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Nature Deficit Disorder

  Nature deficit disorder is a term coined by author and journalist, Richard Louv, to describe the negative consequences of society becoming disconnected from the natural world. While it is not a medically recognised disorder, it has sparked many discussions […]

The Importance of Face to Face Communication

Being able to tell what people really mean, or if someone is lying, is an important skill to have. But like any skill it needs practice. Dr Amanda Gummer is one of many experts in child development who believe that […]

Why Cycle? Benefits of Learning to Ride a Bike for Children

This year’s bike week theme is ‘cycling for a century’ and marks the 100th annual Bike Week which takes place between the 5th and 11th of June and aims to promote just how good cycling is for your family. Whether […]

Learning through Play: Turn the World into Your Classroom

As parents, we often struggle to make learning engaging and exciting for our children. It can be challenging to compete with all the distractions and entertainment available to them. However, the truth is that learning doesn’t have to be limited […]

Supporting Independent Play: Engaging Toys for Child Development

Independent play is an important part of a child’s development, and it is a skill that needs to be nurtured and developed over time. Although it is important to engage in play sessions with your child, they will also benefit […]

What is Gender Socialisation?

Gender socialisation is the process by which children (and adults) learn their culture’s gender related rules, norms, and expectations. It begins at birth and continues throughout life, as children and adults are exposed to different influences such as family, peers, […]

Boosting Children’s Mental Health Through Play

  Children learn and make sense of the world around them through play. While they are having fun, they are developing their cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills. But play is also key in building your child’s mental health and […]

Conversations about current affairs and politics with Children

In today’s world, children are exposed to politics and current affairs more than ever before. They may see or hear about them on the news, on social media, or at school. As a parent or guardian, it’s important to discuss […]

Supporting Children with Special Needs through 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, so it’s often down to you, […]

Teaching Your Child About Money: A Comprehensive Guide

Teaching children about money management is a vital life skill that empowers them to make sound financial decisions in the future. As parents, it’s our responsibility to equip our children with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the world […]

Supporting Children through Exam Stress: Tips for Parents

Exams can be a challenging time for both children and parents, often leading to ‘exam stress’ and anxiety. As a result, your child’s normal sleep pattern may be disrupted, they may feel ill, their appetite can be affected, and they […]

How Mindfulness practices in the classroom can enhance focus and productivity

Chaotic classrooms filled with distracted students, loud noises, and constant interruptions are not uncommon. This can be overwhelming and stressful, both for teachers and students. However, by incorporating mindfulness practices into classrooms, we can create a more peaceful and productive […]

How to give children with dyslexia a confidence boost

From actresses and entrepreneurs, boxers to scientists, and even an Arctic explorer – there are some amazing people out there who didn’t let dyslexia get in the way of being awesome. And neither should your child. Dyslexia can make school […]

Making Friends with ADHD: Parental Support and Practical Solutions

  We all dread the idea that our child might not make friends at school, and end up standing alone at the edge of the playground, or sitting at home while their classmates enjoy birthday parties and play dates. Unfortunately, […]

Developing Communication and Social Skills through Play

Play is a powerful tool. It goes beyond the realms of simply being just about the fun and provides endless possibilities for learning too. Having the ability to communicate with one’s peers and adults within a social setting, is a […]

Smart Toys, Smarter Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Connected Toys

The last few years have seen a huge rise in ‘connected’ toys and while we are seeing firsthand how they can be used to expand play and learning, it is important that we know what they are and how to […]

The Importance of contact with your kids

Benefits of Touch Touch is a fundamental human need, and it is the first of our senses to develop as a child. The importance of skin-to-skin contact after birth is well-documented, as it promotes a deeper connection between parent and […]

Fostering Independent Reading

  Independent reading is the goal for many educators but it can be difficult to foster a love of reading in some children. Reading along is a simple but effective method that educators and parents can use to help improve […]

The Importance of Dolls in Children’s Play

Dolls have been a favourite toy among children for generations and for good reason. Not only are there numerous types of dolls available on the market, but they offer a variety of benefits to children’s play, particularly in the area […]

The Benefits of Toy Vehicles for Children

Toy vehicles have been a beloved part of children’s playtime for generations. From wooden cars to remote control airplanes, these toys offer endless opportunities for creativity, imagination, and development. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of toy […]

Encouraging Outdoor Play: The Benefits for Children’s Development

As parents, it can be easy to focus on academic and dietary needs when it comes to our children’s development. However, we must not overlook the importance of playtime, particularly outdoor play. Playing outdoors has many physical and psychological benefits […]

The Benefits of Playing Board and Card Games

Are Board and Card Games Essential to a Pre-Schoolers’ Development?   Board and card games are a fantastic way for pre-schoolers to have fun with their family while developing social skills necessary for becoming “school-ready.” Moreover, games help introduce children […]

Building a better future, block by block with Magicube

The importance of sustainability is something that we are seeing more frequently becoming part of our everyday lives. But what exactly is sustainability? Putting it simply, it is providing for the needs of our current generation without having a detrimental […]

Teaching Children the Importance of Food and Farming

At a time when many people have become increasingly detached from nature and their food sources, what better time than now to learn and teach our children about the benefits of farming and the value of food?  By educating and […]

10 Mouth-Watering Easter Recipes Your Kids Will Love – Get Creative in the Kitchen!

Easter is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by cooking up some delicious treats with your kids?  Here at Dr. Gummer’s Good Play Guide, we’ve placed our chef hats firmly on our heads to compile […]

Top 20 Days Out for Families in the UK

Easter is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time for families to get out and explore the UK. If you’re looking for some fun-filled activities and paid days out to enjoy with your family during the Easter break, […]

10 Free Easter Activities for Kids to try at Home

Are you looking for some fun and free Easter activities to keep your kids entertained while at home? Look no further! We have compiled a list of 10 exciting Easter activities that will keep your little ones busy and engaged […]

Fun and Free Days Out for Families in the UK

  Easter is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to get out and about with the family. But let’s face it, days out can be expensive, especially due to the cost of living crisis. Fortunately, there are […]

Mother’s Day Without Mum: Coping Tips for Grieving Children

Mother’s Day is a special occasion that encourages us to celebrate the women who have raised and loved us. However, for children who have lost their mum or don’t have a mum, it can be a painful reminder that she’s […]

World Book Day: 28 Amazing Costumes You Can Create from Your Wardrobe!

You don’t need to spend a fortune on costumes for your little ones when you can create stunning outfits using items you already have in your wardrobe. In this article, we will share with you 28 World Book Day costume […]

7 Essential Tips for Making Your Home Safe for Children: A Guide for Parents

As parents, we understand that ensuring the safety of your little ones is a top priority! So whether you have a newborn, toddler, or young child, there are several measures you can take to ensure your home is safe for […]

Supporting a Child with Mobility Impairment: Tips for Parents

Mobility impairment affects around six per cent of children in the UK. It can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, which affects muscle control and movement. If your child has a mobility impairment, you may be wondering how […]

Life Lessons for Kids: Learning from Animals

Animals have always been a source of wonder and fascination for children. From the smallest bug to the biggest elephant, there is so much to learn from these creatures that share our planet. In fact, animals have been teaching us […]

Encouraging Critical Thinking in Children Through Storytelling

As parents, we all know the importance of reading to our children. Not only is it a great way to spend quality time together, but it also has significant developmental benefits for our little ones. But did you know that […]

Maths Apps: The Pros and Cons of Gamified Learning

As the EdTech market continues to grow, with a projected value of over 230 billion U.S. dollars by 2028, it’s no surprise that more and more parents and educators are turning to innovative ways to teach maths, including gamified learning […]

Celebrating Chinese New Year with Kids: Activities and Crafts

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important celebration in China, lasting 15 days and culminating with the Lantern Festival. This year, the Year of the Rabbit will begin on January 22nd, and it’s a fantastic […]

Expert Insights on Children’s Mental Health: Understanding and Supporting Young Minds

  As children return to school, it’s being reported that more than ever before are suffering from poor mental health.  Some children may be struggling with issues at home, such as parental conflict or abuse, while others may be dealing […]

Would a child psychologist recommend BeReal for Kids?

There’s an argument that all social media should BE REAL. With the quest to shoot the perfect selfie or present an idyllic lifestyle, at some point in time, we have all been tempted by the urge to ‘delete that and […]

Christmas Must Haves

By Dr Amanda Gummer and Gemma Ballard (Updated for 2022)   Christmas is just around the corner and the shops have already started to bring in the Christmas produce and decorations to buy. With under two months to go until [...]

Christmas Festive Faves

Updated for 2022 By Gemma Ballard   Ho Ho Ho! The nights are drawing in and the Christmas decorations are popping up in the shops. It can only mean one thing… Christmas is on the way! Summer may only just [...]

The Importance of Digital Play in a Child’s Development

    “Fish swim, birds fly, children play.” – Dr. Garry Landreth   Play is as natural to children as flight is to birds. It’s their purpose. Play is how children learn about themselves, and others, and make sense of […]

Buying Good Toys for Christmas and how to avoid counterfeit toys

What you will learn: Where to find Good Toys which are safe and beneficial to your child’s development How to identify malicious and fake sites and avoid them.    It’s the holiday season! Even though it’s just October, it’s time […]

How to help your child fall asleep with soft toys

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: The importance of soft toys for developing healthy sleep patterns How Dream Beams soft toys can be used to help children fall asleep easier       From the moment we become parents, we know all [...]

Tips for your family’s first Christmas without a loved one

Christmas is just around the corner and many of us will be looking forward to this time of relaxation, indulgence and festive films. However, for some of us, the oncoming festivities serve as a reminder of those loved ones that […]

Five ideas for alternative advent calendars

Updated for 2022   One of the most magical things about Christmas is the time leading up to it. It can provide a whole month of excitement and fun and offers an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and [...]

Managing expectations at Christmas during the cost of living crisis

Everywhere you turn, the effects of the cost-of-living crisis can be seen. With inflation increasing at an alarming rate, whether in your weekly food shop or the continuing upward trajectory of energy prices, many people are struggling to get through [...]

Baby Bouncers or Rocking Chairs?

What you will learn: The difference between a bouncing chair and a rocking char Which one best suits your child’s needs Although a newborn spends much of their time sleeping, as the weeks go by, they will spend more and […]

How to successfully transition back to school for children with additional needs

For children with additional needs, anxiety about returning to school after the summer break can be overwhelming. Dealing with changes in setting (the school building instead of home) and community (teachers and peers instead of family) are often the most […]

Power of storytelling: Coping and communicating through stories

We all love a good story. From famous wizards and hobbit adventures – to that crime series we couldn’t stop watching! Escapism is a favourite of children and adults alike and there’s a good reason for it.  Storytelling isn’t just […]

Blended families: What to do when your child doesn’t like your partner

Blended families are now commonplace in the United Kingdom and the traditional 2.4 family unit is in some respects, a thing of the past. When a new family is formed that includes children from a previous relationship, this is termed […]

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

Article Updated: August 2022 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 [...]

How to after-school clubs can help vulnerable children

Every child should have the chance to reach their potential, but there’s an education gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.  Attainment 8 is a way of measuring how well pupils do in key stage 4, which they usually finish when […]

Raising Happy and Healthy Kids: The Significance of Children’s Activities

In a post-pandemic world, social activities have taken on a new significance. These were the things children missed out on the most during lockdown and the impacts of 2 years of intermittent school, cancelled clubs and social isolation will be […]

Keeping Your Child Safe From Dangerous Social Media Challenges

Written by Aaisha Rahim What you will learn: The dangers of social media trends How to keep your child safe online Current dangerous social media trends to be aware of We’ve all heard the news about 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, a […]

How to get newborn to sleep at night

One thing we know about babies is that they don’t sleep for very long. New parents can expect their sleep to be disrupted for quite some time. How long? Well, that depends on your baby.     For most of […]

How to explain gender and identity to a child

What you will learn: How to talk to your child about gender The signs that your child is struggling with their gender identity Toys to help in the discussion     Gender is not always as simple as being categorised [...]

How the Curlimals can help form healthy relationships for kids

Like most social skills, developing the skills to form healthy relationships is something that requires time and patience. It is learnt through observations of others, as well as organically, through interactions with peers. Supporting your child to develop these skills [...]

Heatwave for UK: Summer play ideas to keep cool

With news of a heatwave for the UK just around the corner and forecasters predicting the hottest day ever in the UK, our team have curated a list of fun things to do with Summer here to keep the family […]

Car seat accessories for your baby

More and more of our lives are spent in and around the car. Babies have popped in the car for the journey to the nursery and home again; back again for a short trip to the shops; the long drive […]

Baby Clothes: Essentials and Tips

There are many super clothes around for babies and toddlers and it’s so easy to go overboard and waste your money on something that just sits in the drawer. If you plan a baby’s basic wardrobe carefully, you can still […]

When can a baby travel by car

  We all know accidents happen and they can be quite frequent when travelling by car. That’s why we take out insurance to pay for any damage and wear seatbelts to protect us. It is also the reason why we […]

The Magic of Imaginative Play: Helping Kids Develop Empathy

What you will learn: The development of empathy and ways to encourage your child to be more empathetic. How the Curlimal family can be used to actively develop the skills associated with empathy Empathy is the ability to understand other [...]

10 Fun and Free Activities to do with your kids this Summer

Summer is finally here! We all want to make the most of our time off with our kids, but the holidays and day trips start to add up pretty quickly… We don’t need to drain our bank accounts to make […]

The benefits of water play

What you will learn: The benefits of water play for social, cognitive and language development for your child How the Waterwall encourages the development of these skills in a fun and interactive way Who doesn’t have fond memories of playing [...]

How to encourage creative play for children

What you will learn: The benefits of encouraging balanced and creative play All about the Naylor Activity Tunnel We all understand the downfalls of too much screen time. Headaches, blurry eyes, foggy brain and trouble sleeping are only a few [...]

Do I need a changing bag?

There are only a few things to consider where changing bags are concerned – will it take everything you need; what does it look like and what can you afford! If you are taking baby to your mum’s while you […]

Pregnancy essentials guide

‘What can I wear’ is the cry of women everywhere. But it becomes a real cry from the heart when you are pregnant. Whether you prefer the latest fashions or are a little more conservative, buying maternity clothes can be […]

Best Outdoor Toys for Kids of all ages – Summer 2022

What you will learn: Our favourite picks from the Good Toy Guide this Summer Fun and educational toys to entertain and support your child's development over the break.  Summer is an exciting time for many people. The days are longer, [...]

Where to shop for your baby

Buyer Beware! Where are you planning to buy the things you need for baby? Many parents-to-be will inevitably look online. So easy to buy what you want with a couple of clicks. But is it the right thing to do?  […]

How to make learning more inclusive for children with SEND

What you will learn: How to make learning more inclusive with the HUE Animation Studio. How HUE Animation Studio encourages inclusive activities in the classroom  Whether you’re a parent wanting to support your child’s education at home, or a teacher [...]

Sustainable living at home with the family

What you will learn: The importance of teaching children about sustainability and being eco-friendly. Products that can help to encourage eco-friendly changes within your household.   It has never been more important to do our bit to combat climate change. […]

How to help your child with anxiety

What you will learn: How to take care of your child's mental health Products that can help to improve your child's mental wellbeing When it comes to taking care of our children’s mental health, it is often difficult to know [...]

The Egg-cellent Easter Gift Guide for Kids 2022

As we hop into Easter, 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 Good Play Guide, we [...]

How to help your child become more independent

It is only natural that over the last couple of years, children may have encountered fewer new experiences than you would expect in normal times. As travel has been limited for many of us around the world, they may have [...]

How to start weaning a baby

The time soon comes when baby needs more than just milk. It’s time to introduce solids! There are two main approaches to this, usually described as Baby-led weaning and Parent-led weaning. Which you choose is up to you – and […]

How to handle potty training when out and about

There comes the day when you decide now is the time to potty train your little one. That’s fine when you’re at home but what about when you go out? When little one needs a potty, they need it now! […]

How will exams be different this year and how to prepare for them

Over the last two years, exams have been hugely disrupted, leading to grades based on coursework, projects, and teacher assessments. This means that children have missed out on the experience of taking exams they would have otherwise had, so may [...]

How to talk to your child about Russia invading Ukraine

To say it’s a tricky time to be a parent right now is an understatement. You’ve just made it through a global pandemic, then war breaks out in Ukraine.  So the first thing I want to remind you is to […]

Twelve Easter craft ideas for Children of all ages

Arts and crafts are a great way to keep children entertained over the Easter holidays and they don’t have to cost a lot either. Plus, you’ll be creating some lovely keepsakes you can look back on as your child grows […]

How to keep your child safe while gaming online

Gaming online has increased in popularity during the pandemic and is now more prevalent than ever in a lot of children’s lives. Many games are now focused on building an online community and connecting with other players. This can be […]

Five ways to teach your child coding

A recent article by Mary-Ann Russon at BBC News asked the question, What can we do to get more women into coding?  "We need to teach kids coding with visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles,” says Garry Law, founder of [...]

Teaching Your Child About Online Safety: A Guide for Parents

February brings Safer Internet Day and as the world becomes increasingly connected via technology, you may wonder how to make sure your child is safe online.  However, it is just as important for children to understand how privacy keeps them [...]

How to introduce personal hygiene to your child

With germs on the rise over the winter period, it’s important to teach children not just how to follow good hygiene routines to stay healthy but also why these are important.  In this article, we will explore how to talk [...]

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 tips for children with a hearing impairment

The festive period is an exciting time of year for everyone, but it is important to remember that for some it can be more challenging than others. Being hearing impaired can make certain aspects of the festive period more difficult, [...]

How to Design a Nursery to Support Your Baby’s Development

When it comes to designing your nursery there are so many things to consider. From deciding on an overall theme to picking out the colour palette and finding the perfect cot, you want every detail to be just right when [...]

10 Egg-citing Easter Craft Ideas for Kids and Adults

Talking about the Easter celebration provides a great opportunity to explore different religions and traditions with your child, helping to raise their awareness of and empathy towards others.  It also lets them know that Easter isn’t just about chocolate eggs!  […]

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

(Updated for 2022) 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 sometimes be overwhelming. [...]

How to help children with anxiety handle a busy Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for some, whilst for others not all is festive and jolly. Christmas can be a rather anxious time for some children and can be particularly overwhelming. Taking into consideration the presents, [...]

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 [...]

Christmas gift ideas for grandparents

By Sarah Welland and Gemma Ballard (Updated for 2022)   What grandparents don’t want to spoil their grandchildren at Christmas? With such a wide selection of toys to choose from both in stores and online, the choice can sometimes be [...]

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

(Updated for 2022) 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 [...]

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.  [...]

Play Ideas for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Whether your child is slaying a dragon, pretending to be a pirate in a paddling pool or building a fort out of the sofa, there are so many ways they can engage in play. For children with special educational needs [...]

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

So why is Hydration so Important? Our bodies depend on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in needs water to work properly: water is important for our general health and wellbeing. A 2018 study {1} of over 3,000 [...]

Helping 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 [...]

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 [...]

What is the Balanced 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, balanced play diet is about balancing different [...]

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 [...]

Open-Ended Play: The Creative Way to Learn for Children

Are you looking for a way to support your child’s learning and development? While many parents feel pressure to prepare their children for school through educational play, it’s important to take a balanced approach that includes open-ended play. In the […]

Beyond Education: How Balanced Play Prepares Children for School Success

As a parent, you want to give your child the best possible start in life. And education is a vital part of that. But how can you ensure that your child is developing the skills they need to succeed in […]

Why Are School Break Times Shorter Now Than 20 Years Ago?

In recent years, there has been a noticeable decrease in the length of school break times. A long-term study by UCL has found that primary school students in England are now receiving 45 minutes less break time per week than […]

New Study Finds No Links Between Video Games and Aggressive Behaviour: What Parents Need to Know

When looking for someone to blame as a result of a mass shooting or acts of extreme violence, there is always one topic that happens to rear its head and that is gaming. But a new study conducted over at Oxford University has […]

Children’s exposure to TV ads for age-restricted products is falling

  A new study from the Advertising Standards Authority has revealed that between 2013 and 2017 children’s exposure to TV ads has declined by 29.7%, falling from 229.3 ads per week to 161.2.   These findings show that in recent years, children’s […]

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 […]

Fun and Active Toddler Games to Build Gross Motor Skills

Active games for energetic toddlers Looking for fun and easy activities to keep your energetic toddler moving and burning off some of that excess energy? Look no further than these simple and engaging games and activities that not only entertain […]

Is Slime Safe and are there any Alternatives to Slime?

What is Slime? Slime is a gooey, stretchy substance that is fun to play with and manipulate. It is typically made from a combination of glue, water, and a binding agent such as borax or saline solution. Slime comes in […]

6 Habits to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Child

As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s emotional development. A secure attachment with their main caregiver can help them form happy relationships in the future. Communication is a vital aspect of this relationship, and you can […]

Fun and Educational Garden Activities for Kids

  Gardening is a great way to teach children new skills, have fun, play, and develop self-confidence. Children can enjoy being outdoors, getting dirty, and watching plants grow. Here are some fun and educational garden activities for kids.   Make […]

From Soothing to Scary: The Truth About Calpol Addiction in Children

In May, BBC 1 aired a programme investigating why there has been an increase in the number of medications taken now compared to 40 years ago.  In the first episode, Dr Chris van Tulleken investigated the use of Calpol to […]

Identifying Anxiety and Depression in Children: Signs to Look Out For

Mental health issues can affect anyone, including children and young people. In fact, over 50% of mental health problems in adults develop by the age of 14. It is therefore important to recognize signs of anxiety and depression in children […]

Autism-Friendly Activities for Family Fun

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is much more common than you might think. In fact, around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families, this means autism is a part of daily life for over [...]

How to Make Playdates Inclusive for Children with Autism

As a society, we have made strides in our awareness of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the importance of inclusivity. However, we still have some way to go in making play inclusive […]

Math Recipe: Victoria Sandwich Cake – Learning Maths through Cooking

Did you know that cooking is an excellent way for children to practise math skills? This scrummy Victoria Sandwich Cake cake recipe includes instructions and tips to mix some maths in with your baking. The secret to this recipe is […]

Five Valentine craft activities for children

Share the love with some homemade gifts. Whether your child has a special girl/boyfriend or just wants to let their friend or family member know how much they mean to them, here are some simple craft ideas to try out together […]

Why schools are banning children from having a best friend

In primary school, children are starting to really care about being accepted by their peers. ‘Best friends’ are key in playground dynamics; although they can change on a daily basis! Several schools in America and Europe have recently introduced a […]

How to Keep Pre-Teens Safe Online: Advice for Parents

As the world becomes increasingly digital, children are at risk of the emotional dangers of social media. Pre-teens, especially those transitioning from primary to secondary school, maybe the most vulnerable. It is essential for parents to understand how to protect […]

The Benefits of Art for Children

Children show their first signs of ‘art’ at around 18 months old, when they start to make scribbles and explore different materials. At around the age of 3, these drawings will begin to represent concepts, such as a circle and [...]