So when the weathers bad generally indoor play activities for preschoolers equal soft play or swimming. That is unless you live close to Frimley in Surrey when you have the option to visit Little Street. Which is a role play environment for little ones and offers a number of different settings to help children develop their imaginative play.
We visited with two of Monkey’s little friends and their mums. We booked our one and half hour play session easily online, they offer four throughout the day and are open seven days a week. Its always best to check online because they are sometimes closed for a private party. Or they maybe fully booked, as they only allow a maximum of 40 children at anyone time. Prices vary depending on whether you are booking at peak time which is at a weekend or during the school holidays. The price is £6 per child with one free adult, off peak it is priced at £5.50. Its £3.75/£3.50 for an additional adult and pre walkers are free.
So what can you expect – our initial reaction was this place is brilliant and that didn’t alter for the full one and a half hours we were there. Monkey gave a little squeal of excitement as he ran from the seating area into the little street and straight towards the emergency services area. Please note no shoes are allowed so remember you socks, if you don’t they sell socks for children and adults for a fair 50p a pair.
1. Services Area – both boys headed straight for the large wooden fire engine that sat in the centre of the services area. The fire outfits and hats went straight on and soon enough they were driving going nee nah nee nah! It was lovely to see. There were other smaller ride ons and a road design on the floor. All around this area there were other wall stickers such as a petrol pump, policy station, flower stall – it has been really well thought out. There were also little props for each of the services and a post box that was over in the corner.
Monkey only discovered the post box half way through – he’s been asking me to make him a postbag since we made our postbox. To go along with the outfit there is a little game made of different coloured letter boxes for each play environment and different coloured laminated letters to match. He really enjoyed playing with them, delivering them to their respective box, collecting and re-deliverig.
2. Construction – Just across the room is the construction area with two sit on diggers and three different types of foam bricks. Initially Monkey struggled to control the digger in the way he wanted, but then he’s not been on anything like it before, towards the end he managed it better. I suspect after a few visits he would be a dab hand. There was also construction dress up as you would expect and we spent some time building drainpipes. A lot of thought has gone into the setting with a wall sticker of a crane and several at work signs.
3. Supermarket – This is my favourite, partly because we have been playing this at home and it gave me some more inspiration on things I can use to stock our little shop! They had a wide selection of pretend foods as you would expect and empty packaging of a number normal household items. A till, scales, bags, baskets and little trollies, including babies for the seats. They also had some shopping lists – not that dissimilar to ours! Shopping list ideas. All the children liked playing in the supermarket and took it in turn to scan all the items on the lists. Monkey was obsessed with the strawberries. I can see me having to make some! I loved that there was a little ATM wall sticker on the outside as well, as it meant he could pretend to get money out the wall, just like he always wants to do when I do…
4. Doctors – This was probably the most educational room, it had a foam skeleton on the wall which was actually a puzzle and elected a chorus of the well know song…the leg bone is connected to the thigh bone….There was a also a stuffed set of organs (probably a bit old for our just three year olds but great none the less). As well as little waiting room set up, height chart, computer, phone – which Monkey kept calling through to get blood results on! There was an X-Ray corner, doctors and nurses dress up and kits, medicines and canadian medicines and a little sink unit. This and the Supermarket definitely kept our ones entertained the longest. I loved watching Monkey have various conversations on the phone as a result of whatever conversation we had just had with one of us.
5. Hair Dressers – We didn’t play very long in here – there was a wide range of accessories including some pretend make up and some larger dolls to practice your hair techniques on.
6. Cafe – It was a very cute little set up with pretend pastries, biscuits, cakes and sandwich making supplies. Monkey was really interested in the waffle iron and putting the waffles in the microwave? The coffee machine also went down well. There was a little seating area and a great menu sticker up on the wall as well as a till and trays to serve everything on. One of the suggested activities was matching the coloured cupcakes to their bases. There was copies of a little handouts scattered around giving parents suggestions around some of the activities the children could get up to such as building a wall in the construction area.
7. Dress Up – towards the back there was ‘Scarlets’ a dress up and pretend stage area. I have never seen so many different types of fancy dress in one place, not even in a toy shop! Once the boys had found the firemen outfits they didn’t take them off, but Monkey’s little friend became a mermaid and a fairy princess among other things. We also saw a batman serving at the checkout at one point and a spaceman operating a digger! I really liked the fact that there was more than one of some of the outfits (we tried to talk the boys into each dressing up as Woody for a cute photo opportunity but they were having none of it!). In the same room there was a small musical corner, which seemed to get ignored by most of the older children but would be great for the youngest of visitors. There is not a huge amount for the pre-walkers, a little soft play square with a few toys as you come in and the quiet musical corner with small bean bags. Really its designed for toddlers upwards, but then you don’t need to pay for the pre-walkers.
There is a cafe area selling cold and hot drinks as well as snacks. Although they ask that you do not take either into the play area. Our kiddies were so intent on playing that we didn’t get a chance to sample the beverages until we left – they did take out result!!
Things we liked
- The play areas are reset after each session, but actually while we were there as well staff were going round replacing items to ensure each child saw each room freshly made up
- The front door is automatically locked when a session is in play as such, in order to get in or out you need to contact a member of staff, which gives a great sense of security
- The toys and equipment were in very good condition and there was very little wear and tear generally which when you are catering for as many children as they do is a real achievement
- The staff were really friendly and helpful
- The toilets were clean and well thought out, I loved all the inspirational quotes around the rooms too
- Its overall educational nature
We parked in Burrell Road which is a short walk. It is pretty much opposite the road that leads to the entrance to the station. This is where you need to head towards as its in one of the station buildings, when on the main road there is no signage for Little Streets but there are directions on their website here. Burrell road is free for two hours, but you do need to still get a ticket to display. Because it was the weekend we could have parked right next door in the station carpark also for free. Its a £1 at other times which has got to be one of the cheapest station carparks I have come across!
If you want someone close by for a picnic before or after visiting there is a large park in Frimley Green, called Frimley Lodge Park which is about a 10 minute drive away from Little Streets. It has ample parking, a cafe and a good play area for both younger and older kids.
We will definitely be returning to both Little Streets and the park in the future as we have had such a good day out and Monkey was already requesting a re-visit before we got home.
We paid for our own Little Streets entrance – all views and opinions are my own. If you would like to find out more please visit their website – Little Streets.