Baby D and I love playing together. When I picked up the leaflet for the session when we were at Baby clinic I knew I would love to attend a Play Talk Read session. I love going to groups because I get to talk to other grown ups for an hour a day and Baby D gets to spend time with his tiny peers!
As a teacher I know how important play is for development. You learn so many life skills through play such as sharing, turn taking, talking and so many more. In this world you need to be able to communicate in so many ways, talking is so important to help children express themselves. Of course as a bookworm I value books very highly and Baby D loves a good book too already!
This government funded initiative is fantastic and sadly I feel not enough people know about it just now. The session I attended only had six children including Baby D another baby we met at baby massage and four toddlers.
Having read the leaflet I wanted to do my homework about Play Talk Read so I went on the website to find out more about what is on offer. I was completely blown away at the fantastic content on the website alone. There are so many resources for parents and carers. I also read about the most recent initiative #30daysofplay. There are lots of suggestions for different activities and games, the idea being that you participate for 30 days and try a new play activity each day. This is a lovely initiative and hopefully lots of people get involved and share lots of happy children hard at play.
So having done my homework I was off to have fun with Baby D! The session includes lots of free play. There are lots of little stations set up with activities for children to explore. The amazing thing about the session is that there is literally no shop bought toys. Everything can be found around the home. I love sensory play around the home using everyday objects. You can read more about our adventures here.
Back to the session, there was messy play for slightly older children. The activity was adult led and involved the children in making gluck, a fun icky dough like substance that tots just can’t get enough of. There was then recipe cards to take home to make the gluck at home.
There was lots of fun and interesting things to explore- sensory bottles and jars with lots of fun things inside, different material to play with like scarves, cloths, dusters etc, there was homemade musical instruments and shakers, pots and pans to play with and lots of different seasonal objects like pine cones and twigs. There was also a selection of books to explore and a lending library.
The session then included a healthy snack time which was lovely the children really enjoyed sitting together and sharing yummy fruits like blueberries and bananas.
To finish there was a story session where all the children snuggle up on a big blanket and listen to a story together. Baby D loved this part the most, he loves a good story. You can read more about Baby D and his books here.
To top off this wonderful experience we got a goody bag with a playmat which had its own instructions and ideas for
play on the mat using Play, Talk and Read. The instructions are simple but perfect for when you’re on the spot and
can’t think of easy ways to entertain your wee one. Our favourite play suggestion is peek-a-boo, Baby D finds this hilarious. Our favourite talking activity is story time starring Baby D I love telling Baby D stories and developing his imagination. So far for reading Baby D can turn pages and close the book it may be a while yet before we get onto letters. The mat has a space for a ‘wee one’ and a space for a ‘grown up’ which is lovely and really encourages you to get down on the floor with your little person and enjoy play time together. Baby D has always enjoyed spending time together on his rugs or playmats.
The goody bag also has lots of fun make your own recipes for different things like puffy paint and play dough. In the bag there is also lots of lovely rhymes and song cards. These are dual language too which is excellent at developing awareness of other languages and cultures early on.
We had a fantastic afternoon and we will definitely be back for more!