REVIEW: Better Link Centre Soft Play
Better Link Centre opened their doors to a brand new soft play area last week, so we sent along one of our parent bloggers, Rachael Stone, and her children to find out what it's all about!
We were kindly invited down to try out the new soft play available at the Link Centre West Swindon, previously the large Better Extreme Bounce which has been adapted to create a multi-use physical space. I know the question everyone was asking - what about the trampoline park? Is it gone!? Not to worry, as the trampoline park now forms a section of the same space, separated by a soft bar and cord fencing and paid for as a separate activity, but it is still there! The dodgeball court has been removed to make room for this new venture.
The new soft play is clean and open with a good amount of seating including vibrantly coloured padded chairs and booths which makes a nice change with grown-ups in mind. Highchairs are available to use and the small refreshments counter stocks soft drinks and light snack foods.
Bathrooms including nappy change tables are conveniently available on the same floor as the soft play although wheelchair access to these will require a separate route, the main door is also open access back to the Lesuire centre so please note for little ones and SEN children it isn't a secured space.
The soft play equipment boasts a well-equipped separate under 2’s area with a sensory lighting tube and interesting floor panels including an insect screen and trout pond. There are large lego building blocks with actual large-scale lego shaped connecting parts for sturdy tall towers! Large scale soft play pieces for creating, building and knocking down a great opportunity for large scale problem solving skills and physical challenges.
A range of pre-walker baby equipment such as activity ring seats and a floor piano for musical crawlers, a light tunnel and plenty of large soft play pieces for cruising opportunity. A colourful ball bit was a favourite with Archer! A small slide gives the opportunity for the smaller ones to enjoy a slide without the big climb through the larger soft play.
Moving through to the larger soft play section invites older children in with a pathway of different tunnels and entrances - a range of obstacles and activities to interact with along the way including large-scale word search, wrecking ball game and sensory flooring. The variety of routes to choose from up to each level provides an interesting aspect to navigating and engaging in racing and chasing games with obstacles on the higher level including monkey bars, a rope bridge and both an enclosed slide from top to the middle floor and a large width multi rider slide from top to bottom giving an exhilarating bumpy ride to begin all over again!
Familiar Disney anthems played through the speakers and the staff were friendly, helpful and interested in customer feedback, eager to hear how the families were enjoying their experience and their thoughts on the new space.
The central location and the smaller size of the soft play makes this venue a great pitstop playdate if you are running errands at the shopping centre, after attending the Better centre classes or stopping in at the library. The description online invites children 10 and under to use this section however the maximum height panel suggest maybe this area would be for around 8 years and under.
Review by Rachael Stone, @rolling.withthe.stones