Friday, May 15, 2015

Exams are over and it's PLAY time! - A review for Kaboodle Kids-

The exams are finally over! Finally. We don't know how they did and we won't know for a while but for now, it's time to go a little bit berserk. The house is flooded with Young Scientists magazines and there is Lego and Magformers strewn all over. The noise level is also decibels higher.

But they deserve the break.

As a treat, I packed them all off one afternoon Kaboodle Kids one afternoon. It's an indoor play gym at Big Splash. Actually, I wanted to go more than they did. I was curious about it because it was a play gym unlike any other and that in itself piqued my interest. Here are 5 ways it was different.

1. It was all blue. Unlike other play gyms that are a cacophony of colours which sometimes assault your senses, this just had blue bits. Lots of blue bits.

2. And they truly were just bits. No ready made structures. There were no slides or ball pits (though you could technically build your own ball pit). All the bits fit and connected to each other. So it was up to JED and their friends how they were going to build stuff. That way, they built their own fun.

3. Everything was foam. Giant foam noodles, blocks, wheels, balls, everything. That meant they were light and the noodles were malleable but at the same time they were heavy enough (especially after it was built) to stand on its own. And if the entire structure collapsed onto anyone, everyone else laughed because it was comical and it didn't really hurt at all. In Muffin's words after his entire marble run collapsed onto him "Not pain!"

4. There was no set way to play. Evan spent a lot of his time building a giant spider or what I saw as a contraption a mad scientist would use to suck up your brain juices. Jordan and her friends, built a fort that became their castle and Muffin loved that the walls of the castle connected into a huge room length marble run.

5. The entire room was as messy or as built up as the children wanted it to be. At one point when Evan and the girls had concentrated all their efforts on building their structures, Muffin was racing back and forth, slip-sliding around in his socks because there was just so much space for him to do so.

We were there for a good 2 hours and it would have been longer if it wasn't closing time. The only way I managed to drag them out of there was to promise that they could go look for the chickens that roosted near the beach. I also had to promise that we would come back again.

I loved the place. Simple as that.

Primarily because
1. It was a play gym that subscribed to the same play philosophy as I do. Don't tell them what to do, just let them figure it out, do it play how they want to.

2. I could play too. I could build stuff too, me-sized and JED were thrilled because in most play gyms, Mommy's too big to follow them around inside not that Mommy would want to.

3. It was bright. There were windows all along the side which meant there was a lot of light. But that's just me. I have a thing for natural light.

4. It wasn't an entirely huge area that I lost sight of JED but big enough for them to lose each other and that meant lots of fun playing Hide and Seek.

5. It was near the beach. Anything near the beach makes me feel like I am home. That's what happens when you grow up in the East. Take the girl out of the East but never quite take the beach out of the girl.

Stalking the chickens barefoot, to be quieter. No chicken was fooled. 

The only issue I think I had with it was that there was a lot of unhappiness when other kids who had also paid to play came over and inadvertently destroyed what JED were doing. And when they got tired towards the later part of the day, the unhappiness turned into sullen moodiness. But then again, my message to them was suck it up and play with others or accept that your structures might get destroyed.

We'll probably go back again at some point and in truth, we think it'd be a great place to hold birthday parties because you get to book out the whole place and build and play to their heart's content.

If you pop by at Kaboodle Kids and mention you came by them through our blog (the Diaperblog), you'll get 10 % off regular admission rates  till the end of June.

Here's to lots of fun and lots of building.

Postscript: We are thankful for Kaboodle Kids sponsoring JED's visit and everything written here is our own two cents' worth. 

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