18 October - 27 October 2024


The Science of Play
Play is central to children’s learning and development. Play helps children:
Build confidence
Feel loved, happy and safe
Understand more about how the world works
Develop social skills, language and communication
Learn about caring for others and the environment
Develop physical skills

Special Time
Special Time is like a magical dose of connection for our children. Here are the features of Special Time:
Name it (Special Time or a name your child/family determines)
Time it (using a timer)
Schedule regularly
Offer child-led play, with no direction or teaching
Offer 1-1 connection with our child
Offer our delighted, warm attention

Play is the safe cradle in which our children experiment, express themselves, and explore their world. Whatever the activity, your child is playing when her actions are spontaneous, she controls her role, and there’s no pressure to reach a goal. Play is its own reward and is deeply satisfying to your child. It is no trivial pursuit, however. It builds your child’s intellect, judgment, strength, coordination, and character. Patty Wipfler, Listen.

PlayListening is a delightful way to support one or more children by allowing them to take the more powerful role in play, and following their giggles (without tickling).

Self – care
A focus on looking after ourselves, lightening our own load, and getting the support we need is vital to a thriving family. Hand in Hand Parenting teaches the peer support tool of Listening Partnerships. This is where we:
Meet another parent/adult regularly
Share equal time
Listen without interrupting, giving advice, trying to fix or judging
Offer confidential listening without referring back

Songs and Games for Connection
Reaching for our child with affection is deeply nourishing to her sense of self-worth and her sense of being lovable.
Children need connection in the same way they need food and water – it really is that important!

Songs and Games for Transitions
Connecting with your child before transitioning is the ideal way to meet everyone’s needs. You get an insight into their world and they get your warm attention. Then, once the bond between you is strong in that moment you can use a transition song or game to help them move to the next activity.

Songs and Games for Daily Tasks
Supporting our children with delighted play as they engage with daily tasks can really help to build cooperation and connection.
Songs can help your child learn more about the rhythms of the day. A song for waking up, for breakfast, for going to the shops, for nap time and more… … enjoy singing together every day.

Songs and Games for Big Issues
Little things done many times can have a huge cumulative effect. If you read five books with your baby for the first five years of their life, they will have heard well over a million words! And even reading one book per day for a year will expose them to around 80000 words.  That’s serious food for your baby’s growing brain.
Singing together also help with your child’s learning and development in important ways like integrating the different parts of their brain, and enhancing memory.
Singing, reading and playing with your baby helps with learning, and with other big issues in life too. Whether your child is processing a new sibling, or a divorce, or the death of a beloved pet, songs, games and stories can be a big help – for great stories to cover tricky topics, visit your local library or bookshop for some recommendations.