1. Never go alone. Always bring a friend, preferably one with an older child. Use their child to help locate your missing toddlers who have somehow found the highest point in the play-centre frame, invisible to their panicked mothers’ eyes.
2. Do not wear a dress or a short top over your low rise skinny jeans. The other parents do not need to see your arse cheeks as you climb up the frame to help your toddler down the big scary slide. They have decided they have to go down this and let out blood curdling snot induced screams until you clamber up to them. This has also been a ruse as your toddler will now insist you go down the dark tunnel slide with them.
3. Go early. Get in before the birthday parties and the chaos begins. Older children somehow forget they can read and blatantly ignore the baby and toddler area age restrictions. You will need to make a manic dash to your toddlers hurtling them to safety from the herd of eight year olds descending roughly into the toddler zone.
4.Avoid the ball-pit at all costs. Never ever let your child into the ball pit. I know there is nothing more satisfying to dive into a pit of plastic balls. Ask any friend and I am sure they will confirm that no less than twenty-four hours after the ball pit visit they have been to the doctor with their child who has played too long in a saliva infested pit.
5.Don’t bother ordering tea or coffee, instead bring a flask because no sooner do you get your hot beverage and sit down on a couch to consume do your kids descend upon you suddenly starving and raid your bag for every available bit of food in it.
6.This one needs planning and one I have yet to figure out. We somehow have to come up with a plan to cover the chocolate egg and sugar snack displays with black plastic bags so our kids do not spend half the allocated time with their noses pressed up against the cabinet and pestering you to buy them sweets.
7.Do not forget your socks! If you do have to venture into the soft play hell, you want to make sure you do not do so with a naked foot, God know what you might step on.
8.Again a little sneaky but if you can try and unplug all the two euro rides that last exactly thirty seconds you will save yourself a toddler tantrum of epic proportion.
It is not all bad though where else can you use your toddler as an excuse to slide down the helter skelter slide and pretend to be a child for an hour or so!