The weather has been less than Spring-like recently (to say the least) and as most of our usual indoor activities had been exhausted we found ourselves at a bit of a loss over what to do the other day. Then I remembered hearing about a new play place in Odiham, Hampshire. A friend had highly recommended that we visit Little Play Town because her children had such a great time so I set about looking it up online.
Little Play Town is an indoor interactive play place for babies and children aged 1-6 years. It is very similar to Little Street in that it is a role-based, learning, play area focused on imaginative play but with different equipment and sections. As we really enjoyed visiting Little Street I knew we would love this place too.
“At Little Play Town we love our kids and we believe they need more opportunities to leave the everyday world behind and let their imagination fly. So, we have created a magical little play town where your kids can dress up and through imaginative play feel free to be anyone they can dream of being: a farmer, firefighter, vet, postman, builder, a beautician, a chef……..
But we know role play is more than just fun. It is a key element of learning. Role play engages emotion, cognition, language and sensory motor skills.”
Little Play Town Website
Each play session is an hour and a half long, is really affordable and can be booked online to save time and to guarantee you can get that time slot. With it being so popular I would always opt to do this to avoid disappointed little faces! Booking was easy and once we arrived I was also pleased to discover there was free parking. The premises are slightly tucked away off a side street on the High Street but it is signposted so you just need to keep your eyes peeled. However, Little Play Town is in an upstairs building with no lift so if you have tiny ones, leave the pushchair behind. I carried William up in his car seat as he was asleep and I then just moved him around as we played. Once he woke I left it in the cafe area. Please note that there is no access for wheelchairs.
On arrival, we were greeted by a member of staff at the top of the stairs who checked us off on her list and directed us to a room where we could remove our shoes and leave our coats. We then walked through to the cafe area where we could choose to leave our bags whilst we went into the play area.
Once Jake stepped in he made a beeline for the fire station area and you can’t blame him really. With a large fire engine, dressing up, toy extinguishers and a fire station with a slide it was quite hard to make him realise there was so much more to play with too!
Once he finally decided that he’d put out enough fires, he moved onto the construction area which I have to say was my favourite. With a moving cement mixer, bricks to build up, ride on diggers and plenty of tools, the children were in their element.
The whole centre is incredibly brightly coloured, has fab images on the walls and is very clean. I could see how easy it was for each child to identify each different section and how each one grabbed their attention. It is perfect for those who are just learning to walk as well as slightly older children plus there is a soft play area in the cafe for the crawlers.
The sections consist of the construction area, a vets, fire station, racing car track, shopping area, a farm, hair salon and beauticians and post boxes to be a postman. Each area has dressing up and plenty of toys and props to use and play with as they wish. It is free play. The children can freely move around and play wherever takes their fancy as long as they are under parental supervision. It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and I found every staff member to be very polite and warm. There is a good selection of hot and cold drinks, plus snacks in the cafe so once we’d had our pit stop we were off to play again.
Jake enjoyed seeing to the animals in the vets… the injections were, er, interesting!
I loved the fact there were even x-rays on a light box in this section, every detail has been thought about.
The old-fashioned car and petrol pump were a big hit with Jake and he loved going around the track racing other children.
We all enjoyed getting involved and even William woke up for long enough to take it all in.
I also got roped into the roleplay and not only by my own child, it seemed that others children were very happy to chat with everyone and help Jake out when he needed it. It is always lovely to have this happen at a play place and it’s fun to laugh alongside the other parents being made to dress up, pretend to be someone and generally embarrass themselves!
There is just so much to play with that it would definitely take several visits to do it all. Jake kept going back to his favourite sections which meant other areas didn’t really get looked at but I just had to get him to ride the moving horse before our play session was up. They were fantastic and hilarious!
We all had a great time here and the session flew by… Jake did not want to leave! For just £6.30 a child and the first adult being free (yes! Somebody has realised that us adults shouldn’t have to pay to go to these types of places) you can’t go wrong. It is perfect for filling a morning or afternoon, for a rainy day and as a refreshing alternative to soft play. It is so nice to finally have something like this more local to us and if you are in Hampshire you should definitely go and check it out.
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