Soft Play: Rules Of Engagement

One Rule To Rule them All

The first rule of soft play is that no one talks about soft play.

If you did they wouldn’t believe you. I have only written this down so that future generations will know our pain.

Fade In:

Tonight’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? features  Eeh Bah Mum’s Great Grandaughter.

‘So at the age of 8 your Victorian ancestors were working in the mill 20 hours a day, 3 generations later your great Grandma spent 4 hours in Bertie Bumbles Fun House. We’ve unearthed this shocking picture of her wedged between two massive foam rollers. This was before society had discovered the vital part socks played in prevention of contagious diseases.’

The Sock Rule

What is with the sock obsession?

I have been monitoring both my children closely and as far as I can see their feet are the part of their bacteria infested bodies least likely to spread germs.

Do the owners of soft play centres know something we (and the entire medical profession) don’t?

Are they all running sock shops on the side?

Bertie Bumbles Fun House

The third rule is that all soft play establishments must have a ridiculously chirpy sounding name like Bitsy’s Teeny Planet Of Joy!!  or Pippins Happy Play Barn!!!!!!!!!!

Someone should report these establishments to trading standards (and the punctuation police) my suggestions for more suitable names would include Mephisto’s Madhouse, Dante’s Seventh Circle of Fun!!!!! or Shitworld.

Wacky Warehouse is one of the biggest chains in the UK which kind of sums up the whole business.

No one has ever used the word wacky in a complimentary sense.

I know this because someone once told me I had a wacky dress sense whilst on a date. Years later Mr Eeh Bah confessed he thought I had turned up in fancy dress.

Ignore This Sign!

There will be laminated notices plastered all over the walls shouting orders:

Do Not Remove Balls From The Ballpool!

No Food and Drink Beyond This Point!

Under 5’s Only!

Laminating Is Fun!

These Signs Don’t Work!

No One Takes Any Notice Of Your Notices!

But hey, at least they give the impression that there are rules. I have adopted a similar system at home and have had wacky shabby chic style signs made:

Put That Down!

Stop Asking Questions!

 No You Can’t!

Why Are You Still Here?

Neither of my children can read but it gives visitors the impression I run a tight ship whilst pointing out that I am clearly not the type of person to be trifled with and guests are more likely to keep their socks on.

As for the rest of the rules it’s fairly simple:

  1. No kicking.

  2. No punching.

  3. Try not to piss on the slide.

10 thoughts on “Soft Play: Rules Of Engagement

  1. All those laminated signs and not one which says “only way through here is squeezing between foam rollers” or “if you’re pregnant, don’t let your toddler through this way cos you won’t fit after him”.

    Not saying that I’ve ever lost my son in a “manic maze” due to being too fat… Just y’know, it could happen to someone less lithe and bendy than me….. :-\

  2. The few times we’ve been to soft play I’ve left with the worst headache ever – I think it’s the noise and all those bright colours. My daughter, of course, loved it. Why don’t they ever sell wine? It would surely make it much more fun for mums…

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  4. I suspect the sock thing is to prevent kids from walking up the slides. Socks make this a difficult process. It can’t be germs .. my kids have caught so many bugs from soft play that bears it out. Luckily my local ones don’t have music but the smell of chips invades every corner and that plus noise always gives me a headache. They are heaven (busy kids away from me) and hell (noise / stink / noise / bad coffee / noise) all rolled into one. And usually the wifi is pants. If they have a quite coffee room off to the side with a noise proof viewing window it would be heaven!! Something like the gorilla enclosure at the zoo. Someone please invent this!

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