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Question: I have taken my baby to soft play centre and she loved it but it’s so expensive. How can I re-create it at home?

Doctor Woolfson's Answer:

While I completely understand your enthusiasm for soft play, consider the possibility that you don’t need to re-create this at room. Perhaps it would be better to keep an outing to the soft play centre as a special treat – you might find that she would get bored with this form of play if she had access to it all the time at home. That way she’ll have the best of both worlds.

However, if you feel strongly you would like to provide this for her in your house, then consider ways of recreating the experience without having to go to too much expense. For instance, you could set out cushions from the sofa on to the floor and let your baby crawl around, or you could buy a soft play mat that she could explore while it is spread out flat on the ground. Whatever way you arrange for your baby to have soft play at home, remember that you will need to supervise her closely to ensure she doesn’t fall off on to a hard surface.

Bear in mind that while she enjoys a trip to the soft play centre, she also enjoys – and benefits from – a range of other types of play too, such as discovery play, language play and manipulative play. Try to involve her in all sorts of play (including soft play if you want) each day, so that she doesn’t focus on one activity to the exclusion of others.