How soft play can help your child prepare for school

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Starting school is a huge milestone in every child’s life. It should be filled with fun and adventure, but many children are now starting school without the skills they need. Usually this is thanks to too much screen time and not enough physical play. Soft play provides the perfect setting for your child to gain skills in balance, coordination, communication and social skills whilst having lots of fun.

Gross motor skills in the learning environment

Gross motor skills – those which require the use of the whole body – are often overlooked when thinking about starting school. It’s often the fine motor skills of pencil control that are higher profile, but gross motor skills really need to come first as your child needs these skills to maintain their seated posture and support the arm and hand position needed for writing. Your child will also need to sit upright for longer, follow others walking in a line, lift and carry objects, and get into and out of their clothes for PE, all of which need well developed gross motor skills. Soft play gives your child the chance to run, jump, roll, slide and experiment with what their bodies can do in a safe environment, developing gross motor skills in an enjoyable way.

Following instructions is a big part of the school adventure and one that needs some practice. Instruction following in soft play is great for developing confidence and also helps with vocabulary of shape, colour, actions and body parts.

Learning to share and take turns

Another big challenge at school can be taking turns. Mixing with other children and learning to consider them is a really important part of soft play. It’s a fantastic way for them to understand turn taking which will stand them in good stead in both the playground and the classroom.

Concentration and perseverance are qualities that can only be achieved through experience. When engaging in soft play, children will naturally keep trying if they want to achieve something, like climbing up to the top of a block. Motivation is vital in developing this skill, so having fun is the key.

With lots of soft play experience, children will be ready for the adventure of starting school and raring to go forward into all the fun and learning ahead.