My adventures in the world of theatre for very young children continued this weekend when I took my 18 month old daughter on a return trip to the Unicorn Theatre for Planeta Ka, a show designed for 1 to 3 year olds by Imaginart.
As ever, the Unicorn's warm welcome immediately put us in a positive mood, with a soft play area set up to entertain the little ones while we waited for the show to begin. It certainly makes a refreshing change from hanging around a stuffy theatre foyer to see children playing together and parents chatting amiably over coffee.
At the ringing of a bell, we moved into the main theatre to be greeted by what I can only describe as a paradise for toddlers. Echoing something of the feel of Teletubbyland, it's a huge soft green rug populated by bumps, mounds and grassy banks. My daughter could barely believe her eyes and, of course, instantly wanted to play.
But first we had to sit round the edge and watch performer Charlene Low tumble around on Planeta Ka and explore its fascinating nooks and crannies, including a mini cave and enormous glowing egg. It was all too tempting for my daughter, and rather than try and restrain her further we returned to the soft play area to chill out slightly before returning for play time.
When she was at last allowed onto the playing space herself, she toddled around in utter ecstasy, rolling down slopes and crawling inside that aforementioned egg. The space is superbly crafted and provides a sensory experience for the under-3s that is second to none. I just wish we could have got to enjoy it slightly earlier in proceedings.