Soft Play Area

It was raining this morning. So I finally caved in and took G to the local soft play area, something I'd been saving for, well, a rainy day.

I'd actually taken her once before, when she was still a baby, just to check the place out. I'd seen soft play areas from the outside, usually in unappealing settings such as windswept industrial estates. Ours is in an old mill complex, which makes it slightly less bleak. But only slightly.

On our previous visit G was only really able to crawl around the babies' bit, and I thought I'd bring her back for another go when she was old enough for the trampolines, bouncy castle and the rest. Needing something to use up her morning energy, I decided that today would be the day.

Inside, soft play areas are a weird combination of the happiest place on Earth and the seventh circle of Hell. The excited laughter of youngsters bouncing around is only disturbed by bitter crying whenever one falls off something, and is carried away in tears by a harassed-looking parent.

G loved it. Really, really loved it. It being the holidays, there were a few rather bored looking older kids around, but G managed to avoid being trampled on while struggling to keep her balance on the various bouncy things, which was an even bigger bonus. In the end, possibly a bit put off by all the noise, she toddled back to the tots' area and kept herself quietly entertained there, as shown in the picture. She's still young enough to be a baby when it suits her.