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What is Developmental Play?

Developmental Play Gym classes are the new and exciting thing in Cleethorpes!

Play all starts when you baby is first born, every interaction - whether that's speaking, singing, cuddling, stroking - is a form of play. Even before we start the more 'formal' methods of play, we are playing with them. You'll often be asked if you're doing tummy time with your baby, and I bet you are, without even realising!!

Did you know that tummy time can be done whilst your baby is in your arms? A recent study showed that the way you hold your baby in tummy time play can have a huge impact on how much they enjoy it. Check out the study here.

A baby in a tummy time position on his mother's chest. Both mother and baby are happy and smiling.

Everyone always talks about the main milestones - rolling, sitting, crawling and walking - but what about the important steps that they need to take to move between these big achievements?!

A baby side sitting on a mat, playing with a bowl of small balls.

A Developmental Play Gym session involves a range of activities, with the aim of supporting your baby as they progress through a range of mini milestones - such as side sitting (as above).

I have brought together some of the most important points for you...

  • Developmental Play is the term we use when your baby's play is the correct balance between consolidating their existing skills and challenging them to develop new ones.

  • We need to be mindful of both the process of the play, as well as the final product - for example the experience of paint on their hands - the temperature, texture, smell, colour and taste (if it's edible!) - is just as important, if not more important, as the picture that they create.

  • Play can be either structured - where there is a planned activity with a set outcome, or unstructured - where the baby is given the opportunity to choose what they do. Both of these have an important place in your baby's development.

  • And finally, we can have lots of fancy toys and resources, however, your baby is most excited when YOU play with them - you are their comfort, their safe place - you have the key to unlock their full potential.

  • And this is just the start - there are sooooo many more points I could talk about - from a play based diet, to positions for play, to supporting those key milestones.

All of the above things, combined with the knowledge of infant development, creates something truly magical. We create an environment where Developmental Play can not only have a huge impact on your baby, but you can leave feeling empowered and confident that you can implement some fantastic play opportunities at home.

So, are you ready to play?

Find out more about each specific session:

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