Wednesday, November 28, 2012

IKEA Shopping Preview - Småland and IKEA for Children

IKEA for children: this is a specific area of interest for me. Having been without an IKEA for 5 years , this is the first time that it was really something that I cared about. I don't think I really thought about it when I lived in Edmonton. Working with children in our church and realizing the security precautions we go through for that made me wonder, what measures has IKEA taken to ensure my children are safe if/when I use Småland (the 2, 228 ft² children's supervised play area). I know of a lot of moms who might like to know, so I took it upon myself to ask questions.

After asking if we could have permission to take pictures of the children's play area, we were given an escorted tour with a very helpful lady who was able to sufficiently answer all of my questions.

security locked door - green button on wall opens door
(as always, click images to enlarge)

When you bring your potty-trained children (able to use the washroom completely by themselves) to Småland, they enter through a double lockdown door system. That means when one door is open, another door cannot open at the same time. This ensures that a miniature escape artist has a really hard time getting out on their own. If Mom drops off a child, Mom must pick that child up. This ensures that children only leave when secure. The child is then given a numbered smock/bib which must be worn the entire time in Småland. Each smock/bib has a security tag on it which will sound off an alarm should the child leave the area.

numbered and tagged for security

Your children need to have their coats and boots/shoes left with them and placed in a bin, in case of emergency evacuation. There is an alarmed fire exit right inside the play area and the staff is trained for in all emergency procedures. The staff has also gone through vulnerable sector security clearance checks and are trained in first aid. There are always at least two supervisors inside the children's play area as well as a check-in staff member.

bins for coats/shoes and washroom entrance

There are size restrictions in the play area. The ball pit is only for the smaller children, this means that they won't get squashed by an exuberant older child.

Winnipeg's ballroom holds 15,000 balls

There is a TV (in the cloud) that plays children's shows facing a great seating area filled with plush pillows.

There is also a great tunnel that leads from one area of Småland to another. Inside the tunnel is monitored with security cameras so that no shenanigans go on in there.

There is a large general area for play, with large play structures and even a play kitchen. Children won't be bored here, and Mom won't need to worry either.

In case you have littles that aren't potty-trained or not willing to leave your sight, then there are also small play stop areas throughout the store to keep them busy.

Finally, there are great children friendly features in the IKEA Restaurant & Café. Play area, high chairs, plastic cutlery and microwaves for bottle warming etc. A family friendly place to shop!

In case you're curious about other IKEA standards and protocols etc., I found this document.

1 comment:

Donna Dawe said...

Nice! Even Graeme got excited with me here. Maybe we will stop in when we come for our next visit after all. I was going to wait until all the new excitement died down a bit. It really could make for a nice family date night.