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Play and Rough & Tumble
6 Benefits of Roughhousing for Kids - an interview with the authors of The Art of Roughhousing which looks at how rough-and-tumble play can foster attachment and boost confidence. The book has many illustrations of different activities for children and parents to have fun with.
Parenting Science on Play - highly readable research examining the cognitive effects of play based on the latest neuroscience. It looks at how play promotes creative problem solving, maths skills, language and even supports children's ability to pay attention to academic tasks when given frequent access to free play. Interesting links to the benefits of particular toys and exercise.
Zero to Three on Play - fantastic resource relating to play with ideas for baby and toddler playtime, a brochure on how play supports development, why play is crucial and how to make the most of it, tips on choosing toys and how caregivers can nurture playtime.
Playful Parenting - website of Dr Lawrence Cohen author of the popular book Playful Parenting. This site is largely directed at a local US audience but there are links to an excellent e-newsletter and interesting articles written by Cohen offering his perspective on the importance of play.
Active Play & Health - produced by the UK National Toy Council this well-referenced article advocates rough and tumble play as well as outdoor exertion and physically challenging play opportunities.
Playing Out - super non-profit organisation based in Bristol and supporting neighbourhoods nationwide to accommodate child-led outdoor free play. The site includes print outs and posters to help communities start up a Playing Out prroject and offers ideas, inspiration and testimonials to fire enthusiasm.
Alliance for Childhood - UK organisation commited to fostering children's right to a healthy lifestyle. The alliance supports Play England which helps organise and contributes to events nationwide with the aim of increasing and encouraging physical activity and outdoor play.
Play Therapy Resources
Theraplay Institute - an international non-profit organisation training mental health professionals in Theraplay which is an attachment-based interactive, mulitsensory, playful approach that differs to non-directive, child-led play. This site includes information for parents as well as a database of all UK listed Theraplay therapists.
Play Therapy UK – international organisation with an active UK site offering training and certification in play therapy. An excellent resource on filial play, therapeutic play and creative arts therapies for those interested in helping children with emotional literacy, behaviour or mental health problems.
Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy – experienced dedicated play therapy and creative arts therapy training organisation offering in-house and local courses in Britain, Ireland and France and accredited by PTUK.
British Association of Play Therapists – foremost regulating body of play therapists and play therapy practice in Britain. In depth details on what play therapy is and how it can help a child as well as details on careers in play therapy, training possibilities and research.
Filial Therapy – highly qualified UK play therapist specialising in parent-child play therapy for children aged 3-11/12 year of age. The site offers suggestions on how play can help both parents and child and includes useful FAQ.
Play for children is akin to what talking is for adults - it is how they process the world and their emotions and it is how they make sense of the world in all its chaos and beauty. Rough & Tumble is a fabulous way to foster bonds and confidence and sometimes play can be the best therapy for a child affected by trauma or behavioural challenges. If play doesn't always come naturally or you feel yourself resisting it, read Lawrence Cohen's book Playful Parenting and discover you too have it in you to jump right in and goof around!
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