A place to take crazed toddlers

Photo: the Guardian

Suddenly it’s changed. It’s Autumn, going on Winter out there. That means crispy colourful leaves to kick in the air, big puddles to jump up and down in and – yippee – tons of conkers to collect…

…when it’s not too cold or rainy to be outdoors.

If your toddler is like mine and has seemingly limitless energy to burn, it’s still impossible to spend the whole day indoors. When the weather’s bad, we have a choice if we’re going to avoid increasingly frantic behaviour and lots of bouncing up and down perilously on the sofa and beds. We can make multiple short trips outdoors using any possible premise, like going to buy a magazine, feeding a friend’s cat, or posting a letter. Or we can make a morning trip to the soft play and burn up enough energy to make the rest of the day peaceful(ish).

I’ve written a few posts about the (many) options for soft play locally, including…

Owls, at Fairlop water

The East London Gym, Beckton

Discover Children’s Centre, Stratford (which since the time of writing has been refurbished and, on the newly opened second floor, has slides etc.

Mudlarks at the Docklands Museum (post by Rachel)

Toddlers’ World, Mile End

The Idol in Barking

Kidspace in Romford

And here’s another.

Better Extreme is located in Barking and has a skate park (best for older kids, I think), climbing facilities (age 4+) and a trampoline park, which is open for under 5s. My toddler has been a couple of times. To avoid being squashed by bigger children and adults, she’s always gone to a family session which currently take place on Saturday or Sunday mornings between 9am and 11am (for up-to-date details of all sessions, please click here). And now that the weather’s getting colder and wetter, we’re likely to go more often.

If you need a tired out toddler, here are the details:

What? Trampolines!

Where? Better Extreme, Mayesbrook Park, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, RM8 2JR

The nearest tube is Upney

When? See trampoline sessions timetable

How much? Under 5s toddler sessions are £5.95 (as of November 2016). See here for more info.


Author: Aline Reed

I am a freelance copywriter.

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