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Find out what MNers have to say about IKEA’s SMÅLAND

(94 Posts)
AbbiCMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-Nov-19 09:28:29

This is the feedback thread for the Mumsnet users with children aged between 3 - 10 who have tested IKEA’s SMÅLAND crèches in their stores around the UK.

Here’s what IKEA has to say:
“For many a trip to IKEA is a fun day out for the whole family. We take pride in ensuring there are features and facilities available that families need and with something for everyone to enjoy. Play facilities make shopping more fun and easy for families with children. Parents can relax and enjoy shopping, whilst children can learn and have fun.
Our supervised play facilities aim to provide a space where every child can be an individual having new and memorable experiences, whilst opening their imagination and creating curiosity.
Please read here for more details about SMÅLAND, including information about children with additional needs. You can check www.ikea.com/gb/en/stores/here to locate your local store.”

Testers, please give your feedback by answering the questions below:
- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

All testers who give their feedback will be entered into a prize draw where 3 x MNers will win a £100 IKEA voucher.

Thanks and good luck!
MNHQ

Insight Terms and Conditions apply

NurseKeegan Fri 01-Nov-19 12:07:43

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

Very very positive. Pippa had the best time. The staff were so approachable and took such good care of her. She made Halloween crafts and made the most of the soft play and ball pits! It gave me real peace of mind to see how much the other children were enjoying the creche too!

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

Although Pippa absolutely loves a trip to IKEA anyway, she's been asking every day if she can go back again to the creche and I think that speaks volumes.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?

I always knew that the creche was there but had never availed of it as Pippa loves a wee trip around the store and my youngest, Max, is too young to use it.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

It was in a slightly awkward place. We decided to go for food first because we couldn't get a space in the creche for 45mins. For us to get back to the entrance of the creche, we had to go right back through the whole markethall. Then when. I dropped Pippa off, I did my shopping round the markethall, but couldn't pay because I'd end up having to go right back round the markethall to collect her at the exit of the creche. That's my only complaint. Perhaps, a lift that you can use to get to the exit so you don't have to go right back round the whole shop.

birdy1978 Fri 01-Nov-19 12:07:58

My son aged 4 really enjoyed his 45 minute session during half term at the Exeter store. There was no queue, it was straightforward to get him registered and he was happy to be left despite not knowing anyone there. When I asked him what the best bit of his day was he said ‘Småland’! He really loved the ball pit.

littlemonkeymum Fri 01-Nov-19 12:08:03

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

Excellent. I wish I’d tried it sooner, thanks for the opportunity!

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

Yes, I’ve not visited IKEA for a while and could easily have spent another hour browsing - time seemed to go very quickly! For another visit in the near future or to buy something in particular an hour is fine.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?

Yes, but only vaguely as I’ve never looked into it. I wish I’d considered it with my eldest DD when she was little instead of bringing her with us, as it would have been miles easier looking back!

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

Would absolutely recommend. The staff were lovely and very professional. My DD (5) couldn’t wait to go in at the start and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It would probably be easier to be able to complete a form in advance with the questions I was asked at registration (Drs surgery details, name and contact number for someone not present etc) but not a major issue. The website didn’t have loads of info about the crèche as far as I could see either.

Sotiredbutcannotsleep Fri 01-Nov-19 12:08:48

I was already aware of the crèche facility at Ikea and had used it a few times before. This and the child-friendly canteen are some of the reasons we shop at Ikea as it makes a fun shopping trip for the kids and a calm shopping experience for the adults (I know some people dislike the layout of Ikea stores but we go frequently so we know the shortcuts in our local branch to get where we need to be).

The crèche staff at my local Ikea are very efficient at booking children in/out and friendly even though it's a very busy branch. I was very impressed at the sheer numbers of parents & children that were swiftly dealt with whilst I waited at the counter for a few minutes whilst my husband was parking the car.

In terms of what can be improved, the ball pool was closed and my child said there was some equipment that wasn't working (e.g. toy train) but I'm nit-picking here to be honest. There was plenty of equipment to keep them occupied and my child enjoyed playing with the toy kitchen and doing some artwork. Another indicator that it is a hit with kids is that they never seem to want to leave!

Thanks Ikea for providing a very well-thought out service.

Chemeeks Fri 01-Nov-19 12:09:12

For me this was a good experience because I managed to get things done in the 30 minutes I didn’t have my son, but staff changed over whilst my son was in there and the new staff didn’t care much for who I was as long as my so knew who I was. I expected a page 10 minutes before pick up but that didn’t go off at all, I was given an excuse but it wasn’t a great one because they wasn’t busy at all

Chemeeks Fri 01-Nov-19 12:12:52

I was aware of the crèche before but my son was too young as he was only 3 in July so hadn’t experienced it before. For me it would be a better service if we was actually paged before pick up and there was lore of a security service to ensure kids aren’t jut given to random people

flimple Fri 01-Nov-19 12:12:56

Thanks for this - we went to our local IKEA yesterday to test Smaland with our DD age 6 and she had a fab time! To answer the questions...

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Excellent. The staff were very friendly and welcoming, explained everything clearly and I felt reassured by their signing in/out policy. When we collected DD the staff member let us know she had been a little shy at first but she came out of her shell and joined in the activities. I was really impressed with the level of care and interaction, particularly for a free service!

* *Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Yes, we love trips to IKEA as a family and I have always found them to be very family friendly and understanding of their customers' needs, so to be able to let the children play while we concentrate on what we need to buy is ideal, especially at busy times! I wish more shops had them!

Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
I was vaguely aware of it from seeing it at the entrance but didn't realise it was free, or how much there was to do. I'd imagined it would just be full of children running riot on soft play type things with minimal supervision rather than arts and crafts, role play zone etc grin

How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
I can't think of anything I would improve, perhaps more signage to show it's free as I hadn't realised that before (unless I'm just particularly unobservant!) grin I would absolutely recommend this to a friend and we will definitely be back! DD is very excited already and DS was desperate to go in too but was just a bit too young!

NicAndNick Fri 01-Nov-19 12:26:35

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

DS really enjoyed going. The queue to book in took about 15min but once we got to the front the process was smooth. DS had a play in the ball pit and some climb on toys. There was some art to do and a computer touch screen with a quiz as well as loads of smaller toys.
The staff were friendly and kind. And DS was well looked after with drinks.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

Yes, it helps me do my shopping efficiently knowing DS is happy and being looked after, not wandering off!

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes, we have used it a few times before, and DS always asks to go back.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

I would recomend this service to a friend.

aggga8 Fri 01-Nov-19 12:31:37

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)? Very positive, my boths kids 6 years and 10 love it.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
yes, Ikea is lovely, family place with yummy food + cheapsmile

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
no, didnt know about that

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
I always recommend Ikea to my friends, also now i will start recommend the Småland (crèche

Bonkerz Fri 01-Nov-19 12:40:45

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

My son aged 8 enjoyed the 45 minutes he spent at the crèche. He was disappointed there were no crafts out for him to do but enjoyed the ball pool !

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

We used it when son was younger around 3 years of age but now son loves doing the mini treasure hunts etc and enjoys looking around with us so it's not important in the experience.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?

Yes. Used to use it when children were younger.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

I'm not sure if it was just Coventry store but the staff seemed disinterested in the children. At drop off we were ignored for 10 minutes and they didn't interact with son except to say NO when I jumped in the ball pool (we stayed in cafe next to crèche so heard the bark!)
He did enjoy his time but it seems like a lot of paperwork and effort for 45 minutes if I'm honest. I'd rather pay and use the crèche for a little longer whilst in store!

mushforbrain Fri 01-Nov-19 12:44:55

My daughter (5) loved her time in Smaland! She keeps asking when can she go back!
She went in half term enabling me to go and have a more calm and productive shop in Ikea.

She loved that there were craft activities as well as fun active things like the ball pit.
There was a queue when we were there but it was really well managed and we didn’t have to wait long and the little play area nearby kept her entertained until then.
I was aware of smaland already as had been recommended it by a friend who uses it regularly.
I can’t really think of any improvements I thought it seemed excellent!

Ramdogs Fri 01-Nov-19 12:46:57

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Ok. My child seemed happy enough but said it was too noisy and wouldn't like to go again.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Not really as the session was only 45 minutes long. This isn't long enough to do a whole browse and you then find yourself backtracking through h thy r store to return to the crèche, this is very hard when it's busy!

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
Offer longer sessions.
Give parents the chance to view inside before the session, I have no idea what there is for children to do in there.

Donttouchmycoat Fri 01-Nov-19 12:48:14

I used smaland yesterday for the 1st time for my two children. It was quite busy as it is halloween break here but the queue was dealt with quickly. At check in my son, who is 9, just about made the height requirement to enter. I didn't realise that there was height restrictions until that point. I filled in the forms with the kids information and my contact details and put their belongings in the container provided. my DS(9) and DD(7) were given a name tag and i got a beeper in case they needed to call me. my kids happily ran on in ready to have some fun. they were more than happy to play there as they absolutely hate going around the market area of ikea, its ''to boring'' for them. I collected them 20 minutes as It was only a short trip to ikea yesterday, and they really didn't want to leave. They really enjoyed it, even my 9 year old. I was surprised at that because he didn't want to go in at the beginning as he thought i was for babies. He loved the arts and crafts area while my daughter mostly played with the ikea toys. I asked them what the staff were like and they told me they were very happy and friendly and that they liked them.
I am glad I used the facilities yesterday as I only had to run in and pick up a few bits, using smaland made it even quicker as shopping with DS and DD takes considerably longer as they always want a walk around the showroom 1st.
I always knew a creche facility existed in ikea but never used it before, I dont know why I didnt use it sooner, its a fantastic service. Unfortunately my son wont get to use it for much longer as he is almost to old/tall to use it. I would definitely recommend it to friends with small children It makes a shopping trip easier knowing the children are being looked after in a safe, fun environment.

Farwah Fri 01-Nov-19 12:58:08

Overall,Shanzay has the best time of her half-term here at SMALAND. She was very excited and couldn’t wait to enter SMALAND. The creche went out of their way to make her feel at home and even comforted me by showing around. Everything was spotless and tidy! I loved how organised they were. She loved the ball pit area and the painting she did. She even made new friends and was not willing to come out after 45 minutes. It was a real enjoyment for her!
The free Creche definitely makes it so much easier to shop at Ikea peacefully without bothering to look after the kids and it definitely makes it a must visit!
Yes I was aware of the Creche service before this and we have used them since my daughter turned 3 which is amazing.
I’d definitely recommend the service to everyone! I only would appreciate if they could improve the location of the SMALAND as it was tough to find and was situated in a distant corner. Especially the pickup point was a struggle to find. I had to walk around so much to find the pickup point. 45 minutes is also a bit too less so for the members, there should have been atleast 60 minutes of free play. Apart from that,lovely staff and a great experience and a very happy child!

Mindblank Fri 01-Nov-19 13:03:51

* Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Great. Easy to sign in, the staff were friendly and welcomed my daughter. She loved it, particularly the variety of activities/toys offered to her. I worried slightly that she was going to be stuck in front of a film, but there was plenty for her to do

* Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Somewhat. Although it was definitely easier not having a child with me, I always find Ikea to be reasonably child-friendly anyway so it didn't make that much difference to me.

* Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
I knew the creche was there, but I hadn't really looked into it. Certainly didn't know it was free!

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
This may be specific to the Gateshead store - but there was no direct route back to the creche from the end of the store. I ended up back-tracking through most of the store which was a bit inconvenient.

Would (and already have!) recommend this service to others

Myr4 Fri 01-Nov-19 13:49:58

Many thanks for selecting us for this product test. It has been an enjoyable experience and my children can't wait to go again!

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

Excellent! We went on a Saturday morning and I was pleasantly surprised that they had a place for each of my four eligible children! The kids got a full hour and they were very happy. They came out asking when they could go again!

-Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

It absolutely does! We were able to browse, content in the knowledge that the kids were safe in the creche.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?

No. When the product test came up on mumsnet, that was the first time I heard of it.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?

I felt it wasn't very well signposted or advertised. So maybe that could be improved.
Apart from that, I've already started recommending to family and friends!

Alo2019 Fri 01-Nov-19 14:00:59

Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche?)

I loved my experience of using the crèche my daughter loved it and didn’t want to leave after the hour, I also enjoyed shopping in peace ❤️

-Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?

It absolutely does and knowing I’m leaving my daughter in safe hands is amazing 😉

Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review??

I did know there was a crèche but never thought to use it, will definitely be making more use of it now.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend??

I don’t think u could improve this as it’s already amazing and I would highly recommend this 😍

Feltedbump Fri 01-Nov-19 14:18:40

Thanks for giving us the chance to try the creche out. I've shopped at IKEA for years but never attempted to take the children as they are a bit young to take around such a big store.

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Positive. DS and DD loved it and have asked to go back. I had reservations that they would go in happily and let me leave, but they really enjoyed themselves.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
It's a nice addition. Lovely and clean and bright - very appealing and the kids loved it. Realistically it actually made my life more difficult! Having decided to take them (in half term so very busy), I had to queue up and wait for a space. I had to do this twice as they were full and so busy - so we went to the café then came back. Then because it was only 45 minutes of play, when my beeper went off I was the other side of the store and had to trail back!
If I came during a quiet time and there was no wait, I would use it again.
- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
No - I thought it was a paid-for service - didn't realise it was free or how the system worked.
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
Please make it more clear how to use the service. i.e. you have to queue up and wait for a space then you get a pager to call you back. Big signs up outside the creche would be useful - I had to ask the lady in front of me!
A clock with an approx. wait time. I waited 20 minutes to get to the front of the queue to be told I could put one child in, and another space wouldn't be free for another 25 minutes!! Was useless so went away and came back later. If I hadn't been selected to test it, I wouldn't have bothered to come back.
If possible, I would have rather put my name down when I entered the store and then come back at a set time to put them in.
1 hour minimum slots - we only got 45 minutes. I know it was busy and half term but this made it impossible to actually get round the store (and I only went to the marketplace).
A way to get back!! The Exeter store system meant I was near the tills. I couldn't take my baby and trolley with all my goods through the tills and would have had to go a long long way round. So had to dump the trolley by the till, carry heavy toddler and run off to pick up kids, then drag everyone back to collect my trolley and pay. Stressful!!!
Have the pager on a neck lanyard - so you don't put it in the trolley and forget about it.

Can't fault the creche itself - was lovely and bright and the kids felt safe and happy. Out of all the (bloody expensive) things we have done this half term, the thing DD chose to write her 'what I did this holiday' homework about, was her trip to IKEA. So you've won her over!!!

PenelopeParallelogram Fri 01-Nov-19 14:51:26

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
A really positive experience. My 4 year old was very hesitant to enter on his own, but as soon as he saw what was in there he hardly have me a second glance!
I liked that I was able to enter the area with my son and get him settled and that each child had a locker for their coats etc. There was some great equipment for him to use. I was impressed that the staff referred to my son by name when I turned up to collect him, and gave me a breakdown of how he had spent his time.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Yes! It gave me time to do the 'boring' (for a 4 year old) browsing, while he played with some lovely toys, before we took a shortcut back to the kids area to pick up some new toys.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes, via friends, but if never used it, and imagined it to be much more basic

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
Yes would definitely recommend.
My hour session have me enough time to get all the way round the store, but I didn't want to pay as we had planned to visit the kids area to pick a toy before leaving. So I had to trudge back through the store to get back. I think missed an easy short cut back, so would be good if the crèche beeper lanyard had a cheats map on it

sunshinegirl28 Fri 01-Nov-19 15:23:03

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?

Really great. My 3 year old son had a fab time at Wembley Smaland. It was really safe and secure which made me very reassured when leaving him. He loved the variety of toys and arts and crafts activities and did not want to leave when I came to collect him!
- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Yes - it was amazing to have an hour child free to focus on shopping! It made such a difference and definitely made me spend more
Money too!
- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
I would definitely recommend it to a friend. In terms of improving the service I feel you need to employ more staff so more children can use the service at a time. We had to wait over 2 hours in ikea before our allotted time slot.

Overall though a fantastic service - thank you. Next time I will come at opening time so I don't have to wait so long to come in!

hairycabbage Fri 01-Nov-19 15:49:59

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Fun, makes life a little easier
- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
To an extent
- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
Online booking in advance

TheGirlWithGlassFeet Fri 01-Nov-19 16:01:54

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
On the whole it was a positive experience. Unfortunately my little boy didn't settle very well and we were buzzed after about 10 mins to collect him. He went in absolutely fine but I think he found it a overwhelming. The staff did say it is better for younger ones in the week so I would try then next time
- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Yes. It is a family friendly store with lots of children's activities etc.
- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes
- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
Perhaps have different age groups either in different rooms or at different times of the day as there is a wide range between 3-10.

Stargirl84 Fri 01-Nov-19 17:41:04

-Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
A positive experience! My children particularly enjoyed jumping in the ball pool.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
Yes, the children usually enjoy visiting IKEA, exploring the children’s area and having a snack in the IKEA cafe. We usually have a positive experience.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes, my eldest has been there before.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
The only thing I would suggest is making it clear what their toileting policy is, my eldest is 4 and was desperate for the toilet when I went to collect her! I hadn’t thought to ask what the policy is on whether there are toilets for children to use - I guess not (which is fine) but perhaps this could’ve been mentioned when registering, to avoid any accidents. I would definitely recommend this service to a friend as my children enjoyed it and it gave me an hours peace!

BabyClam Fri 01-Nov-19 17:42:40

- Overall, how would you summarise your experience of the Småland (crèche)?
Brilliant! DS6 loves it and always asks to go to Ikea for fun to have breakfast and then play in the ball pit. It was DD3's first time old enough for the creche and she loved it too.
They came out, reluctantly, and with lots of Halloween crafts.

- Does the free creche service supports your overall experience of IKEA?
It really makes it much easier to shop, although a full hour would be better.
We were told off for waiting for it to open but have found it can be full very fast and it ruins the planned trip if you can't get the children in the creche at all.

- Were you aware IKEA offered a free crèche service the review?
Yes, we have used it several times.

- How do you feel we could improve this service going forward and would you recommend this service to a friend?
An hour booking slot (although maybe you can take the full hour and I have been too assiduous in collecting after 45 mins).
Otherwise, it's great and we love it.
I recommend it to all my friends with children.

With the kids out of the way it gives you more time to appreciate all the arguing couples!

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