Ball ponds are back as indoor play returns to normality

Since all Covid restrictions were removed indoor play operators have been able to breathe a sigh of relief as the world gets back to “normal”

Most operators implemented additional restrictions such a pre booking systems or cleaning regimes, and now with a return to a new normal many are now keeping some of those best practise elements which benefit indoor play centre operators and customers alike. What is vitally important is to get more footfall back into Softplay and offer those much-loved places to full capacity as they once were for kid’s parties, rainy day escapes and the imminent school summer holidays.

At the height of the restrictions many operators also removed ball pools, as there was advice to do so, but happily with a good cleaning regime the message is now loud and clear: “bring back your balls”.

Ball ponds have underpinned indoor play since its inception, creating interaction with the kids. Photos of children leaping into ball pool have been quite often the photo opportunities for social media, so let’s get them back out again and have some fun!

The Association of Indoor Play’s recommended trade supplier for balls is leading playpen ball manufacturer, Euro-Matic. They would recommend a bi-monthly cleaning regime, which can be as simple as jet washing balls in netsacks, popping them into a washing machine or using a dedicated ball cleaner.

One AIP member, Gordon Forster, Managing Director of Safari Play Venues and Jungle Tots Day Nursery said, “ball cleaning is easy with a huge ball cleaning machine which sucks the balls up and we use this at both Safari Play venues. The staff even have fun doing it! All venues who belong to AIP learnt a lot about new ways to clean from weekly fogging to improved tools and processes and increased air flow. There were so few cases relating to indoor play.  It shows how hard the owners work and shows how good AIP has been to help maintain very high industry standards.”

As the industry celebrate the return of ball ponds which we can finally bring back the colour and fun and see so many happy smiling faces back in soft play. Long may it continue.