After being full of questions about how to entertain her own two young children throughout the first lockdown, Laura Hossin 33, decided to set up Worthing’s first children’s role-play business, The Little Play Village.
Her aim was to help local children and families during those testing and uncertain times, but after its popularity grew The Little Play Village has continued to provide families with role-play toy sets.
Laura said: “We create quality, exciting role-play toy sets with over 15 to choose from, which families borrow at a very affordable price for the week.
“The Little Play Village is exciting for young ones. It engages them in play, and it helps with their imagination.
“It also occupies the children for enough time so that their parents can grab that well needed cup of tea or coffee!”
The pandemic means Laura has to make sure all toys are ready to be hired out safely.
She said: “All of our toys are disinfected, thoroughly cleaned, and quarantined for 48 hours before the next hire, but at the moment they are quarantined for five days.”
The role-play sets include a doctor set, a dentist set and a salon set, which help prepare children for appointments in real life.
Parents can act out what it is like to get their hair done, to sit in a dentist’s chair, or to be examined by a doctor, so children know what to expect when they arrive for their first jab, haircut, or dentist appointment.
Laura added: “Our toy sets are also designed to help learning and define children’s motor skills.
“For example, our laundrette set includes pegs which can help strengthen finger and hand muscles.
“We’ve helped families celebrate lockdown birthdays, tackle boredom, and have supported home learning throughout each lockdown. The business is flourishing, with families telling me how they wish they had discovered us sooner.”
Looking to the future, Laura is getting ready to start testing out group sessions with parents and children.
The Little Play Village is also hoping to expand to different areas, including Shoreham and Littlehampton.
The Little Play Village can be found on Facebook, Instagram and at www.thelittleplayvillage.co.uk