Fighting Childhood Obesity Soft Play for Schools Day Nurseries and Pre Schools

Fighting Childhood Obesity – Specially designed exercise equipment for schools and nurseries that can be used year round to help battle childhood obesity.

Lifetime Education play soft play equipment gives schools and early years providers indoor and outdoor options to fight childhood obesity and promote physical activity in less confident children. Lifetime Education offer purpose built sets with colour options, suitable for children under three years and also for the under sixes; the ranges include products with a “sensory” emphasis.

Equal opportunities are at the heart of soft play, more protective than “hard” wooden or metal play equipment, it can be enjoyed by children with the widest range of abilities, equally. The Lifetime Education soft play range helps build confidence, develop spatial awareness and balance skills, promotes imaginative and co-operative play and addresses curriculum goals of language, self awareness, esteem, fitness, safely. The MODULAR DESIGN means you can add new pieces or replace pieces easily, saving you money and ease of maintenance, the two ranges come in “400mm square modules ” for children up to 2 yrs and “600mm square modules” for up to 6 yrs.

Guided play and activities with Spaces4kidsSoft Play equipment: Soft play is great fun for children to explore on their own, but sometimes you may want to structure more formal activities. The Early Learning Goals set some general objectives which include: being confident to try new activities; maintain attention and concentration; work as part of a group, taking turns and sharing fairly; sustain attentive listening and extend their vocabulary. There are additional objectives that relate to physical development. Move with confidence, imagination and safety; Move with control and co-ordination; Travel around, under, over, and through balancing and climbing equipment; Show awareness of space, of themselves and of others. All of these goals can be developed with a good physical activity program.

Activities with Spaces4kids Softplay Equipment – Here we make a few suggestions of how to start a more formal session with soft play. Start with a “Warm up” – action rhymes e.g. heads, shoulders, knees & toes. (Maintain attention, concentration and work as part of a group) Explain the main activity on the equipment before they start. Set out any “rules” such as try not to bump anyone else, close with a “Cool down” – stretching or choose another action rhyme. Talk about the activities and discuss what the children found easy or difficult.

We highly recommend that all Spaces4kids softplay equipment is used by the children with bare feet. This is much safer than wearing shoes or socks as children naturally grip better with their toes and can feel exactly what they are doing. It will also extend the life of your equipment. WHERE VELCRO JOINING STRIPS ARE PROVIDED TO JOIN ONE PIECE TO ANOTHER THESE MUST ALWAYS BE USED TO ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF THE SET.

Balancing – Walk upright with arms stretched to the side for balance. Keep a distance from the child in front to show spatial awareness. Start at the corner with the yellow mat and 2 large feet. (Control and co-ordination) For increased difficulty close the eyes.

Head up, arms out, Eyes look ahead, arms out,
Back straight tightrope walking

Jumping – Feet together, arms by sides, bend knees. Push up through feet and straighten legs, bring arms quickly above head and jump.

Feet together Push legs to straight Land with bent Stretch up to finish
Bend knees Arms quickly above head knees.
Arms at side Push up & jump

Rolling – Sideways rolling – stretch arms above heads and keep legs straight and together. Forward roll – crouch with hands placed on the mat close to the feet, tuck the head under and push forwards with the feet so that they land on their shoulders (not head) and their weight will take them completely over. The wedge shape is ideal for this as it helps them to get the forwards movement. (Move with confidence, imagination & safety)

Sliding – Set up the circuit so that the two slopes are at opposite sides and the tunnel has good access at each end with flat mats. Children can slide all the way around the circuit on their fronts, or on their backs. They go through the tunnel and continue the slide down each of the wedges. On their backs they will need to push themselves along with their heels and go head first to make it easier. See how many can do it going feet first. They can pretend to be snakes to add to the fun.

Spatial awareness – ask the children to make themselves as tall as they can while they go round the circuit, then when they reach a specific point designated as a change mat (e.g. a circle mat) they have to become as small as they can. Add in variations e.g. as wide or as narrow as you can, be an animal.. elephant, mouse, rabbit, cat, lion!

Hopping – A difficult skill for under 5s to learn. Here are activities that can assist the co-ordination necessary to develop them. Stride around the circuit. Jump after each stride. Stand on one leg and jump using bent knee action. Bunny hoops are also a good skill for the smaller children to learn. To teach a bunny hop get the children to stretch their hands further along the mat in front of them and then jump their feet in close to their hands. This is a great way to get around the circuit as well

Additional Ideas – Put all the ideas together for moving around the circuit. Introduce new ideas gradually. Change the layout of the circuit. Break the circuit up into four or five different areas with one activity for each area. Introduce appropriate language, talk about colours and shapes etc. Talk about which activities are easy and which are difficult. Introduce other equipment to add to the fun. Place hoops on the outside of the circuit and beanbags on the higher blocks. Aim to get the bean bags into the hoops. (Control & Co-ordination) Count the beanbags that land in the hoops. Try the sideways rolls and jumping holding an adults hands.


Mainly for indoor use, our mats are also “shower-proof” and easier to carry than rugs or carpets which means they are also ideal for use outside on sunny days, use them on any non-abrasive, safe surface such as grass. They wipe clean after use. Our mats, like our soft play, should be stored inside and not left out in the rain, they should not be immersed in water or used in swimming pools. Spaces4Kids mats are general-purpose activity play mats that offer comfort and protection for floor play and story time activities of young children and babies, for sports or gymnastics or any activities that require crash or landing mats you will need to select mats with specialist foam grades to cope with extra impact.

Guide to mat thicknesses: Suggested thicknesses, (needs will differ from setting to setting and the special needs of particular children or groups, so we advise your own risk assessment): Rest mats: 25mm minimum to 40mm for extra comfort: Baby massage: 25mm: Story-time and floor play: 25mm: With soft play (including slide run offs mats) 40mm: Dens 25mm or 40mm for more comfort. Therapy/SEN rooms 40mm. Wall mats from 40mm – 80mm. Memory foam mats: 75mm gives the maximum effect. Gymnastics: special foam grades and thicknesses are require for maximum impact protection please contact your retailer.


SPLIT RESISTANT DESIGN: EN71 TOY SAFETY: PHTHALATE FREE: FORMAMIDE FREE: FOMALDAHYDE FREE: All coated fabrics comply with EN71 and BS7176 Contract Furniture (Low Hazard) Cigarette and Match. Fillings/foams are UK made, CFC free and are fire retardant to Parts 1 and 2 BS5852 Furniture and Furnishing (fire safety) crib 5. Sewn seams are not 100% waterproof but are shower resistant for use temporary use outdoors; carefully positioned with a strong nylon thread they are not vulnerable to splits . Fabrics: own brand, UK made, non toxic waterproof “eco-Play” coated fabrics both PVC and non-PVC grade have life-long “anti-bacterial” protection that fights fungus and bacterial growth.

CARE AND CLEANING: Wipe clean with non-abrasive household polishes or cleaners or dilute bleach solutions. All surfaces must be completely dried before use. Do not use abrasive creams. Creases caused by packaging for transit found in the fabric on delivery should drop out naturally in a short time. Creases in Mats/Pads:- shake the pad so that the foam inside the cover flattens and migrates to the corners, if creases persist (over three weeks) add a weight to flatten them, never apply a heat source such as a hair dryer, iron, or electric fire. Creasing will not normally affect the performance of your product.

*Product adaptations for special needs: *Soft play and ball pools: *Space planning, room division and activity areas: *Soft furniture: *Mats and rest mats: