Our soft play area will be a haven of multilevel play activities, where it will be safe to run, climb and jump. There will be tubes to crawl through, slides, ball pits, climbing frames, rope swings and scramble nets.
Soft play encourages children to exercise in a variety of different ways that is not only good for their muscles and physical development, but also for their mental wellbeing, spatial awareness and proprioception and vestibular sensory development.
Having to negotiate the apparatus in the best or most fun way possible, will require strength, agility and fitness. Using the larger muscles in the body to run, climb and jump will support physical development, but the smaller muscles will be strengthened too. Gripping scramble nets, grabbing ladder handles and clinging onto monkey bars all strengthen the smaller muscles in the hands, used for holding cutlery, tying shoelaces and gripping a pen.
Soft play provides opportunity for an intellectual workout too. The sensory stimulation of the bright colours, textures and smells will feature prominently when playing with soft play equipment. Having to solve the problem of getting through the obstacle or navigating the apparatus will encourage our children to work things out for themselves. Working out which part of the maze links to which are can be explored and tackled independently or as part of a friendship group.
The space will be large enough for whole classes of pupils of up to 12 pupils, however, we envisaged that smaller groups of up to 6-7 pupils will use the space to ensure maximum therapeutic benefit.