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Encouraging play

Why play is important

Playing isn't just fun, it's also the best way for young children to learn.

To promote healthy brain development, children need time and attention from someone who's happy to play with them. These positive, nurturing interactions are known as ‘serve and return’.

In other words, when an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and an adult responds appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, connections are built in a child’s brain that support the development of communication and social skills.

Play and learn sessions

Come along and have some fun at one of our Learn and play sessions at one of our family centres.

Encouraging play

Top tips for playing with your child

Simple games of peek-a-boo, shaking a rattle or singing a song are a vital way to interact with children. They teach young children about communication, develop their motor skills and help with problem-solving.

Something as easy as stacking and knocking over blocks allows toddlers to discover maths and science concepts, including shapes, gravity, balance and counting.

Playgrounds and parks

Playgrounds and parks are a perfect place for families to come together outdoors and spend happy times together.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, social and cognitive skills and physical health. Play is also important for building up a bank of positive experiences to help healthy brain development. 

There are lots of parks in Hammersmith & Fulham that you can explore together.

Encouraging play
Need to talk

Need to talk?

If you would like to talk to one of our local Family Support workers to see how we can help, pop into one of our family centres, email or phone 020 8753 6070.

We're here to help with tailored support for you and your family - just ask!

Houra from Masbro

Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child or young person, please call our team on 020 8753 6600.

If you are worried that a child or young person is at immediate risk, please contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or or call the police on 999

Remember Childline is always there for any young person online and on the phone anytime. If you are worried about yourself or a friend they are there for you.