Review: Stonham Barns Soft Play (Suffolk)

Today we went off to explore a new soft play centre. I have been wanting to visit Stonham Barns for ages. We only had time to visit the soft play today but Stonham Barns has so much. It’s like it’s own little village.

The centre itself was easy to find and had a secure entry point (children can’t get in and out by themselves). We paid £2.50 for entry which was very fair for a small playframe. The staff member who served us was helpful and quick to sort out any issues we had. She gave a little introduction the frame such as which area is for which age. There was no ‘give me your money and get on with it’ like some other places.

The playframe is split into two sections. You can’t see both at the same time very easily so if you’re children separate it can be tricky. J had a go in both areas. The area for smaller children is well padded and not only is there a slide and soft play things to climb on but there’s toys for non-climbers. J checked the toys out for them, haha.

The main playframe is for children who can climb and are more mobile. The bottom layer is a little limited if you have a child with mobility issues. There’s a ball pool and spiny toy (as long as you can get though the ‘ web’ to get to it). J loved the ball pool and we had a ball fight.

When you climb up there’s a tunnel and large balls to explore. J loves tunnels and spent a lot of time inside it. He found it fun to play with Daddy. He’s push a ball so it stuck in one end, then go in through the other end and head butt it so it came out. You hear his laugh echoing.

There’s also a large, open slide. It’s a great size as an adult can go down with the child (not that J was bothered as he just throws himself down happily). The staff are vigilant and do check and intervene if children are being unsafe eg: trying to climb up the slide.

The good thing about this play frame is there’s a lot of space. It was easy enough to go around with J without feeling like my body was contorted. Children have space to race around without clashing. There’s those soft ‘punchbag’ type things hanging around too which J liked to run into.

(Yey, they do children’s cutlery!)

Whilst there we decided to get lunch. It’s typical food like sandwiches, sausage rolls, children’s sausage and chips etc, as well as cakes and range of hot and cold drinks. The children’s meal are a tad on the pricey side so I think next time we’ll try and eat before or after and just get a snack. J had the sausage and chips for his meal, I had a portion of chips and Daddy had a Cornish pasty. It was all very tasty.

Toilet facilities were easily accessible for us and I was pleased that the toilets are accessible, baby change and for men/women rather than separate. There’s two toilet ‘rooms’ which was fine. It’s great as J doesn’t like hand driers so the fact it’s individual toilets means I didn’t have to try and find a disabled access toilet or deal with sensory meltdown. There’s no ‘changing places’ facility at the moment however Stonham Barns are looking into this so keep an eye out.

There was adequate table and chairs which give you a good view of the main play frame. There’s seating near the smaller play frame too, and low level ‘wall’ type but you can sit on too. We went during school hours so it was quiet (about 3 other families) so we had plenty of space. J was much more settled and we had no meltdowns…just a tantrum when he didn’t want to leave.

As I said, we didn’t get to explore the rest of the ‘village’ but we did see this poster so will hopefully go and enjoy some more fun at the end of the month.

It’s great finding places that suit J and his needs. If there’s anywhere you recommend or strategies that can help then I’d love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

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