Little Street Maidstone Review

If you’ve read a previous post of mine you will know I’m not the biggest lover of soft play. However when we were invited along to a preview event at Little Street,  an imagination role play centre I was very intrigued.

Little street is a reasonably new concept, in fact it first opened its doors in only 2014 in Frimley. So now almost three years later, the husband and wife partnership were keen to expand.

Little Street Maidstone is located in the Royal Star Arcade, on the second floor. It is easily accessible by stairs or lift. However as with anywhere in Maidstone parking can be tricky. But there are plenty of car parks near by, all within a 5-10 minute walk.
With Bear being so young, I decided it would be wasted on him so we decided we’d have a girly day with Mop Top and my niece Sophie-Chops.
As we arrived we were greeted by smiley, welcoming staff who all looked excited for us to see their creations. (Unlike most employees of other soft play)
A few ground rules noted:IMG_9166[1]
– No shoes
– Socks on
– No food and drink in the play area.
(Silly mummy forgot hers, but they had some spares I could borrow)

 

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View from the seated area
The entrance was light and airy with lots of room, with a great place to park the buggy out of the way. A small café bar which sells hot drinks, cold drinks and a few snack and a seated area for mummies to sit and ‘relax’ with easy viewing of the whole play area
Now on to the fun bit. Us girls started in the beauty salon obviously. Fancy dress, make up and mirrors what more could a girl want. It was all so realistic; little straighteners, rollers, brushes, make up.
 To be honest my two aren’t the girliest of girls so they soon moved onto the police station. Sophie was straight into a police outfit, putting me in jail.
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The next areas we explored were the construction zone, more on that later, the fire engine, which is situated in the middle of a road track and the doctors surgery.
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I was subject to being the patient as Sophie and Mop Top ‘made me better.’ It was so lovely to see them really explore and use their imagination. Something you don’t get in your generic soft play centre.
We stopped for a quick drink and snack. Although Sophie took one bite then asked to go and play again. Which I took as a sign she was enjoying her self. 
There was still lots to explore including the café, the shop and a school. They pushed the trolley around the supermarket, and did their weekly shop, before landing up in the café for a quick pretend smoothie and cream cake. The thing I loved most about each section was the attention to detail; individual cakes with different coloured toppings, shopping lists, cartons for them to pick up and put through the till. The list of things they could play with was endless.

 

IMG_9186[1]A very realistic horse stables, with two static horses, meant the children could groom and pretend to ride a horse.

Despite being a kids play centre, I didn’t miss an opportunity to have a little play.

The final area I wanted to talk about was the construction zone. Mop Top and Sophie Chops have a Grandad, Daddy, and two uncles in the construction business, so it was of no surprise they spend the remainder of their time in the building area. Sophie build a very impressive wall, which we sent a picture to Uncle Ollie (the bricklayer) and together they emptied and refilled the cement mixer like pros. IMG_9229[1]

We had a lovely time and a full hour and a half play; the girls were suitably worn out. I have to say I much prefer it to a soft play centre, the children can really get stuck in to role play, and use their imagination to their hearts content.

Mop Top is 20months old and she was able to explore all areas, and so I’d say a child between 18months and 7/8 years old would be the best age group for this centre. Although you can just turn up, booking is advised. They run 1 1\2 hour sessions with half hour for the lovely staff to tidy up in between. I was told there will be a limit on the amount in each session, which saves it getting to busy, so if you book you can guarantee a space. I feel it is reasonably priced, with all price details on their website. (www.little-street.co.uk)

Little Street Maidstone opens today, ands its a thumbs from me and my 1 plus 1.

Love Kelly

xXx

Soft Play; Its not for the faint hearted

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With two babies I like to get out and about as much as possible. When its cold outside I always feel stuck and really limited for ideas about where to go and what to do.

We venture to soft play every so often and as the title suggests they are not for the faint hearted. We have quite a few in our area, and they are hit and miss, with a few I vow to avoid.

Usually they are jam packed as every other mum within a 20 mile radius has had the same idea. There are shoes everywhere, chairs moved all over the place to suit different party sizes and its generally very noisy. Don’t even get me started on the germs they must be filled with. Eurgghhh.

I am very aware I sound like a grumpy old woman but these are the realities of my life right now.

There appears to be a category of child at all of these places. Firstly the fast child, running everywhere, doesn’t care for anything in his or her way, just feels the need to run and run fast. Secondly the loud ones, usually shouting, nothing specific just quite loud. The timid ones, clinging close to mum but occasionally gaining enough confidence to explore, but sure to return to mums side. And finally the crying one, kicking of about something, with usually a flustered mum trying to soothe them (We’ve all been in that boat)

Mop top is still either the clingy one or the crying one, she takes a while to warm up if we go anywhere. but I’m sure I’ll be experiencing her running into everything in site and shouting at the top of her voice soon enough.

Now I read this out loud to my mum, and she suggested I write something positive about soft play as it is all very ‘negative’ so far. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for soft play. Usually if its cold or us mums want to meet up with out too much hassle. The kids run around and play and we can (hopefully) grab a quick coffee with a little bit of chat in between rescuing each child from the third floor slide.

We will continue to try out different soft plays in our area, and I am sure Mop Top and Bear will fit into one of those categories at one time or another.

Feel free to share your experiences of soft play by leaving a comment.

Kelly

@funwith1plus1

P.S After todays incident I would like to add a child’s category, but I am not really sure how to do it politely.  The child you’d quite like to discipline your self but isn’t one of your own so you cant.

(Mop Top came out with a nasty scratch down her face, but did give as good as she got.)