We are Danielle and Simone and we started Tots Spot.
The dream of Tots Spot started over three years ago. Simone and I were taking the kids for a trip out. Simone has twin boys and I had my daughter Cali. The kids were all two years old at the time so a trip out with toddlers can be stressful at the best of times but we were instantly outnumbered!
We had been to lots of the local softplays but found that with young children you had to clumbsaly climb around the softplay with them, stop them attacking or being attacked by other toddlers, prevent them causing themselves an injury and watch your coffee get cold on the side lines. Softplay was a doggy dog world !
On this day we decided to venture into Edinburgh to a play café. We had never been to one before or really heard much about them so we were unsure of what to expect or what it was. When we arrived we found a much more relaxed venue with smaller scale role play toys (much harder to kill themselves with). We let the kids venture off and we ordered a coffee and some lunch and this is the amazing part – we managed to drink the coffee while it was hot and eat our lunch without having to inhale it or eat it in several stages whilst tag teaming the squad of toddlers we had with us. The kids just played away independently, much calmer and much happier. Then we had this thought …. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a play café in West Lothian.
Fast forward 3 long years and here we are. It took us 3 years to find the venue to open tots spot. We knew from visiting various other play cafes that we really wanted one big open space. The problem with three toddlers and different rooms is that you can guarantee they all want to be in a different place making it impossible to keep an eye on them and relax. We also wanted spaces for classes, support groups, meet ups, story sessions and anything else that could support local parents and children in those all important early years. We finally found it in the former East Calder Library building.
Once we had the building we knew we didn’t want any softplay climbing frames. We wanted it all based on creative and imaginary play. Role play is critical to child development and helps them to understand their environment, relate and empathise with others, develops language and communications skills and fast tracks the development of problem solving skills.
The next thing we really wanted was cracking food and coffee. Anyone who knows us will vouch for how much Simone and I love food ! We love making it, eating it, talking about it, even taking pictures of it. We can often be seen wondering about Tots Spot with a plate of food looking for the perfect light and angle for our Instagram.
Lastly we wanted a really great team of co-workers! We have always wanted Tots Spot to feel like a great big Livingroom and the staff to feel like family! We really do think we have achieved this with many of our regulars becoming friends. We love chatting to you all and watching the kids grow and change over their visits.
We started Tots Spot not as a profit making business but to benefit the community. Our primary goal was to create an environment that children and parents could enjoy together. We hope that the café will give us the revenue and means to facilitate services for the community including our community rooms, meet ups, support groups and working alongside other local charities such as kids love clothes, autism Scotland and of course the NHS.
We hope you all love Tots Spot as much as we do. We are building to make it a hub for parents and young children across West Lothian and have lots of exciting things to add and come. If you haven’t visited us yet we hope to welcome you soon and we welcome any like minded individuals, businesses or charities to get in touch and collaborate with us.