Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Soft Play in Streatham at Toddlers' World

Streatham, like West Norwood, has a fairly new leisure centre so not only do locals of Streatham have a new pool (review coming soon!) but they have a new gym and the opportunity to have a new Toddlers' World! How exciting! Soft play spaces for preschool children are always welcome so to see if this one was any good I took my two year old daughter to test it out.

The soft play is located in one part of the leisure centre's main hall. Buggies are parked outside the hall and there are lockers for people's belongings. Toilets are close by though if I remember correctly, there is only one baby change!!! Upon entering the hall, shoes, coats and bags are placed by the wall if you haven't left them locked up.

The space is filled with soft shapes for babies and young toddlers to climb and jump on. My daughter had a clamber on these objects trying to avoid the babies and their mums who were sitting around the space creating an obstacle course.  I had to keep a close eye on my daughter's interactions with the little ones as she doesn't always understand that she needs to be careful around babies.

There is also a big bouncy castle with a slide which clearly works best with older kids. One side is for bouncing which is an easy win with kids (and mums). The other part of this inflatable is a slide. To access the top of the slide the children have to climb up a dark and quite steep tunnel which has no room for a parent's helping hand. Young toddlers regularly attempted to climb the stairs. They would then get scared and stuck, and their mums would have to go in to coax them out.  Often you would see a great big grown-up bottom sticking out of the entrance to the tunnel steps, head inside trying to persuade the nervous child to come back down.

In some cases, the kid would get out of the tunnel at the top and then decide they didn't want to go down the slide. On a normal slide, mum or dad can lean in and help their child down but this isn't so easy to do on this strange bouncy slide thing. So yes, I found myself going up the bouncy tunnel steps to persuade my daughter to slide down with me.

This slide and tunnel really works better with the four to five year old children. Those who were around had no problems, often walking over -  yes over - the small kids who were crying because they were half way up a dark tunnel, not sure how to get down and they couldn't see their parent.

To sum up, everything is still sparkly and new, there are soft shapes for the very little and a big bouncy thing for the big but I'm not sure it serves the 2-3 year old children very well. It also feels overcrowded which means I'm uncomfortable with letting my child really run around.

For me, the most eventful moment was when my two year old managed to bang her head. A big egg bump started to appear and I asked the guy in charge if he had a first aid kit with a cold compress. He didn't so he went up to reception to ask. They told me to put some water on a tissue and hold it to her head. This is a leisure centre with an ice skating rink! No-one was very sure about first aid for a small child!! I really wasn't impressed with that but hope it was a one off.

I'd love to hear other's experiences of the space. Did it work better for you and your family?

Streatham Ice and  Leisure Centre Information

Streatham Ice and  Leisure Centre is located at 390 Streatham High Road  London, SW16 6HX

It costs £2.85 a session.

The centre can be contacted on 020 8677 5758.

The opening times of the Toddlers' World are:

Monday       10:00 to 12:00pm  
Tuesday       10:00 to 12:00pm
Thursday     10:00 to 12:00pm
Friday           10:00 to 12:00pm


Want to know more about soft play facilities in the Lambeth area and beyond? Read the following:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

LattjoPop : A new space to eat, play and shop!

Most parents want somewhere to sit, have a cuppa, a cake and somewhere to let the kids run off some steam so the opening of LattjoPop, a family friendly cafe, in South Streatham is a great addition to the area. Located between Streatham Common and Norbury, on a quiet shopping parade, LattjoPop offers a large relaxing space  which includes room to park the buggies and a little kids play area. There is a big outdoor space which will be great when the weather warms up again.

The cafe area
Regular activities for parents and children are held each week including crafts, messy play and singing and storytime. Check out their website for the latest timetables. Special family activities such as seasonal crafts run throughout the year. The space can also be hired for birthday parties.

Making Christmas cards.
Not only is it a family café  but there are things to buy including cards, toys and jewellery offering a much needed opportunity to buy gifts in the South Streatham area. But LattjoPop isn’t just about selling food and gifts; it’s a place which supports local businesses by offering the possibility to rent the space to sell products, to run events or to use it as a hot desk space.
Space to sell
The retail boutique can accommodate two businesses a week to pop up and offer their products to local people. The back office room is available if you need a space to work.  The main café can be hired to run workshops as part of the daily LattjoPop family friendly café or can be taken over for a day or an evening to run an event such as an all-day sewing workshop. This is a really great opportunity for South Streatham and for those looking for a platform to promote and sell their products or services.  

I’m currently doing a free singing and storytime session on Fridays from 1pm to 2pm.  Come along and join in. Bring your instruments – it’s an opportunity to make noise.
Making music!
LattjoPop is located at 544 Streatham High Road, SW16; it is open Monday to Friday 10 til 5 and Saturday 10 til 4. For those interested in the business opportunity, contact Isra through the LattjoPop Facebook page or go and visit the shop.  For those looking to start out in business, there is a great opportunity here.  Let’s use it and not lose it!