Entertaining pre-school children in the school holidays is, as I have said before, a bit of a challenge.
This is particularly true when the weather is rubbish, and it really has been. Good lord. I remember when summer was – you know, summery.
Not being a huge fan of getting very wet, we’d usually head to soft play but the thought of screaming hordes of school aged children put me off, so instead we went along to Little Street in Maidstone to see what all the fuss was about.
Little Street first opened back in January. We were invited to go along when it first opened, but we couldn’t make it. However I’d heard such great things about it from friends that I asked whether we’d be allowed to visit in return for a review, and they agreed… So here it is!
Little Street Maidstone is a pretend-play village, aimed at children from walking to seven years old.
This is good because it ensures a maximum number of small people, so you aren’t fighting to get at things. When we went, our spot was pretty full, being the summer holidays I imagine a lot of parents were looking for alternatives for their preschoolers, but the kids didn’t have to fight to get at anything.
There are lots of little rooms from which they can come and go as they please.
Here are some of them!
A construction site
A doctor’s surgery
Complete with optician’s and eye test, and a reception which the small one loved because he loves picking up the phone and telling people what his name is called (his words) whilst smashing on the keyboard. A shining career in admin beckons.
A police station
…And a theatre
There is a fire engine slap bang in the middle, surrounded by a road for the kids to use ride-on cars and bikes on.
There’s also a post box outside each room, and a postbox which they can collect from and deliver letters to.
For parents, there’s a little cafe selling tea, coffee and soft drinks, snacks etc and a seating area.
That said, the majority of parents when we visited were right in the middle of things, getting involved and encouraging their toddlers and preschoolers to get engaged in make believe play.
You probably could leave your child to it, as it isn’t large enough to get lost in and they can’t escape, but you might not be able to see them depending on which room they were in and there is a lot of stuff to fight over.
Sadly, my darling son was having a non-sharing day, so I was there making sure he wouldn’t scream at another child who dared look at him. It’s a good job he’s very cute. I’d almost forgotten what two year olds were like.
Cost-wise, it is comparable to most soft plays in the area.
The prices, as taken from their website are:
Pre-walkers: FREE when accompanied by either a paying sibling or paying adult.
Child (Includes free entry for 1 adult) – £5.85 peak / £6.30 off peak
Additional Adult – £3.50 / £3.75
Peak prices apply at weekends and during school holidays.
All in all we were pleased; the place was clean, airy and well maintained with more than enough to capture their attention for the full 90 minute session. I’ll definitely be heading back, hopefully when the small one is in a more giving mood!
Thinking of heading to Little Street?
Make sure you remember socks for everyone!