about these Mums in soft play?

(90 Posts)
BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 15:55:11

Happy to be told that I am.

Took ds (2) to softplay yesterday and was in there with him (hoying myself down the slide and getting stuck in the rollers which aren't built for women like me) helping him to climb etc

2 mams came into the toddler area with babies, both women had their boots / trainers on.

I caught the eye of one and said 'excuse me, please could you take your shoes off? There are babies crawling'

One said 'yeah, in a minute' her friend said 'I've got no socks with me'

There were no staff - it's in a leisure centre and they were over the far side behind barriers

I told them that they could have anything dog shit on their shoes so could they please take them off.

They both flounced out and 1 took her boots off and came back in whilst the other made a phone call and loudly told the person on the other end of the line about the 'mardy cow at softplay who'd made her take her shoes off'

Wibu and petty to insist when it really wasn't my place?

VashtaNerada Sun 11-May-14 15:57:19

They were BU for wearing shoes at soft play (esp if there were signs) but I'm not sure I would have actually said anything.

Busymumto3dc Sun 11-May-14 15:57:42

Could you not have found a member of staff

Floggingmolly Sun 11-May-14 15:58:03

No, I'd have insisted too. Silly bitch knew she was in the wrong if she had to ensure you heard her rude phone rant.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 16:01:30

Sraff were behind kiosks right over the other side of the centre. I'd have had to drag ds out and that seemed like more of a fuss.

CeliaLytton Sun 11-May-14 16:02:41

YWNBU. Nobody likes it pointed out to them when they do something inconsiderate or thoughtless which is why they were huffing. But shoes off in soft play is fairly common I would have thought.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 16:08:25

Admittedly I am a sucker for rules but I just think anything other than shoes off is minging.

They weren't just walking around, they were climbing, stepping into the ball pool etc.

Nosynora Sun 11-May-14 16:44:57

I think you were all unreasonable for being inside the soft play it is for children and something they need to experience with parents/carers keeping a watchfull eye from the sidelines .

StarSwirl92 Sun 11-May-14 16:59:32

Not in any soft play for children of that age I've seen. Yanbu OP.

LangenFlugelHappleHoff Sun 11-May-14 17:25:21

I don't think ywbu at all. I have done it myself, if nothing else when young children are crawling you need bare/socked feet so if you accidentally stand on a limb you will notice and remove your foot sharpish

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 17:29:14

Nosy - even when dc are just 2? I'm fairly laid back but he's little for his age and needs help with some of the stuff.

Cheesymonster Sun 11-May-14 17:32:54

Nosynora my local soft play centres specify that children under 2 must be accompanied in the soft play area.

Yanbu, but I would have been too shy to say anything, so power to you!

trufflesnout Sun 11-May-14 17:35:59

YWBpetty, but not unreasonable I guess.

addictedtosugar Sun 11-May-14 17:37:49

Our local soft play does a roaring trade in toddler and adult socks.
No shoes on the soft play, and no bare feet either.
I've never known anywhere with other rules.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 17:38:39

My local soft play centres (there are three nearby) specifically say that adults are not allowed on/in the equipment, particularly the toddler bit.

From what I've read on mumsnet, they must be the only ones in the UK like that, because everyone else seems to climb in there with the children and think it's strange that I don't. I thought the OP was going to say that the other parents asked her to come out of the play area and I was going to say 'quite right too, you shouldn't have been in there' grin

As it is, I think you're right. Dirty shoes all over the play equipment is pretty grim.

SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 17:44:07

YWNBU to ask them to take their shoes off

YWBU to play on the equipment yourself with all these babies crawling about - you don't need to actually play, you just need to supervise.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sun 11-May-14 17:44:56

It's totally normal for a parent/carer/much older sibling to accompany a toddler in to soft play here too. There is a big difference between just being there to assist & actually 'playing' in there yourself IYSWIM.

I've only also ever experienced the strict "no shoes, no bare feet" rule too. And they also sell plain white trainer socks grin.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sun 11-May-14 17:46:38

Oh, and YWNBU to say something. I can just picture an adult coming down the slide in to the ball pool & kicking a small child in the face. Unintentionally of course, but totally possible - likely even, if it was busy.

trufflesnout Sun 11-May-14 17:51:27

I can just picture an adult coming down the slide in to the ball pool & kicking a small child in the face. Unintentionally of course

Oh no, it's the only reason I go to soft play!

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 17:56:14

YWBU to play on the equipment yourself with all these babies crawling about - you don't need to actually play, you just need to supervise

Spoilsport blush

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 18:06:22

At my local softplay, under 4's have to be supervised.

And playing is fun, thats a perk of having kids.


TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 18:07:03

btw supervision means going on the equipment, not just on the sidelines.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 18:20:25

I worked in one when I was younger and we often had parents who came in with sleeping babies and spent half an hour legging it round having fun before the kids woke up.

Tali I think it's a perk too and the only exercise I get although I'm always terrified I'll get properly stuck!

ShadowFall Sun 11-May-14 18:47:17


All the softplays near me insist on no shoes and no bare feet too. And most of them sell socks for the benefit of people who've forgotten to bring them along.

Also, the softplay places near me have signs up saying that children under a certain age (usually 4 or 5) have to be supervised. Which means that the parent has to get in there with them, unless the softplay area is really tiny.

NeilDiamondRocks Sun 11-May-14 18:56:38

Well done OP!! You were brave!! Glad you got a result there.

SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 19:19:37

No - supervision means supervising them on the equipment, not "hoying myself down the slide and getting stuck in the rollers which aren't built for women like me"

trufflesnout Sun 11-May-14 19:20:51

Ugh I hate the rollers. I feel like I'm in Chicken Run or something.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 19:26:31

SirChenjin At my local, it does mean on the equipment, because in some areas of the equipment, you cant see anything if your standing on the ground, and theres railings so you can see much if you standing at the railings, so yes you do have to join under 4's on said equipment.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 19:26:59


SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 19:31:34

I'm really surprised that adults are allowed to climb on equipment that is designed for toddlers (which is where the OP was). Certainly none of the soft plays I've ever been to (in what feels like hundreds of years of soft plays) have ever allowed adults to play on baby/toddler equipment - which is probably why the OP got stuck.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 19:33:11

Are the soft play places where they expect you to accompany the children really big? The ones I'm familiar with are child sized, you'd have to be a contortionist to fit into them as an adult, and if you had more than one adult in there I'd be really worried about safety for the little ones, they could be crushed in there.

You'd think it would make much more sense to have child sized equipment, that way they wouldn't need adults to help them use it.

zazzie Sun 11-May-14 19:40:30

I still go on the soft play equipment with my 7 year old as he wouldn't cope on his own and might bite/scratch other children if he got upset. We tend to go to places with bigger equipment as I don't want to get stuck.

SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 19:44:14

I've been to all sizes of soft plays over the course of 16 years <shudder> - none of them allow adults to actually play on the baby/toddler equipment. You can supervise, but not actually play on them - which is just as well, I wouldn't have wanted a 6 foot tall, 17 stone bloke coming down a slide if my toddler was playing around on the floor.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 19:46:02

One of the ones nearest me doesn't allow anyone over the age of 8 or 130cm tall on the equipment...

trufflesnout Sun 11-May-14 19:46:32

On a serious note because this is heading into what's actually safe territory - have actually only ever been on one piece of soft play equipment, and that was to help a scared child down a slide. It scared me too - the thing was enormous and definitely not child sized.

Luckily my children aren't that into soft play so I'm not dragged along often but yes, I agree that adults on children's soft play equipment seems infinitely unsafe and a H&S bomb waiting to explode.

zazzie Sun 11-May-14 19:48:37

No adults means that some children wouldn't be able to go on.

SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 19:49:33

Me too treacle - and in fact, my DS1 (who's nearly 17 and 6' 1") was recently told off by staff (quite rightly so) for going onto the equipment after his 7 year old brother who wouldn't come out when he was told to.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 19:49:55

Slightly off topic but unlike most of mumsnet I love soft play!

My children have never been bullied by bigger kids on the equipment, they all play together. And I've never seen parents arguing with each other either, the way I've read about on here. And my children have never caught chickenpox/d&v/the cold after playing there.

The ones I go to, the parents watch, the children play, everyone is happy. And the one I go most often, the coffee and cake is great too. Its win win.

hazeyjane Sun 11-May-14 19:52:25

I don't think I have ever been to a soft play where me or dh hasn't been allowed on. Ds (nearly 4) loves them but couldn't get around on his own as he is disabled, and his sisters always needed a bit of hel with some bits (they have inherited my short legs).

HaroldLloyd Sun 11-May-14 19:54:48

In some of the ones I go to the slide is the only way out, well apart from backtracking through the whole vortex of hell again. I've got a 15 month old who needs following.

I do come down the slide as slowly as possible with a face like a slapped arse if that helps.

He's too little to push down on his own.

Goldmandra Sun 11-May-14 19:57:25

I worked in one when I was younger and we often had parents who came in with sleeping babies and spent half an hour legging it round having fun before the kids woke up.

The best PTA fundraiser I ever went on was an evening in our local soft play sans children. We had two teams of parents and teacher playing silly games while quaffing wine. It's just a shame nobody videoed it.

YWNBU to ask them to take their shoes off.

YWNBU to be in there playing with your DS.

Offler Sun 11-May-14 19:58:37

One of the soft play places near me is hired out in the evening for adult parties. Always been tempted grin

zazzie Sun 11-May-14 19:59:39

My son likes to sit at the top of any slide looking down it but won't slide down. If I wasn't there to move him on there would definitely be trouble.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 19:59:42

I'm quite jealous now, I'd love to play on the equipment sad But without children getting in the way of course!

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 20:18:04

I simply don't believe people saying their little toddlers are happy to run around on their own.

Ds has gone to nursery from being a baby and is independent and plays with others but he'd be up on the big stuff on his own like a shot and he's just too little for most of it alone.

Some of you must have 4 foot toddlers by the sound of it

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 20:20:40

I didn't say I don't supervise my toddler, I said I don't go on the equipment. Because 1) its against the rules at the soft play centres I go to and 2) I wouldn't fit anyway.

Why would I be lying about it? I have no reason to lie about it confused

Goldmandra Sun 11-May-14 20:22:22

One of the soft play places near me is hired out in the evening for adult parties. Always been tempted

Go for it. You won't regret it smile

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 20:24:23

How do you supervise them on level 2 from the ground? ?

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 20:25:11

Level 2 is about the height of my shoulder. I supervise him by standing up and looking in.

SirChenjin Sun 11-May-14 20:25:37

None of mine used to run about on their own as toddlers Bob - I would stand beside them as they went down the slide, or climbed up something, but I didn't go onto the equipment because it wasn't/isn't allowed, thankfully.

QuizzicalCat Sun 11-May-14 20:32:25

My DD plays with her same age friends at soft play and has done since she turned two.

They're all around two and a half and can use the equipment just fine, in fact when I did go in once dd told me off because 'is only for chidrun Mummee!'

You said yourself that your two year old is small, perhaps it's not that other people are lying, it's that your ds is the exception rather than the rule you seem to see him as.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 20:32:44

Are you talking about soft play or a park?? Our soft play is like a black hole Once he's in then I can't see him. The slides are in the middle so I couldn't supervise him unless I climbed on the equipment. The toddler area has a climb hole up to the other level so can't stop him going up. He gets stuck though on some bits - its massive and maze like!

HaroldLloyd Sun 11-May-14 20:33:30

Some 2 year olds are fine alone, some not. They are all very different at that age.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 20:35:38

The rule I see him as? Ffs really - I don't think so.

There were 3 other parents in ours today with little ones. The place is massive.

I have also worked in one so have spent hours in them. Few just turned 2 year olds are confident users of the whole place alone.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 20:36:34

Toddlers area at the one I go to is laid out in such a way that all parts of it are visible from outside - you can stand outside the netting and be able to see them no matter where they are, it sticks out into
the middle of the room and is exposed on three sides with only one narrow bit up against the wall. Grown ups wouldn't fit through the little entrance to get into it, even my two year old has to get down and crawl through the gap.

QuizzicalCat Sun 11-May-14 20:39:33

Exactly Harold - they are all different.

Just because your ds can't go off and play on his own, and is small doesn't mean that all two year old are.

To say that you don't believe that others do because your child doesn't is just daft.

QuizzicalCat Sun 11-May-14 20:53:01

I simply don't believe people saying their little ones are happy to run around on their own.

Why not? Because your child doesn't? That is you judging others as liars based on your child.

But my child isn't your child. Mine is more than happy to gallop off into soft play without me running around beside her.

But you simply don't believe me, and wouldn't believe my friends whose children my dd is running around soft play with.

And you don't think you're holding your son up as some sort of 'THIS is how two year olds play at soft play and anyone who says their child does happily go off is a liar!' because that's pretty much what you've said.

They all do different things at different times, just because your child isn't doing something it doesn't mean others his age aren't. Just like there will be things he is doing that others don't.

If you told me that your ds was doing something my dd isn't yet I wouldn't disbelieve you, why would I?!

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 21:00:13

You're sounding a tad screechy there Quiz - back off with the attack and liar comments please, this is a forum. Not a battle ground.

I worked in one so have experience of other people's kids using soft play. That is what I'm basing my musings (note, not accusations) on.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 21:01:31

Oh, and no - I'm not holding him up. I'm encouraging him, praising him and teaching him to turn take etc.

Waltermittythesequel Sun 11-May-14 21:03:46

Bob to be fair you did say you simply didn't believe people. That's pretty much calling them liars isn't it?

Fwiw all my dc played alone in the toddler areas of soft plays.

I supervised, I watched and I encouraged but I didn't try to go on the bloody stuff myself! (I'd me mortified!)

windchime Sun 11-May-14 21:05:35

Oh yes because soft play equipment is sooooooo clean normally confused

BeyondRepair Sun 11-May-14 21:11:57

I am not sure whats worse people with bare feet or those with shoes on.

Anyway you should have got out discreetly and told a member of staff and let them deal with it.

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 11-May-14 21:19:19

I think YABU and a tad neurotic.
None of these places started off sterile each day its like the park without the rain.

I'm another one of those liars who's just turned 2 year old has been running off at soft play since before he was 18 months old. If he cant get on it by himself then its not in hes age group yet, but that's fine because there are plenty of amusing things on every level at all of the soft plays I've been to. I supervise from the sidelines.

BumpAndGrind Sun 11-May-14 21:51:53

DD is only 6 months so yet to experience soft play, but our local one hires out to adult parties in the evening.

CornishYarg Sun 11-May-14 23:13:49

YANBU about the shoes.

Re the supervision/going on the equipment, it depends on the layout of the centre. There are two small centres in our area where you can see everything from outside so I supervise 2 year old DS from there.

But our nearest one is huge (it's in a former warehouse) and large parts of it can't be seen from outside. DS can manage to make his way up to the top without help but he's too little to climb up the final step to the big slide. Other than retracing his steps, this is the only way down. So I position myself there so I can help him with the final climb and I can see him make his way up. And yes, when we leave or if I need to get to the bottom quickly for any reason, I take the slide!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 11-May-14 23:23:53

Hmmm - I think that people have different ideas about soft play. Where we live it is probably 25m (swimming pool length) each way and the highest bit is probably house height.

The only way to supervise is from in it.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 23:23:55

Always take the slide!!

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 11-May-14 23:25:42

Its the same at my local centre, its floor to ceiling in a warehouse, its huge and you cant see at the back or up to the top from the ground, if under 4's wanna go in it, parents or other responsible adults, have gotta go in too.

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 23:37:57

The 'main' bit of my local soft play is like that, the height of a house etc, but the toddler bit is only about as tall as an adult, so it's easy to just stand up and look in.

By the time they're big enough and confident enough to go on the big equipment, I'm not bothered about watching their every move, as it's a safe, enclosed place for them to climb.

SingSongSlummy Sun 11-May-14 23:39:50

Erm, I'm pretty sure that some of you have never been to the huge soft play centres (I'm talking 5 levels, in a massive warehouse, dodgems, carousels etc) if you'd let a 2 yr old roam free in them! Apart from helping them, you'd actually just lose them as you can't see where they are unless you're in there too!


BobPatandIgglePiggle Sun 11-May-14 23:40:03

Ours has a climb hole in the toddlers bit to the big bit though...

treaclesoda Sun 11-May-14 23:49:25

No, fair enough, I've never heard of a soft play with carousels etc, that would probably count as a theme park round here grin My DC would love that...

The only ones I've ever been to have been a sort of warehouse type setting with a main climbing frame/slides etc which is more or less the the height of the building and a separate toddler area which is not connected to the main climbing frame.

And they all have signs up saying no one over the age of 12 is allowed on the equipment. (Or in the case of one of them, no one over the age of 8). I promise, I'm not making it up - adults genuinely couldn't fit into the toddler play area in the one that I most often go to. I love the fact that it's all toddler sized and they can safely play without adults standing waiting to catch them.

SingSongSlummy Sun 11-May-14 23:55:11

treacle yours sounds waaaay more relaxing. Can we swap?!

treaclesoda Mon 12-May-14 00:00:14

Only if you keep my two year old. I'm not letting him loose in something five stories high, he'd be up to the top in no time, he knows no fear!

BobPatandIgglePiggle Mon 12-May-14 00:00:59

Nope - ours is all joined, he fell down one of the crawl up holes today on level 2 and I was watching him. If I'd not been there he'd have been lying crying. He fell down behind a big cushion thing - no way could I have spotted him from outside and coaxed him down.

MrsMook Mon 12-May-14 00:01:38

I make sure I take my socks as my toddler's ambitions tend to be greater than his inside leg measurement. It's very easy for him to get stuck for the sake of a couple of inches of leg stretch, and he just needs a slight shove on the bum to help. Poor child is 9th centile, and his baby brother is 2 years younger and encroaching on the same clothes size. He had toddler corners mastered before he stopped crawling.


EverythingCounts Mon 12-May-14 00:09:06

YANBU. All the ones I've ever been to say take your shoes off and a good few sell socks if you are without any.

As for going in, I always went in with DS when he was that age. It is miserable I think to see a child loitering on their own looking sad when the parent is sat down ignoring them for 2 hours straight and jabbing a their mobile instead (not talking about people who take a break to do this while keeping an eye out, or who do it with older kids - I mean the ones who just ignore little ones totally for the whole time)

BobPatandIgglePiggle Mon 12-May-14 00:12:26

Ds is tiny - born on 0.4 and not moved much above Mrs

He'd be bored stiff in the tiny bit and loves all the other stuff, he just needs a bit of help getting to it.

I go to softplay when it's quiet so I'm not in anyone's way.

Today I had a little girl ask me to go on the slide with her. I said I couldn't but to ask her mummy. She said 'mummy's playing on her phone' :-(

BobPatandIgglePiggle Mon 12-May-14 00:13:24

Cross post everything

TheDetective Mon 12-May-14 00:29:46

YWNBU, but I would probably have made passive aggressive tuts or something grin.

As an aside - since this thread has gone this way (!) I don't let my 17 month old on the equipment alone - not because he can't. But so he doesn't beat up your kid, snatch their toy and make them cry, or just completely disappear off the radar. There are too many exit points for him to escape from hmm.

Toddler DS is something of a Houdini. There are several soft plays in our area, and pretty much all of them he can escape from out to the carpark. He hasn't made it outside yet, but only because I am constantly stalking keeping tabs on him. I've got to him past the gate that hasn't been closed from fucking knobheads other parents coming in or out. He could easily escape. Also, he moves so fast, and is below table/adult height. I can't get to him fast enough sometimes as others are in my way. He honestly has no sense of danger or fear. He has never stopped and looked around for me.

I regularly can be found legging it after him, removing him from behind counters and kitchens also - which is dangerous in itself.

Sorry, but if he gives me so much trouble when I am actively following him around, can you imagine what would actually happen if he was supervised from a distance. If I couldn't actually see him, I'd shit myself he'd got out.

On Saturday he disappeared between the pretty packed out tables. He didn't appear again, I started going after him, couldn't see him or find him. I headed towards the exit, because that's my first port of call when he goes missing - to stop him escaping.

Anyway. Yeah. I stay with my toddler for many reasons. Until he has any sort of understanding it will stay that way. He appears to have very little understanding of anything yet, other than 'clap hands', 'ta' (give me that dangerous object right now little child), and 'all gone'. He snatches toys - because he hasn't understood that isn't acceptable yet. And he won't understand it unless I stay with him, remove said snatched toy, give it back to other child, remind him that we don't take things off others, and apologise if the other parents are there. You know, setting a good example to him. Teaching him right from wrong.

So forgive me for going on the equipment with him, but really, it's in your childrens best interests.

I'm pretty sure my older child didn't need this level of supervision, but then we didn't use soft play til he was 3. We've been going since toddler DS was 7 months old and crawling. I am assuming by 3 he will have mastered some sort of control over his behaviours. Perhaps not. We shall see!

wobblyweebles Mon 12-May-14 02:28:05

TBH I do wonder why people expect softplay to be so clean. Playparks aren't that clean, and toddlers/children play on the equipment there.

treaclesoda Mon 12-May-14 07:08:26

wobbly my MIL used to take a packet of antibacterial wipes to the park and wipe the slide, climbing frame, swings etc before she would let my DD go on them. hmm

I had to point out to her that both DH and myself had been to plenty of playgrounds as children yet by some miracle had made it to our 30s without dropping dead through having touched a climbing frame.

This from a woman who complains that people bath and wash their hair far too often because 'no one did that in my day and we were all far healthier'. confused

CaractacusPotts Mon 12-May-14 07:17:34

YWBU for being in the in the first place - there's a reason that the equipment isn't built for women like you wink

Parents in the soft play is once of my big annoyances for various reasons mentioned in PP's! If your LO is too small take them to a playgym where they aren't!

HOWEVER, YWNBU regarding the shoes! Common sense really!

Goldmandra Mon 12-May-14 07:39:48

If your LO is too small take them to a playgym where they aren't!

What's a playgym? We only have a soft play place and it is open to all ages. Parents of crawlers and toddlers follow them round. When they are old enough they go off on their own and parents sit on the sofas with a coffee. Everyone seems happy with that arrangement.

Hulababy Mon 12-May-14 07:43:57

Every soft play I've been to allows adults in/on with younger children. I have, over the years, been to many. Fortunately those days are over

BobPatandIgglePiggle Mon 12-May-14 07:47:02

Don't know what a playgym is either.

Ours charge full price for age 2+ too - surely this isn't for just the tiny toddler bit??

zazzie Mon 12-May-14 08:09:03

My son wouldn't be safe on his own - not because of size but because of learning difficulties. If adults cannot go in then some disabled children would not be able to go in. I have never seen an adult causing problems in soft play but I have seen plenty of unsupervised children doing so.

hazeyjane Mon 12-May-14 09:13:17

Parents in the soft play is once of my big annoyances for various reasons mentioned in PP's! If your LO is too small take them to a playgym where they aren't!

Like zazzle says I or dh have to go in, or ds wouldn't be able to get around, he loves them, they are great for helping his gross motor skills, but he is disabled.

hazeyjane Mon 12-May-14 09:13:49

sorry, zazzie not zazzle!

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