First Step FamilyGroup Programme

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First step Family Group Prog Jan-Mar 2015 (2)

The  new group programme starts next week, so if you are interested in attending any of our new, exciting groups please contact me as soon as you can.


We do have a creche facility for some of our groups, however spaces will be limited, so again, please let me know as soon as possible.First step Family Group Prog Jan-Mar 2015 (2)


If you are interested or would like any further information please visit our website or give me a call on 0131 665 0848.





PlayTalkRead Roadshow

The PlayTalkRead roadshow is set to come to East Lothian 19th January. This is a fab, free early years initiative which we open up to parents and carers in the area to come along and enjoy some free activities.

Benji East Lothian 19th-23rd Poster SmallBenji East Lothian 19th-23rd Poster Digital Version

The aim of the bus tours is to provide free fun activities for parents and carers and their children. The bus will be open to all local parents and families and a poster is attached with dates and opening times for each venue.

The bus will be hosting free storytelling and rhythm sessions and a range of play and activity sessions for children and their parents, to promote and raise awareness of the benefits of positive parental engagement with simple free activities and resources which parents can take home, with the aim that they build upon the ideas and activities sessions at home with their children.

So if you are  parents and carers of children aged 0-4 to come along to the PlayTalkRead bus. The activities are open to parents and children on a drop-in and informal basis during the below opening times. If you have any questions and/or wish to arrange session times for groups of children and parents (up to a maximum capacity of 15) please get in contact with Rachel Hopkins on 0131 664 5390 or on in advance of the date in mind.

United Nations stands up for Children’s Right to play

The International Association of Play has released a press statement on a United Nations committee decison


 United Nations adopts in-depth interpretation of ‘forgotten’ children’s rights artticle.

 Article 31 has long been considered “the forgotten article” of the Convention. The General Comment adopted today, however, will right that wrong by clearly defining the responsibilities of governments that are implicit in the article.

The stated objectives of the General Comment are:

a) To enhance understanding of the importance of Article 31 for children’s well-being and development, and for the realisation of other rights in the Convention.

b) To provide interpretation to States parties with regard to the provisions, and consequent obligations, associated with Article 31.

c) To provide guidance on the legislative, judicial, administrative, social and educational measures necessary to ensure its implementation for all children without discrimination and on the basis of equality of opportunity.

For full press release 2013 1 Feb-IPA Press Release-UN Article 31 (2)

Getting it Right for Play

“Investing in children’s play is one of the most important things we can do to improve children’s health and  wellbeing in Scotland.”

Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer Scotland

 To help communities and local authorities assess how well they are investing in children’s play, – Play Scotland have produced a toolkit called called ‘Getting it Right for Play’. The resource consists of a review of the evidence base for play and a toolkit for the assessing play spaces and opportunities. The toolkit is designed for a range of agencies used but is best used as part of a partnership which can connect with a range of skills and resources.

The Toolkit was produced to help local authorities provide sufficient play opportunities in terms of quantity and quality, and allow them to assess easily if:

  • Local people including children have been meaningfully involved in developing local play opportunities
  • Local attitudes to children are improving
  • Benefits as well as risks are being considered in the design and maintenance of play areas
  • Relevant agencies and departments are working together to promote local play opportunities
  • Children are satisfied with the play opportunities provided

Play is fun – but also its key to growing up healthy and and able to cope with the challenges life throws at us.

Do we take play seriously enough?

Do we plan for children’s play?

Do we make it easy for parents to play with children?

The following is from the Play Scotland review of evidence and perhaps underlines how serious play is: –

Play in early childhood has been shown to influence the way the child’s brain develops. The neural and chemical reactions in the brain, created by the act of playing, support the development of coordinated physical and mental capabilities. The way in which parents play with their young children can also have an effect on their behaviour as they develop and there is some evidence that children whose parents play with them are less likely to have behaviour problems later on.

In addition, active play in early childhood helps build strong bones, muscle strength and lung capacity and, whilst playing, children use their physical skills in spontaneous ways that help them develop sophisticated physical skills and co-ordinated movements.