Coaching parents to use child-led play to promote emotional wellbeing for their children

Playful Parents


  • A facilitated series of workshops for a group of up to 6 parents commissioned by schools, social care teams, children’s centres or other organisations
  • Parents learn to apply child-led play skills based on attachment theory leading to a sustained positive relationship over time, reduced emotional difficulties and increased positive behaviours at home and school
  • For parents of at least one child between 4 and 12 years
  • 8 sessions of 1.5 hours each per week
  • Cost £2,299 for entire course


  • To enhance parent’s natural abilities and allow their confidence to flourish
  • To use experiential learning and feedback to promote positive parenting
  • To empower parents by focusing on the existing strengths of their relationships whilst nurturing and improving their skills and strategies to understand and cope with all kinds of behaviours
  • To provide opportunities for parents to notice their children, to understand their children’s needs, their motivations and get to know them as individuals
  • To teach parents to see play as a vital learning tool

How it works

  • Parents are given the opportunity to share difficulties, worries and concerns; to encourage each other and share their successes in a safe and contained group setting each week
  • Parents are introduced to the concept of ‘You & Me Time’; a 30 minute play session with one of their children each week. Parents will learn basic concepts of therapeutic play and implement these practical skills in their sessions
  • Parents learn through experiential activities, role play, live demonstrations from the facilitator and video footage
  • New skills and strategies are introduced weekly, including containment, child-led play, giving choices, setting safe limits and Reflective Functioning. Facilitators share bite-sized easy to understand pieces of information with the parents to aid their understanding
  • Parents become confident in their abilities as a parent and learn to recognise the positive impact of ‘You & Me Time’ on their relationship with their child
  • During the programme, parents will be assisted in setting up their own play session to continue when they have completed the programme

Evidence of Success

The Department for Education recognises that providing parental support is crucial to children’s emotional wellbeing and academic success.

  • 29%

    improvement in parent-child relationship

  • 54%

    increase in ability to respect boundaries

  • 35%

    reduction in emotional difficulties

  • 23%

    decline in behavioural difficulties

  • 21%

    increase in academic success

  • 14%

    reduction in hyperactivity

  • 34%

    improvement in relationships with peers

  • 18%

    rise in other prosocial behaviours

  • 28%

    reduction in parental stress

  • 89%

    of parents rated the knowledge and skills of the facilitator as 'Excellent'

  • 94%

    of parents rated the effectiveness of the course as 'Excellent'

  • 100%

    of schools rated the course overall as 'Excellent'

Case Studies

Christine & Kara’s Story

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Rob & Dylan’s Story

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Lily & James’ Story

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Interested in setting up a workshop?

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Empowering Parents

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