Twice in the last few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to go into Cambridge and experience The Cloth Place, a completely hands on, creative soft play area that has real life items alongside handmade cloth artifacts. Split into several areas, the kids had only 2 rules – not to hurt each other, or themselves. Otherwise they could do what they wanted – there was sol to dig, straw to move, washing to hang, animals to play with, splinters on a shed, food to serve, clothes to dress up in, shopping to explore.
It really was the most extra-ordinary place and the children adored it. I saw at least one little girl leave in tears because she jsut wanted more. One of the things that was the greatest joy to me, and i think many of the parents, was the way our kids were within the space; considerate, imaginative, thoughtful, imaginative and so completely and thoroughly at home with just enjoying it. Several of the staff mentioned how different they were to some of the school groups, who mainly just ran around screaming to start with. Ours just seemed so…well socialised 🙂 Right now, under accusations of hidden away children who aren’t getting real life experience and who aren’t in good hands if they spend their days with their parents, people who compliment them for being well adjusted and normal are a blessing.
I was even happier on the second trip when an older man on the bus in caught my attention and talked to me about why i had them with me, roundly complimenting them for their manners, conversation, bahaviour and interest in what they were seeing. When i told him they were HEed, he nodded and said “you can tell”. 🙂
The photos below are a mix of both trips.