Going out for a meal should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience for the family. There’s a reason over half of Americans choose to go out for a meal at least once a week. It’s always nice to take a break from cooking and dish-duty and enjoy the food and service that comes with eating out. However, when a child is overly excited or incredibly energetic, dining out can quickly become a stressful occasion.
The Experience is as Important as the Food
Parents today are looking for more than just food when dining out—the experience is equally as important. This includes everything from the atmosphere to the music playing to the amenities provided. And for many parents, eating at a restaurant that offers a play area guarantees the adults will be able to enjoy a great meal while kids are able to expend uncontainable energy in a safe environment. But it’s more than just keeping a child occupied. A well-designed play area can actually help enhance childhood development in several key ways.
In today’s health-conscious world, play areas can physically engage children with layouts geared around high-energy activities such as climbing and running. These types of play areas offer a chance for much-needed exercise while maintaining the fun of creative play. This is particularly important as children between the ages of two and six are more likely to become obese without at least one hour of Soft Play each day. Designed to encourage activities that help build muscle strength and increase coordination, engaging play areas can be an excellent form of exercise.
Perhaps most surprising is that the benefits of play aren’t entirely physical. Emotionally, kids stand to gain quite a bit from active and engaging play. Physically active children are not only more likely to be better at problem-solving, but also more responsible, with an increased perception of the results of their own actions. One study found that there seems to be a correlation between active play and relationship-building skills as well. And it goes without saying that kids who are allowed to wear themselves out through dynamic play with their peers will, of course, be better behaved.
Play areas also provide a perfect opportunity for imaginative play or a form of play involving role-playing and creative scenarios. By thinking outside-of-the-box and bringing in their own characters and scenarios, children learn on their own how to find creative solutions to real-world scenarios. While there has been a significant push in recent years to involve parents in encouraging imaginative play, often it can be difficult to know where to start. A cohesive theme in a play area flooring, murals, and play elements can provide a stage of sorts for children to act out imaginative scenes, leading to creative growth.
Soft Play Can Help
In a market as competitive as the restaurant industry, it’s important to stand out in a significant way. Restaurants that boast play areas where children can have fun while their parents relax, present an opportunity for a meal the whole family can enjoy. Soft Play play areas are the perfect solution to increase restaurant appeal and attract more families to your location. Soft Play’s professional team of designers can help you construct a creative and engaging environment that is custom-designed to fit your space. To learn more about Soft Play or to see examples of our various installations, visit our website.