Reviews

This is a lovely review that we recd recently for Little Rascals Reviews, it’s great to get recognition for a job we love doing!

http://www.littlerascalreviews.com/days-out-classes-activities/chuckle-tots-stay-play-godstone-st-nicholas-youth-centre/

Chuckle Tots Stay & Play Reviews – Godstone (St Nicholas Youth Centre)

By On · Add Comment
chuckle tots review little rascal reviewsHaving attended Chuckle Tots since it began in early 2013, I felt compelled to give it some much deserved review love!Chuckle Tots is a Stay & Play group for children from newborn to 5 years old. It runs from 09:30-11:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays in Godstone (St Nicholas Youth Centre) and in Caterham on Thursdays & Fridays from 10:00-12:00. Although, being closer to Godstone I haven’t visited the Caterham venue. Adults & non crawling babies are free of charge. For R (2 years old) it’s £3.50 per session and this includes my first cuppa (refer to the end of post for full entrance pricing).

Chuckle Tots is run by a lovely lady called Angela, with a helping hand from her trusty sidekick Shelley (that’s not her official position, I’ve just always wanted to write that!). In my opinion it’s their personalities that have created a loyal parent following in the space of a few short months, they both create a very friendly environment. Angela often spends the session speaking to the parents, whilst tidying up around the children to ensure a safe play area. She comes from a childcare background & was a nanny for many years, so is a natural when dealing with children (my LO is really quite taken!). Whilst this isn’t a prerequisite for someone running a child-centric group, it does make you more comfortable as a parent as you know she’ll have viewed everything with her ‘parent glasses’ on in terms of both entertainment and health & safety.

So, “What’s the most important ingredient in finding somewhere fun to go with your child(ren)?” I hear you cry…for me, it has to be the toys. If R isn’t entertained then whether or not I like the venue, refreshments, cleanliness of the toilets or any other ‘parent’ factors is entirely irrelevant because he’ll have his coat & shoes on faster than you can utter “precocious 2 year old”. Fortunately for me, R has decided that Chuckle Tots is one of his favourite places to visit so I’ve decided to get comfortable for the time being…

There’s a good selection of soft play shapes for clambering on (all set up on thick spongy mats), a Little Tikes slide, a small ball pit, a number of ride-on & push-along toys, rockers, buggies & babies, a toy kitchen and a multitude of toy vehicles, including R’s new favourite the Octonauts Octopod! In a nutshell there’s plenty to keep a rambunctious toddler occupied for a couple of hours. I hope you can see most of these in the picture below.

chuckle tots main hall

There’s also a dedicated Baby Area with a squidgy alphabet and number mat for rugrats, activity walkers, a Learn & Groove, baby rocker and a very large tub of other toys. This is segregated from the rest of the hall by a barrier of chairs. Angela is happy for the older children to play with the baby items on occasions when there are no ‘babies’ in attendance (please see pic below).

chuckle tots baby area

All toys are of high quality, are regularly cleaned and well maintained. Whilst this isn’t necessarily at the top of my priority list with a 2 year old who has finally stopped mouthing random objects, this was very important to me when he was younger and was constantly chewing anything he could get his hands on!

For parents, tables and chairs are provided as are a few magazines. Currently, I’m lucky enough to be able to let my LO get on with it whilst I have a cup of tea and a chat. Parents attending seem very nice and I’ve already made a few new friends. I always seem to chat to someone new on each visit. Parents seem to keep an eye on their children so no incidents occur i.e. no Brattius Maximus left unsupervised!

The Youth Centre itself is nice and toilet facilities are clean. The hall is plenty large enough for the number of children & parents attending and the room is relatively secure so you don’t need to worry too much about children disappearing. The door to the hallway can be pushed open by the kids but in all my sessions I’ve only ever seen one child attempt to leave through it as it’s just too much fun for them to remain in the main hall.

As previously mentioned, your first tea or coffee is included in the entrance price but there is also a little snack bar selling fruit, chocolate biscuits, school bars, crisps and fruit shoots for the children at very reasonable prices. This is great if you have a little pain angel like mine who waits until you leave the house before demanding snacks! We usually work our way through at least 2 school bars, a banana, something offered by another parent whilst R puts on his ‘hungry face’ and a chocolate biscuit whilst we’re there (the chocolate biscuit might be mine). During the session, each child will also be offered a cup of squash and a biscuit or slice of apple free of charge.

Angela also hires out the toys & soft play equipment privately, known as a Chuckle Party. Please see her website for further information including pricing.

Chuckle Tots is currently taking a well earned break for Easter and will return in full swing on Monday 15th April in Godstone. I hope to see you there!