I think one of the upsides of where I live is the choice of everything, from restaurants, to activities as well as places to visit.
So you can imagine my utter joy when I realised a toddler activity such as this, which was…
- Toddler friendly not to mention fun
- Down the road from me
I found Role2Play by chance. I did a google search for toddler activities near me and many places that were not near me popped up as well as places that were including Role2Play. It was not until during lockdown that I found their Instagram and saw the pictures they posted (which might I add makes all the difference) and the fact that many parents were taking their children there with many patiently waiting for them to re-open (as due to COVID-19 children centres were closed and re-opned on 3rd September 2020) realli urged me to book.
I decided to go for it. I knew this was right up my 2 year olds alley. A place where she can roam free, pretend to do things (which she already does) but the bonus was
- no worrying about clean up
- leaving her to her own devises
- observing her and the things she would do in this setting
- taking lots of pictures of my daughter having fun
Book your tickets on their website, easily!
And it was done. Went onto the website and simply selected date, times available and voila.
I belive due to COVID-19 Role2Play has set number of children they permit into the play area and only 1 adult can accompany so I paid for my daughter which cost £7 and then I tagged along for free.
A session lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes which was enough time. Infact it felt so long haha.
For me I did check my transport route without a car and it is very easy, simply one bus – niceee. For me it is literally down the road and I love that. Got the hubby to drop me off by car and even he was very much surprised as to how close it was.
There is no parking so be warned! It is best to travel there by public transport. Check out their website for information regarding transport links for when you plan your journey there.
And the fun starts! Ahhhh
Shoes had to be taken off and all adults had to keep their face masks on. I; even now, do not find wearing these comfortable but alas it is to keep me and everyone around me, safe.
1st stop, the Café
Oh my gosh. This little café is to die for. As much as Soraiya enjoyed herself, I know I also did! I was literally that parent just taking pictures of everything. The cooker with all the little accessories was the cutest not to mention the cleaning equipment made Soraiya happy but the counter with the biscuits and coffee maker was the icing on the cake! See pictures below!
2nd stop, the Vegetable Patch
…and she kept going back to this little area. This little patch is situated along the middle to replicate a park/green area. Again the layout of the role play area was super cute. Great for children who are obsessed with naming vegetables much like mine as I got to hear her telling me which vegetable was what but also watching her ‘plant the veggies’ honestly made me so proud! See pictures below!
3rd stop, the Fire Engine
This was close to the vegetable patch which was why we headed there next. If there are children who love fire engines, this perfect! This is a great way for children to ‘drive’ a fire engine that has steering wheels and buttons to play about with. Soraiya enjoyed this for a little bit, as I think she got a bit bored LOL. See below for pictures!
4th stop, the Post Office
She went straight towards it much to my delight! It is a great little space with great props to replicate a post office. Soraiya enjoyed herself by the cash register and placing the parcels on the weighing scales. See below for pictures!
5th stop, the School
I did not take many pictures of Soraiya in this room as really the room is centered around a big table with legos and other little toys. Whenever Soraiya went into this room it was packed with other children. The room does have books, a blackboard and also other educational toys which Soraiya paid no interest towards.
6th stop, Construction Site
I had to encourage her to this section as I do not think she was at all interested. But she did have fun. It did seem she did not know what to do with the accessories so a lot of it I had to show her.
The thing with Soraiya is she needs to do it all on her own to be interested. Sometimes after I show her how to do something and if it then excites her she will let me know and copy but this time I did not get that enthusiasm from her so this was a miss. She did not go back to this section. See pictures below!
7th stop, the Theatre
Soraiya found herself going back here plenty of times. Again I had to show her to hold the guitar so she is yet to appreciate being the centre of the stage and being amazing! She was keen on the different types of guitars available along with costumes accessories that in my opinion had a likeliness to The Village People haha (there was a police hat, a construction hat and other hats so you know). She was interested in the little dressing up table so would go there to play with the hair straightener, hair dryer and make up. See pictures below!
8th stop, the Medical Centre
Ahh! As soon as we entered the centre, I was waiting to go in and have a play about inside it. This area was popular by both children and parents alike and too right! This was beautifully thought and set up by Role2Play, one of my favourites without a doubt. I felt it was pretty interactive especially for solo play which my daughter was doing. See pictures below!
9th stop, Food van
I took Soraiya here and by this time I could tell her energy levels were depleting, heck so were mine! This cute little food van was fun and this was the first time there Soraiya interacted and played with another child which I thought was nice. The van had a lot of food and cutlery accessories which children had enjoyed playing with including my own. See pictures below!
10th stop, Park bench
I keep saying this but Role2Play thought of everything and how to use their space. Found this and thought what a lovely little surprise! Although this was not used by Soraiya but instead by me. See below for pictures!
11th stop, the Garage
This area was a pretty empty space, with a work station on the side. I believe all the play cars are normally parked in the garage which is why the space during play time was empty. Soraiya would have played at the station more but when we went in another child was using it and made it clear to us that he was playing. You can’t really argue with that LOL. None the less I know she would have enjoyed playing with the screwdriver etc as she likes holding small sized things and fiddling about with them. See pictures below!
12th stop, taking the cars for a spin
The children were going crazy for the cars haha and I mean that in the nicest way possible. It was only towards the end of the session did Soraiya finally get a chance to ride a couple but it was not for long as she kept getting distracted by other things haha. Cannot really blame here for that LOL. See pictures below!
13th stop, the Supermarket
I left this last and it was one of my favourites. By the time we got inside, everything was everywhere so I do not know what possessed me but I was tidying up and trying to sort the shelves out because I wanted Soraiya to play in a somewhat nicely set up shop. Soraiya was more obsessed over the plastic food items then pushing the shopping trolley but she did spend some time behind the counter taking payment. See pictures below!
14th stop, freestyling
A lot of the children basically were taking accessories from each area into other areas which Soraiya did haha.
The session comes to an end
A bell is rung to indicate the end of the session. You get reminders as to how many minutes left in the current session. I do not remember the intervals but if I remember I got one 10 minutes or was it 15 minutes… I do not remember but I took that as my indication to get ready and leave so I exited.
The centre is of a good size but it can get quite packed with people as it is not the biggest hence why I thought better to leave earlier and avoid the rush of children and their parents also putting shoes on as well as moving prams around to leave the building.
One thing, pack some nibbles
Although there is a little canteen there, in truth you probably may not find something there your toddler might like but also just something for the journey back as my daughter was pretty hungry after all the energy she used. I would pack some snacks so I packed for Soraiya, some breadsticks, dried fruit fish and worms, some crisps and a mini juice carton.
Will I go back?
100% yes. Soraiya enjoyed herself, as did I. Inside everything was staright forward to understand so nothing confusing which is always a win!
I will next time go with another mummy friend and their toddler. I plan to also leave my daughter alone to do their thing as that is what many parents did. I suppose for those parents I saw, they may have visited Role2Play many times to feel comfortable to let their children roam free. I am hoping I can do that. Well I am hoping to as that is what I plan the next time I visit. Finally I would like to order something from their canteen menu just to fully experience what most parents tend to from what I saw. Just sitting, sipping a hot chocolate and just enjoying being toddler free for a bit.
I highly recommend this for any parent that is looking for a great place that will keep your children entertained for a solid hour while you can just sit back with a coffee. The role play offers great skills from a development perspective as well as developing social skills as they get to meet with other children. Not forgetting for you as well Ms Mummy and/or Mr Daddy as this gives you a great opportunity to meet other mums and dads.
I personally was to shy to approach and spark up conversation with the other parents which did not help as it looked like the majority there already knew each other. It did not bother me as I did go there for Soraiya but hoping when I go again maybe I can have a nice chat with the other mummies.
Heading to Role2Play is a great play date option too as it will give your children the opportunity to play with each other (if they do) but also for you and your play date parent friend.
So go on, what are you waiting for?
I hope you found this blog post interesting and useful.
The Soul Tamer x