360 Play looks for new Charity of the Year for 2016

Children’s play centre 360 Play is looking to link up with another local children’s charity for 2016 to help support the chosen organisation over a 12 month period as its ‘official’ Charity for the Year.

 

We are already very active in our local communities, donating over 700 family passes to raffles this year alone. Each year we choose one special children’s charity to become our Charity of the Year and they get our special focus and attention during that period.

360 Play will work with the chosen charity on a variety of fundraising initiatives which could include charity events held by 360 Play itself, with profits going to the supported organisation, the use of the 360 Play premises for a fundraising event and the provision of raffle prizes for further fundraising activities, among others.

 

So, if you are involved in a local charity and would like to register your organisation’s interest in becoming 360 Play’s officially supported charity for 2016, please email communitytickets@360play.co.uk in the first instance, stating the reasons why you feel your charity should be considered and also including a contact name, telephone number and details of fundraising achieve to date. Photographs would also be welcome. The last day for receipt of applications is Friday, December 18th.

Mid Week Madness – Play and Eat

Starting on Wednesday 2nd December, you can pay an extra £1.25 on the entry price to get any child’s meal included.

That’s £8.20 for a 1-3 year old or £10.50 for a 4-12 year old, during the day.

After school prices are £5.50 (1-3 years) and £6.80 (4-12 years).

Play Pass holders pay £1.25 to get the offer.

So why not stay and play all day!

This offer is on Wednesdays and Thursdays in term time only, until the end of the local Spring term.

Available in Leicester, Milton Keynes and Stevenage.

Great value partnership offers for visitors to the new 360 Play Basildon

We’re getting very excited about 360 Play’s brand new children’s entertainment centre at Festival Leisure Park in Basildon, which is set to open to the public on Monday, November 16th. And to help with the launch celebrations, we’ve teamed up with other businesses on the site to bring some great money saving offers to families planning a visit.

For anyone wanting to make a short break of a visit to our latest venue, we’ve arranged a very special offer with the Holiday Inn, which is situated right next to 360 Play. The hotel is offering a family room plus entrance to 360 Play (for two adults and two children) for just £73, including breakfast, a great saving on the hotel’s standard rates but an even more value-packed offer with entry to our attraction too.

Additionally, 360 Play Basildon has come together with the Fitness First outlet on the leisure park to offer all visitors a free session at the gym, which is also just a short walk away. Visitors will be able to sample all the excellent Fitness First facilities which include the latest gym equipment.

We already offer a real value-for-money experience for visitors to 360 Play with the opportunity for guests to stay as long as they want, free parking right outside our door and much more. But being able to link our offer with other businesses on the leisure park to create additional benefits for families is a great move for everyone and we are sure lots of visitors will take advantage of these special deals.

As is the case at our other three centres, all the facilities a family needs for a great day out –whatever the weather – are provided at 360 Play Basildon, including some new ones, and we are really looking forward to opening what will be our largest venue to date. We hope to see you there and look forward to hearing what you think.

Extending the 360 Play family – to Basildon

It’s exciting times here at 360 Play Towers! Not only are our three existing centres continuing to keep us all busy but our fourth centre will be opening very soon at Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, Essex – and we just can’t wait!

360 Play Basildon will be our largest site to date with 28,000 square feet of fun, active and creative play opportunities for young children and their families to enjoy. It’s all spread over two floors and in this latest venue there’s a host of new ideas and attractions for visitors to sample, as well as the tried and tested ones that have proved so popular over the years at our other three centres.

Of course a new centre means a whole new team of staff to extend the 360 Play family to another part of the UK. So it’s a very warm welcome to the fold to our new managers Paul and Ricky who will lead the team at Basildon and who are currently busy with other senior members of staff training our latest recruits on how to provide the best possible service and experience to our visitors.

360 Play is a family owned business and with two young children of his own our MD knows a thing or two about what makes a good day out with youngsters. In fact we all do, which is why 360 Play has become renowned over the years for just that. Our new Basildon centre has been carefully planned and designed to take the brand and the concept behind it to another level and we’re very excited about the opening and really looking forward to seeing visitors’ reactions to what we’ve created.

And it’s even more gratifying to know that we are a key element of the redevelopment of the Festival Leisure Park by the landlords who are making every effort to create a much more family-friendly site with a variety of new openings and tenants. If you live in the Basildon area, or anywhere else for that matter, a warm welcome awaits when we open to the public on November 16th. Why not ‘come on down’ and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Halloween Fun

We are all about children experiencing a safe fun and family friendly Halloween. Here are our top tips for making Halloween fun and NOT scary.

1 – Let your children dress up in a Halloween fancy dress costume of their choice to set the tone for the evening.

2 – Involve youngsters in pumpkin carving and tell them the story of why pumpkins are used in this way at Halloween. (Do you know why? You can easily find out on the internet, both the real reason and some great mythical stories too, which the kids will love).

3 – Use fun words for games. Dipping your hand in sawdust to retrieve sweets could be turned into dipping your hand in witches’ warts to retrieve treasure. Yuk!

4 – If you let your children go trick or treating, only go to the homes of people you know and ask them to put a pumpkin on their doorstep so young ones get used to only visiting people they know.

5 – Remember, Halloween can be a really positive and fun community event. Attend local, well organised Halloween events and take the stress out of your Halloween. You’ll enjoy it much more and be able to really get into it with the kids so all the family have a great time.

The 360 Play Halloween Spooktacular takes place on Saturday, October 31st, from 6.00pm to 8.30pm. It’s a ticketed event and is a fun, friendly, family Halloween Party suitable for all children with games, party dancing, fancy dress and safe trick or treating. More details can be found at

www.360play.co.uk/events-2/

Half term already? 5 ways to tackle the Half Term Terror!

Just as we are getting back into the routine after a long summer holiday, half term shows up!

It’s a tricky time for parents with young children, youngsters aren’t quite yet fed up with the school routine and learning and with the nights drawing in and the crisp bite in the air creating a weeks worth of activity can prove challenging.

So here are 5 tips from 360 Play to help you and your children through this half term.

1 – Baby, it’s cold outside!

As the weather starts to turn colder we all tend to stay indoors for longer periods of time. A child’s imagination can only last for so long in the same environment, so take every opportunity to get out and about, even if it’s cold. Wrap up warm and go for a walk, a particular favourite of my family this time of year is leaf jumping! Like puddle jumping but more autumnal.

If it is too cold though you could always come down to 360 Play where we specialise in stimulating young minds with a host of great activities.

2 – They miss their friends.

During the first half of term your youngsters have just rekindled many friendships after the summer holiday, so they’re probably not ready for a break from them yet. Why not invite a friend or two round for a play date? It’s sure to keep them happy and will pass an afternoon or two with no boredom factor.

3 – Eager, bright minds!

Try new things and keep their minds active. Children, especially under 10’s, love to learn. Learning comes in a variety of different formats.

Younger ones will do this through play while older ones will want to challenge themselves in various ways. Why not create a project for them to do? With Halloween coming up they could design their own costumes or masks, or maybe research different pumpkin styles on the computer and then create a pumpkin lantern for real. And of course it’s always fun to make some tasty Halloween themed treats, with lots of easy recipes available on the net.

4 – Time for some new toys?

Most children seem to have an endless supply of toys these days, that’s a given, but it’s been a long time since Christmas, and maybe birthdays too, so they are probably looking for some new things to play with. Charity shops are a good source of supply for some less expensive treats or with a bit of work on the internet, there will be lots of ideas for ‘make your own’ toys too.

5 – Kids like a routine.

At half term children go to bed a little bit later than on a school night but will get up at the usual time as their body clocks are still in school time mode. The days are therefore just as long but with no structure, so try and keep things predictable so they know what to expect, rather than letting the days just drag on with no plan.

Happy half term to all!

Avoiding the morning ‘rush hour’ (that’s the one at home!)

By Mum of 2 and 360 Play member.

As the new term started I began to wonder if I was the only one completely disorganised and late on school mornings, often losing it at certain pressure points. My usual morning script is this – ‘finish your breakfast’, ‘brush your teeth’, ‘stop jumping on your brother and find your socks’ and the worse one of all ‘Get your shoes on we are going to be late!’ Then after finally leaving the house and despatching the children to school I would feel instantly guilty at starting the day this way, promising myself I would find a better way of doing things in the morning!

So I asked the mums at the school gate. They all guiltily confessed to the same raised voice protocol and not really having a plan to combat this pressure. We all agreed there must be a better way. So I started asking around.

I started with my partner in crime, my children’s father, who helpfully stated the obvious ‘These things should not be done minutes before leaving for school but should perhaps be sorted the night before’.  Of course, if only I had thought that! Maybe I should put the kids to bed in their school uniforms dear. He is right, although I hate to admit it; a certain number of things can happen the night before, but short of dressing each child myself, brushing their teeth and spoon feeding in the Cheerios, how do I handle those things that just can-not be prepared?

My mum suggested I get everyone up earlier. No! Modern life is a busy affair and I refuse to sacrifice anymore of my sleep. I have been a mother for 8 years and I still haven’t got used to not having my Sunday morning lie in each week.

So I turned to Google. Google knows everything and I found lots of articles on teaching your children to handle their own time. Really? Can kids do this? I read on and it seems like yes they can. I was dubious but I gave it a try.

Firstly I made 2 charts that super nanny would have been proud of, one for each child, that looked something like this:

  • Have breakfast.
  • Shower
  • Get dressed.
  • Brush teeth and hair.
  • Get book bag, shoes and PE bag.

YOU ARE READY FOR SCHOOL!MorningYawn

I then brought my 7 year old a watch, handed it to him at the breakfast table and said we need to leave at half past 8 and you needed to do everything on your list by then. He can tell the time but I still showed him where the hands need to be.

Then with my 4 year old, I walked him through it, ticking the chart as we went. Amazingly we were all ready by 8:15, shoes on, book bags in hand and not one voice raised. Success! I felt triumphant. I told my mummy friends who all had success using this method too. In fact after a week of walking it through with my littlest man he started to do a lot of it on his own and felt really chuffed with himself. So as the term continues, how is it going now? Mostly great actually. I think I have had to shout the shoe message 3 or 4 times but nothing like before. It really has made a huge difference to our morning routine– and didn’t half help reduce the mummy guilt levels!

360 Play comments: We love this idea. We can see it enables children to grow their confidence through being independent and capable, something which reigns king in our centres and of course anything that makes a happy mum makes a happy child. I’m sure many mums will find this useful.

Leicester Closed on the 30th September

We will be closed at Leicester on the 30th September, for a deep clean and essential maintenance.

The centre will reopen on the 1st October and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

We should let our children try and fail – they’ll thank us in the long run

We all want our children to succeed and be the best at everything at school, in sport and in all sorts of other activities.

To want the best for our offspring in all aspects of life is only natural and while not everyone is good at everything, there are of course those youngsters who just seem to excel, no matter what it is they do. I remember when I was at school, even from quite a young age, there were those kids who just seemed to be good at whatever they did, be it in lessons, in various sports, in music and more.

But the majority of us as kids aren’t super heroes at everything we try (unless we are playing superheroes of course!), much as we’d like to be, so we have to learn to deal with that. And sometimes we have to learn the hard way, by maybe not being picked for a team, not scoring well in a test or exam, or away from the school environment perhaps not being able to fix something on a bike or a toy or losing at a game.

And it’s just the same for the very youngest of children as it is for older ones. We learn through trial and error, success and failure, no matter what we are doing and at no age is this more apparent than during our formative years. We explore, we ask questions, we try pretty much anything and everything all in the daily process of learning, developing and shaping our character, personality and individuality.

These days parents are often overprotective and go to great lengths to ensure their children, of whatever age, avoid failure. But is this not undermining the development of an independent character that has the strength and wherewithal to stand up to whatever setbacks, disappointments and mistakes they may come up against in life?

No-one intends to teach their children to be fearful of failure, but we do it more and more these days. We therefore need to let them take more risks, to try things from the off and to encourage them if and when they fail. They’ll be stronger for it and more confident, competent and resourceful later in life.

Meet up Mondays

For parents of pre-school children looking for somewhere to take their youngsters on a Monday morning, 360 Play is delighted to announce the launch of Meet up Mondays!

Meet up Monday’s is a time for parents to bring their toddlers down to the centre, meet other parents, and make friends whilst combining some great toddler developmental opportunities with a couple of equally great FREE offers.

As stated by the experts and outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)  toddlers need positive relationships and enabling environments to enhance their development.

All our toddler areas are designed so that mums and dads can join in too, another key aspect of child development, while we also ensure peace of mind with a safe, clean environment by sterilising our toddler areas each night which makes 360 Play an enabling environment with lots of opportunity to reinforce those positive relationships.

Mums and dads can often find themselves on their own with very young children, particularly at the beginning of a week, so we have created an ideal opportunity to meet up with friends and make new ones at 360 Play, as well as providing pre-schoolers with a place to help further their physical, mental, social and emotional development.

And for those attending these special sessions, our offer includes a FREE hot drink for adults and a FREE art class for the youngsters.

The Meet up Monday sessions will run from 10am to 12pm every Monday throughout September as well as during the first half of October, finishing on Monday, October 19th.

So why not take advantage of this wonderful new opportunity and bring your pre-schoolers to 360 Play on a Monday morning?