Football Hooliganism In Soft Plays

Football Hooliganism In Soft Plays

football holligan






It doesn’t matter what kind of personality your child has in everyday life. It’s an actual known fact that as soon as any child enters a soft play, the soft play transforms into a football arena, and even the most placid, best behaved children, become the worst kind of football hooligans around. Frightened and intimidated parents are left to referee escalating situations for which they have little, or no training for, often leaving them quivering, dribbling wrecks, incoherently muttering about needing wine. Here is an outline of the process from everyday child, to football hooligan.

Checking out the opposition:
As soon as the safety gate has been opened, and the child has been ushered into the arena, their immediate instinct is to check out the competition. I once witnessed a child hock a greenie onto the train table, while simultaneously eyeballing a little girl on the other side, who was drinking from the flowing river of snot from both nostrils-supping it like a delicious, all natural, endless smoothie. They stared each other right in the eye, and in typical alpha toddler style, tried to out-gross the other into backing away. There was going to be no draw here, someone was going to win.

Marking their territory:
Some rush for the dressing up, and the dolls and prams, while others elbow each other out of the way to get to the trains and cars. Any hapless hooligan not showing firm affiliation to either territory will be seen as an easy target for any later riots, and usually ends up with nothing to play with. Once an affiliation has been decided, children will often mark their territory by vomming all over said toys-a heady mixture of fear, jealousy, too much cake, and the fact that they are in an environment containing more germs than a public toilet bowl just used by someone with norovirus, all set the scene for a territorial vomming. All the while, they will be leering at anyone daring to touch their precious bounty, screaming incoherent insults at them at the top of their voices. The piece de resistance of marking their territory is to take a dump in the manky dressing up costume they are wearing-a tactic commonly used by the smirking, potty training child.






Being aggressive when the referee makes a decision they don’t agree with:
So, they’ve checked out the opposition, marked their territory, been given the obligatory slice of cake on entry, and now they’re hungry again. Not just hungry, they are starving. Like a newly turned vampire on a feeding spree, their eyes return to the display of cakes. We all know that soft play arenas tactically display all cakes at child eye level. This leads to the child, hungry for its much needed sugar hit, to run to the display of deliciousness, and start hammering on the glass, with shouts of ‘cake, who are ya? Cake, who are ya? Cake cake cake cake caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake,’ ringing through the arena. There’s no angelic chants of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles here. Terrified referees, wanting to prevent later sugar loaded meltdowns at nap time, and scared of looking bad in front of the sugar free, all organic, yummy mummy referees, tell the shouting hooligans that cake is out of the question. This leads to a rage so pure, and sheer agitation at the referee’s decision (‘you’re wrong, and you know you are, you’re wrong, and you know you are, I haaaaaaaate you’) that eventually, the hooligan children launch at the referee, and will show their annoyance by attempted kicking, biting, and scratching. This usually results in their removal from area, and threats of being removed from the arena for good.

A full on riot:
While some hooligans have been distracted by the cake, and arguing with the referee, others see this as a prime opportunity to start a riot. They will creep from their designated marked territory, and attempt to take on the opposition. A brawl ensues, with hair being pulled out, while trying to remove dressing up costumes from the opposite Firm. Dolls heads will be torn off in aggressive tugs of war. Brick towers, meticulously built, will come crashing to the ground. Each side fights to emerge victorious. By this time, frazzled referees give in to the hooligans, who are given back handed bribes of the cake they fought so hard for, to force them into riot vans pushchairs, and be carted away. Referees are later treated for injuries sustained, with intravenous drips of wine.

And THAT is the cycle of football hooliganism in soft plays. It’s a growing threat my friends, stay safe.

football riot






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  1. February 5, 2016 / 8:06 am

    Pahaha! All very true! And it only gets worse. Soft play is the chambers of the devil. I’m not sure which sadistic bastard came up with them but they’ve got a lot to answer for

    • This Mum's Life
      February 5, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      Please don’t tell me it gets worse!!!!! I know, who thought sticking a load of tired, hormonal (mainly) women together in a room, with a load of hyper, crazed toddlers, was just poor planning!!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. February 5, 2016 / 10:07 am

    I engaged in a spot of this myself yesterday. Had a stand off with a random toddler. My little one was in the ball pit and this other kid kept putting loads of other toys in the ball pit. Blatantly disregarding the rules of the ball pit. I gave him my best “don’t you dare” stare and kept taking out the toys as fast as he was putting them in. The random toddler won the battle! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • This Mum's Life
      February 5, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      I know, the amount of times I engage in stand offs with these beligerant monsters!!! Sometimes I have to check myself, and think, ‘I shouldn’t really be trying to get one up on a toddler, I should rise above it,’ but when it comes to their constant rule breaking, I just can’t seem to let it go!

  3. February 5, 2016 / 10:27 am

    Haha! This is so true! My life before children was blissfully unaware of the Soft Play Zone, but once you enter you enter at your peril!
    We’ve been offsided by toddlers working as a team to get what they wanted at times; we’ve been put upon by another who wrestled my boy to the ground to get his sock – and then he disappeared. I mean, how do you disappear in a Soft Play? Well, I suppose it’s quite easy to stealth amongst the colourful balls isn’t it!
    Yes, stay safe my friend. Only enter in groups & Stay safe! heehee xx

    • This Mum's Life
      February 5, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      I know! The sheer ignorance of such violence existing in life, pre children! Definitely best to enter in packs, and not let those blindsiding hooligans get they’re own way!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. February 8, 2016 / 7:23 am

    Ugh I completely feel your pain! Tears, tantrums & soft play seem to go hand in hand! #fartglitter

  5. February 8, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Eekk!! I vaguelly remember you mentioning soft play as a posible venue for our first tweet up. You just want to torture me dont you!! #fartglitter

  6. February 8, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Ha ha – love this post! It is so true, even the most peaceful kids turn into brawling louts when they enter the soft play arena. Hell, pure hell. #fartglitter

  7. February 8, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    The worst bit is when they get stuck, refuse to come down and you – the grown up – have to attempt to squeeze yourself into places designed for infants in order to fetch them. Oh what fun that was!

  8. February 8, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Hah! Soft play is a minefield of weird behaviour! On the one hand you’re grateful to be able to let them let of some steam without ruining your (or anyone else’s house). On the other, it can result in hyper activity and meltdowns of the highest degree. #FartGlitter

  9. February 8, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    You paint such a vivid picture. This is so unnervingly true. I will never look at a soft play quite the same again. Brilliant and very funny.

    Dawn x

  10. February 8, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Excellent, so true. I have to go and meditate before I go in to any of those. It’s like Lord of the Flys. I’m all up for the kids learning to socialise, but there’s something about extra sugar from cola and running around, and around, and around in a hot environment that turns the nicest child into something you wouldn’t want to meet in your deepest fears!!!

  11. February 9, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    You’ve certainly nailed-it! My daughter though, thankfully is a bit of bystander and likes to stay away from the “hooligans” 🙂 #abitofeverything.

  12. February 9, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    LOLOL this post really had me chuckling. #abitofeverything

  13. February 9, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    Thankfully those days are long behind me. Loved the stay safe parting words! May the force be with you. #abitofeverything

  14. February 10, 2016 / 4:43 am

    This is absolutely hilarious. I love reading about these soft plays. I’m not sure if we have an exact equivalent. I feel like flying over for a visit just to experience the… joy. (Love the lego display at the end!!) #abitofeverything

  15. February 10, 2016 / 7:16 am

    Brilliant. I liken Soft Play centres to hell. I never go alone with my son, always ensuring I have plenty of support. A united front is paramount in these environments. #bestandworst

  16. February 10, 2016 / 11:55 am

    Haha, love it!! Soft play is a wonder isn’t it! This post did make me smile…..thanks for linking up! #bestandworst

  17. February 11, 2016 / 4:52 am

    Haha! Yes, soft play areas seem to bring the worst out in kids. I’d never seen my lad try to hurt someone else until he randomly tried to drag a bigger girl around by her ponytail at soft play. Oops.


  18. February 11, 2016 / 8:08 am

    OMG – sounds terrifying! #coolmumclub

  19. February 11, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    When I read the title I wasn’t sure if the post would be about the kids or the Mums?! I have a soft play post in my head…so much material generated from an hour or two at soft play!

    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xx

  20. February 11, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Hahaha! It is a full riot at soft play centres! I love the bit about kids marking their territory – it’s the same with parents grabbing tables and chairs! #coolmumclub

  21. February 12, 2016 / 6:26 am

    Wow, clearly I go to really soft, soft play! Never seen anything quite on this scale! #coolmumclub

  22. February 12, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    Cominf back from #abitofeverything. Thanks for linking xx

  23. February 15, 2016 / 9:13 am

    This both made me laugh and feel sice especially the line “who was drinking from the flowing river of snot from both nostrils-supping it like a delicious, all natural, endless smoothie” lol I’ve been lucky so far with soft play but i’, sure this will change as my son get older #bigpinklink

  24. February 15, 2016 / 9:47 am

    We’ve only just started to experience the joys of soft play but little 18 month old sure holds her own. But by the looks of it we have only just scratched the surface and have a lot more to come yet… #bigpinklink

  25. February 15, 2016 / 10:15 am

    All I can say is that soft play is my idea of hell. I achieved a life-long dream the other week when I jumped into the ball pit at the soft play centre (a genuine first for me). And guess what? It had an overpowering whiff of stale urine. Lovely.
    Can’t wait for more refereeing stints at soft play! #bigpinklink

  26. February 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Ha ha, this is brilliant! Living in Australia I haven’t spent much time in soft play centres but I used to with my nephew and it brought back so many memories. Mind you my 3 year old is a bit like that now at at the playground…oh dear!!! #bigpinklink

  27. February 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Amazing, all very true! I’m normally the one telling off other people’s children or having a nervous breakdown in the corner!!
    Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  28. February 15, 2016 / 10:25 am

    Omgoodness so true!! It’s the little nuggets that act as though no one else is in the queue for the slide or dive bomb into the ball pit without looking that I want to send off pitch!!

  29. February 15, 2016 / 10:27 am

    Hmmm…thought I’d already left a comment on this post?! not sure what happened there?!

    Love this post….I believe every parenting blogger has a soft play post in them! I’m only surprised from the title this wasn’t about the Mums 🙂

  30. February 15, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Ha ha this cracked me up! I can’t believe I have this to look forward to – better toughen up!! xx #bigpinklink

  31. February 15, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I think my 3 children may be the only kids who do all they can to avoid soft play, they have never liked loud noise or crowds, so maybe I am lucky lol #bigpinklink

  32. February 15, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    I swear the only reason that there aren’t more serious injuries at soft play is the fact that toddlers are actually quite little – if their strength matched their anger I dread to think what carnage would occur! We braved our ‘favourite’ (I use that word grudgingly) soft play on Saturday – a cold and wet day. What were we thinking?!!

  33. February 15, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    So true it’s like a jungle sometimes in soft play though
    I always go in with my two thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  34. February 15, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    I’ve still got all of this to come, as we’ve only been to baby soft play so far – think I’ll try to steer clear for as long as possible too, by the sounds of this!! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink 🙂 PS, I’ve never heard an angelic rendition of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles ANYWHERE, ha!! 😀

  35. February 15, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    I love this post, I don’t love soft play. It’s such a nightmare.

    There’s always some mums sitting at tables, actually sitting with a cup of coffee and a book. I always wondered how on earth they managed it, then I realised, they have older kids and don’t need to be a full time referee.


  36. February 15, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    Hahaha! so true! Despite of this football hooligans in soft plays, kids still loves the place to bits… By the way, thanks for hosting this new fab linky and good luck!

  37. February 15, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    And im back again 😉 #bigpinklink

  38. February 15, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Haha! Very true. Though, my oldest son is extremely careful, placid and cautious and is usually just the brunt of the other children’s exuberance. My youngest, a girl, is much more the type you describe above. I can imagine her beating up any miscreants in defence of her brother, in the not too distant future! #boigpinklink

  39. February 15, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    I have learnt a lot here not having a clue about footy! A whole new world in soft play!! Thanks for hosting xx

  40. February 15, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    This is why I avoid soft play wherever possible! Not sure how long I can hold out for. Am hoping that the little one doesn’t find out about such places from his future friends! #bigpinklink

  41. February 15, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Spot on! The cake chant defeats me every time. The yellow card gets issued pretty much every time we go, and I have been known to red card my youngest and leave with him clamped under one arm for biting poor unsuspecting toddlers. Loved this. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      February 16, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Hehe! Well done for keeping the football theme going into the comment!! I know, I don’t know why I keep going, mine are frog marched from the building on 98% of soft play visits!!

  42. February 16, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Hahaha excellent piece and so true! I am a wimp myself when it comes to soft play, and then I have to remind myself that I am not a child and shouldn’t be staring open mouthed in horror at the terrifying child who has just pushed about three others over in an attempt to dominate the top of the slide. Instead I have to snap into mummy mode and gently encourage my daughter (who has the same bewildered expression as me on her face) to get into the ball pool, preferably without me…it’s a tough game that’s for sure! Great post!!!

    • This Mum's Life
      February 16, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Thanks, I’m so glad you liked it! Good for your daughter for avoiding the hooligan behaviour!!

  43. February 16, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Haha this is so true! My two turn into crazies as soon as they get into soft play – and tomatoes! #bigpinklink xx

    • This Mum's Life
      February 16, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      Such common problems!!

  44. February 16, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I have nothing to say as you have said it all! Happy soft play parents everywhere! xxx

  45. February 16, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    Love this! Really made me laugh. My son doesn’t quite fully fit a football hooligan yet, but one day at soft play I will be thinking of this post and muttering ffs.

  46. February 16, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    Congratulations on your new linkie. Thanks for inviting me #b#bigpinklink

  47. February 16, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    My little boy is only 2 and I already feel like soft play sends him insane. Has anyone checked to see if these places are ventilating the play areas with some kind of psychosis inducing gas?! Because I wouldn’t be surprised. Great post! Xx #bigpinklink

  48. February 17, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Urgh! Never been to soft play before, I think I’ll stay away forever – it sounds horrid! Thanks for giving us the nitty-gritty on soft play socialisation 🙂

  49. February 17, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Ha ha – brilliant! So true! #bigpinklink

  50. February 17, 2016 / 11:27 am

    Oh I just can’t do soft play! It’s too sticky!!! You’re right though, it is exactly like this! #bigpinklink

  51. February 17, 2016 / 11:27 am

    Ha ha so true and hilariously put! I always realise, upon arriving at soft play, why I dislike it so much. Namely the children! If there is anything which rattles my cage more than children walking up the slide then I am yet to find it! Thanks for sharing and for hosting #bigpinklink

  52. February 17, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Haha this is hilariously horrendous, and the reason why I only take the twins on quiet days… Hats off to you for fighting the good fight!

  53. February 17, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Love your analogy of this! Absolutely brilliant and funny! And so true! Especially the referee part. Thanks for hostessing #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      February 18, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for commenting!

  54. February 21, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Oh my gosh this is so true! Soft play centres are the work of the devil, loved your lighthearted spin on something I find very stressful 😉 thanks for hosting #bigpinklink x

  55. December 13, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Hahaha brilliant! This is so true, and so well written, I can see it all in my mind… and all the snot urghhhh! x