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Five ways to enjoy nature when you can’t get outdoors

Exploring nature has great benefits for us all. For children in particular, it can provide countless learning opportunities including creative problem solving, perseverance, and communication. Engaging with nature is also one of the best ways to foster positive mental wellbeing [...]

Christmas Festive Faves

By Aaisha Rahim   There are less than 40 days left till Christmas, which means there isn’t much time to waste on finding the perfect gift for your children! Here at the Good Play Guide, we have selected a variety [...]

Christmas Must Haves

By Sarah Welland   As the festive season approaches, you may be looking for some tips or ideas on what toys to buy for your children that are going to be well made, educational and most importantly, fun. At the [...]

Best soft toys for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Play is one of the most important ways we can help all children to grow, learn, develop and thrive in the world by exploring, experimenting and trying new things.  Through play, children can gain confidence, develop their physical skills as [...]

How to keep children with asthma safe at Christmas

As someone with asthma, I know that winter can be one of the most difficult times of the year. The cold weather, decorations that may have collected dust, and even Christmas trees can all be triggers for asthmatics. There are [...]

How to make the most of your first Christmas as a new parent

Merry Christmas, and a happy new… baby! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for new parents, the stress of planning Christmas dinner, decorating the house, wrapping presents and changing nappies can be overwhelming. However, first time parents [...]

How to help children with anxiety handle a busy Christmas

Christmas… the most wonderful time of the year for some, whilst for others not all is festive and jolly. Christmas can actually be a rather anxiety provoking time, and can be particularly overwhelming for some children. With presents, dinners, decorations [...]

What to do if your child is being unkind to others

By Aaisha Rahim   We all aim to raise our children as kind and caring individuals so it can be shocking to hear that your child has been sending mean messages, excluding their peers from the group, or perhaps being [...]

Five ideas for alternative advent calendars

One of the most magic things about Christmas is the time leading up to it. It can provide a whole month of magic and fun, spending quality time with friends and family and getting into the festive spirit.  There is [...]

Christmas gift ideas for grandparents

By Sarah Welland With a wide range of different toys available in the run up to Christmas, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to choose the perfect gift for grandchildren.  At the Good Play Guide, we believe in [...]

How to make sure you’re buying safe toys this Christmas

With Christmas approaching, it is natural to want to make sure we are buying good quality toys that are going to last well and be safe for our children to explore. Play is a key part of how children learn [...]

Tips to support children’s reading skills at home

At the Good Play Guide, we want to celebrate the joy of reading. While every child is different, being able to read and write is something that every child should be able to learn, to best equip them to succeed [...]

Creative ways to boost home learning

September marks the return to school after the holidays, an exciting time where children are meeting new teachers, new classmates and being introduced to a new learning curriculum. However, being faced with lots of unfamiliar and challenging things can also [...]

How to reduce academic pressure

It’s that time of the year again when back to school and Uni freshers season is upon us. Whilst this is an exciting time, it can also be quite a daunting one too. The pressure on children from schools, family, [...]

How to encourage science and nature learning outdoors

Although we can’t always rely on the weather in the UK, at the Good Play Guide, we believe that getting outside in the fresh air and exploring nature is among the most fun and valuable learning experiences children can have. [...]

Five Ways to Check Your Child’s Car Seat is Keeping Them Safe

We all know how important a car seat is for keeping children safe. In the UK, a car seat is a legal requirement for children until they are over 12 years old, or over 135 centimeters tall, whichever comes first.  [...]

How to keep children entertained when on the go this summer holiday

As the summer holidays are here, you may have planned a getaway for the family to enjoy and spend time together. This may not necessarily mean a plane trip abroad, many families this year may be going somewhere in the [...]

How to Choose Toys For a Child Who is DeafBlind

In a world that is increasingly accessible, it is natural that we would expect play opportunities to be inclusive to all children. However, this is not always the case, and we still have a way to go before play activities [...]

A Creative Summer Project to Help Manage Screen Time

Over the last year, I have heard parent after parent say how concerned they are that their child’s screen time has shot up over lockdown. Between distance learning and staying connected with friends, technology really has been a lifesaver during [...]

The Importance of Good Hydration and Nutrition

The 14th – 21st June is nutrition and hydration week We would like to raise awareness of the week and have a little fun along the way!  Wednesday 16th is the ‘Global Tea Party’ and we’d love you to join [...]

How to Help Your Child Cope With The Loss of a Parent

A grieving child can be likened to jumping in and out of puddles. While they are in the ‘grief puddle’ they might feel sad and upset, however, it might not be long before they jump straight out of the puddle [...]

How Playing With Your Grandchildren Keeps Your Mind Active

“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw   As we get older, it is only natural that we play less than we did as children. One of the [...]

How to encourage learning through open-ended construction play

One of the best ways that children learn is through play, particularly the open-ended kind that allows them to be creative and interact in different ways. Your child may pick up a simple looking set of blocks or shapes, and [...]

Should I Get a Dog For My Child?

There are all sorts of reasons you might be considering bringing a furry friend into your family such as getting everyone more active, teaching your children responsibility, or giving your child some extra companionship. A dog can be particularly good [...]

Building maths skills through play for children aged 7+

Maths is not every child’s favourite subject (I know it wasn’t mine at school!) and as a result, you might face some resistance when encouraging your child to practice their maths skills. This is because it is often presented in [...]

How to Help Your Nine-Year-old Enjoy STEM Learning

One way to get children excited about any subject is through play. Playing is enjoyable and free from the pressures of formal learning, where the need to get the answer “right” may knock the confidence of some children. Older children [...]

Three Fun and Educational Science Toys for Six Year-Olds

Many parents are worried about helping their children catch up after school closures. At the Good Play Guide we feel that play is the most important way we can do this. Children have had enough stress for the time being!  [...]

10 ways to make reading fun
for you and your child

World Book Day is fast approaching and whilst this year children will not be heading into school dressed as their favourite literary character, instead showing them off virtually, it remains a great opportunity to encourage children to engage with books [...]

How to Teach STEAM to Children in Fun and Exciting Ways

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths. The “Art” part of STEAM is there because the other subjects benefit from creativity. For example, innovative design in engineering or planning experiments in science.  Playing is a great way to [...]

Home Learning Heroes

8 favourite toys, for learning from home... By Dr Amanda Gummer With the UK back into another National Lockdown and schools closed once more for the next few weeks, parents everywhere will no doubt feel deflated by the prospect of [...]

What are Schemas in Children’s Play?

Have you noticed that your children repeat the same actions over and over again when they are playing? Why do they do this and what are they learning from these repeated actions? Let’s take a look at schemas and discuss [...]

Alternative presents this Christmas!

By Dr Amanda Gummer If the thought of more toys in the play room fills you with dread or you are wanting to find something a little different that will last past Christmas day, you may like to take a [...]

Stocking Fillers (treats under £20)

By Dr Amanda Gummer Budgets are tighter than normal for many of us this year but that doesn’t prevent us from wanting to see the joy on children’s faces when they see that Santa’s been. Choosing toys that don’t break [...]

Good Toy Guide hailed an ‘absolute saviour’ this Christmas

Dr. Gummer’s Good Toy Guide hailed an ‘absolute saviour’ this Christmas by TV presenter and author, Anna Williamson. The Good Toy Guide, founded by play expert Dr. Gummer and known for cutting through a world of fake reviews and questionable [...]

Development through Play: 9 to 12 Year Olds

What to expect in your Child's Development between the ages of 9 to 12 This is a time for a whole new set of worries for us as parents, as friends become more influential, children want to be independent, and [...]

Helping children with dyslexia: Improving visual sequential memory

In this series from VisionWorks by Sarah Evans, we are exploring the visual difficulties often experienced by children with dyslexia. This time, we are looking at visual sequential memory and how to help your child develop this skill.   Visual [...]

How can a smart speaker help my child in school?

When they’d just started growing in popularity, I bought my first smart speaker. To be honest it was out of curiosity more than anything; I didn’t really see what I’d need it for. Fast forward a couple of years and [...]

16 Fun ways to make the most of LEGO

Most of us have some LEGO around the house – perhaps a massive box filled with bricks, or trailed across the carpet just waiting to be painfully stepped on. LEGO is filled with possibilities, but here are a few new [...]

Development through Play: 5 to 8 Year Olds

What to expect in your Child's Development between the ages of 5 to 8 As children start ‘big school’, they will start to master new skills like reading and writing. They will also get better at problem solving and friends [...]

Is it OK for my child to make up words?

You might have noticed at some point that your child gets a word slightly wrong and it takes on a whole new pronunciation, or they even make up a new word for something they don’t know the name of. While this [...]

How to Support Children with Special Needs through Play

What is the Importance of Play? Play is incredibly valuable for all children, but having special needs can present barriers which may make it difficult for them to fully enjoy the experience. The needs of little ones vary a lot, [...]

Social Development Through Role Play

Understanding Child Development Many teaching practices are based on Vygotsky’s social constructivist model of child development, as it highlights a child’s potential learning ability and demonstrates the importance of whole-person development. The areas of development (traditionally split into cognitive, social and physical) [...]

Save money with the ‘Four Gift Rule’ this Christmas

We all love seeing the look on our children’s faces on Christmas morning, when they discover that big pile of presents under the tree. But that pile of pressies doesn’t come cheap – especially if you have more than one [...]

Three ways to reduce waste this Christmas

Christmas has, in the past, been one of the most wasteful times of the year.  In the UK alone, around 230 thousand tonnes of food is wasted at Christmas. And when it comes to unwanted presents, parents admit to spending [...]

Embracing Christmas with a child with ASD

As Christmas comes around once again, things can get pretty hectic for any parent. But the break in routines this time of year are even more difficult if you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and especially when [...]

Are smart speakers safe for children?

The convenience of smart speakers is something that attracts everyone and they have proven particularly popular with children. This is somewhat unsurprising, as talking to a computer and having it talk back to you is pretty exciting! There are countless [...]

Balancing The Play Diet

Moderation in everything might sound like a boring old mantra and something that your parents used to say, but in the same way that nutrition is about balancing the food groups, a healthy play diet is about balancing different types [...]

Seven children’s play ideas using your smartphone

You can’t escape from it, even if you want to; technology is a part of our everyday lives, a part that we now find it hard to live without.    But children and tech can be a controversial issue – [...]

How to keep children safe with parental controls

Our world is more connected than ever and with today being Safer Internet Day, it is important that we know how to keep our children safe when they are using the internet. What are parental controls? As described by the NSPCC, parental [...]

How children shape their parents’ parenting style

In the media, there is a lot of speculation about the effects of different parenting styles on children and even which is the ‘right’ way to parent. This can not only cause confusion but also leave us feeling under pressure […]

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