What is We Play!?
An 'invitation only' 3 to 6-week course, where we provide families with toys, videos with ideas for playing together and surveys to keep track of how it’s going and how you are feeling.
The aim is to play together in 10-minute sessions which are a safe, warm and creative time for all involved...with all devices switched off. Try to do this 3 times a week – and more often (or even much more often!) when it feels right.
Complete the course and keep the toys
Why We Play!?
- To build children’s play skills
- To build parents' confidence when engaging with their children
- To show families how supported playing together can enhance the mood and enrich the language in the home.
What participants receive
- A train set
- A ten-minute sand timer
- A set of cards with QR links to the videos and surveys
- A cloth bag to store these in safely
What you do to start
- Take home a set of toys and look after them. If your child loses interest in the project and you don’t complete the surveys, we will ask for the toys back and pass them on to another family, so they have to stay looking good as new: be sure to store the toys in the bag, and that your child does not draw on them. Each set is worth £62+
- Complete a consent form for images and social media, ticking whether we can or cannot use your child’s images. You don’t have tick 'yes' to take part, but if you do we will use the photos to help us get further funding.
- Click here or follow the Quick Response (QR) code on the Well-being survey card to learn about and fill in the well-being survey.
- Click here or follow the QR code on the Start of project survey card to fill out a short survey about how you and your child are feeling about playing together.
- Click here to watch a short video of ideas to base your play on. The videos are made by a teacher, and help you develop your child’s learning, wellbeing and language.
Each time, before you start to play
- Introduce the special time by getting out the toys and sand timer, being enthusiastic and ready to play
Tips for setting up
- Be excited about playing together
- Make sure the bag is kept in a special place
- Turn off the television
- Put your phone out of reach
- Clear space on the floor that you can both sit down in
- Get the timer out to set up the train set or dinosaurs together
Tips for using the sand timer
- The timer can be turned over to time setting up, after you have set up the train tracks or dinosaurs together, to indicate the special time, or both.
- The timer gives the child a sense of time and turn taking.
- The sand timer should not stop the fun: if you’re having a great time keep on playing. Turn it back over!
- For children who find it hard to stop an activity, it will give them an idea of how long is left.
- You can use it to help in other areas of your routine, such as: finishing a meal, cleaning your teeth and washing your face, getting ready for bed or indicating how long left they have on the television or an activity they are doing.
- Keep it safe so it doesn’t get broken.
While you play
- Play with or alongside your child, adding in some of the language suggested in the video
- Play together sitting on the floor, looking at your child, making lots of eye contact and smiling
- If you are having fun, and you have the time, turn the timer over again to extend the session
- Play, either together as a family or as special time just you and your child, one to one
- Once a week, take short videos or photos of your child at play (as long as taking these photos doesn't disrupt the quality time you are spending together).
- If it doesn’t go well, don’t be hard on yourself. Try again another day
After you have played
- Tidy the activity up together and put everything away in the bag so that the toys are cared for and remain special for this We Play! time
- Each day you have played, click here or follow the QR code on the After you play card to tell us 1) roughly how long you played and 2) how it went
- At any point, send us any photos or videos you have taken.
After the last session
- Click here or follow the QR code on the Well-being survey card to fill in the wellbeing survey. We hope this project will have been of benefit to you as well as your child.
- Click here or follow the QR code on the End of project card to fill in our exit survey which will help us improve.
- If you have completed the start of project survey, six 'after you have played' surveys over the six week period, as well as the exit survey, you get to keep the train set/dinosaurs and the sand timer; otherwise you need to give them back so that another family can have their turn.
At any point during the 6 week course
If you have any questions at any point, speak to Lindsay Read or Helen Currie at Church Hill or Low Hall, or to your own teacher if you are at Acacia or another school. We would also like you to share your thoughts with them during and after the project, as your feedback is incredibly vital to this project’s success.
What will happen with your information
- We will remove names from the surveys and create feedback from the project that we can share with the Children and Family Centre and other partners who are supporting this project financially.
- We will only share photos or videos with your permission, this could be used to promote the project or on our website or social media platforms.
- We will carefully review your feedback and if this project grows or continues we will develop it using your thoughts on the experience.