Tackling Mental Health
When we think of mental health issues, we tend to gravitate straight towards the issues mainly faced by adults. But children can also have mental health problems that arise from distress and anxiety.
The Charter for Children’s Play states that soft play is a therapeutic activity that can provide emotional stress relief, thus, benefiting even young children’s mental health.
Where Can I Buy Soft Play Equipment?
You can buy soft play equipment for your family or start your own soft play business. If you need help finding soft play items from a premium manufacturer, look no further than House of Play.
We design and create bespoke soft play items in-house with a stellar reputation. See our range for yourself, today!