Did you know that the most important interactions you have with a child can happen through play? By engaging in playful serve and return with a child, you can literally help build stronger connections in the brain. Strong neural connections are the foundation for all of a child’s future learning, behavior, and health. In this Mini Parenting Master Class from UNICEF, Center on the Developing Child Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., explains the importance of serve and return interactions like play—and how easy they are to do, especially through practice!



The importance of Tummy Time

Tummy Time helps your baby develop the neck, back, and shoulder muscles needed to meet infant developmental milestones. It may also help prevent early motor delays and conditions such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis). 

This short video will explain the benefits of Tummy Time and will show you how to engage your baby in Tummy Time from birth

 Tummy Time from 3 months

Tummy Time 3-6 Months

The following resources will show you how babies move through different stages of play Click on the images˃˃

 The Development of Play Skills From Birth to 3 1                                                The Development of Play Skills From Birth to 3 2  

A Parent's guide to The Senses from Pathways.Org



1 Babies BRAIN DEV 2     


Leaflet for Brain Development

2 Sd 1 Brain Dev Leaflet
2 Sd 2 Brain Dev


 2 VISION jpg 

Leaflet for Vision

2 VISION jpg Leaflet

3 VISION Side 2 Leaflet


 3 Scent Taste       

Leaflet for Scent and Taste

4 Sd 1 SCENT TASTE Leaflet

4 Sd 2 SCENT TASTE Leaflet


 4 Sound     

Leaflet for Sound


5 Sd 2 SOUND Leaflet

5 Touch 2   

Leaflet for Touch

6 sd 1 TOUCH Leaflet
6 TOUCH Side 2 Leaflet

  6 Movement 

Leaflet for Movement

6 Movement

7 MOVEMENT Side 2 Leaflet


Reading with talking and singing to your baby

Ten ways that babies learn when you sing to them - click on the image˃˃

Babies and music  

Parents and Carers listen to this short video to discover how important reading, talking and singing with your baby or young child is

Reading to babies and young children promotes children’s development under the four themes of Aistear Well-being, Identity & Belonging, Communicating and Exploring & Thinking   Click on the image˃˃

Aistear Babies Reading

From the moment an infant can hear – which we now know is long before birth itself – that child begins to respond to sound and music. This newborn infant then enters a buzzing, full-spectrum audio world containing every sound imaginable from soothing whispers through to disturbing bangs and crashes. Each of these elements evokes an emotional response, and soon a vocal one as the child realises he can initiate as well as receive these audio messages.

And so a sonorous dance of delight begins; the baby cooing, babbling and gesturing, and parents echoing, elaborating and ever extending the child’s efforts. Musicians call this deeply satisfying interaction ‘call and response’, a universal pattern which underpins musical performance and composition in all cultures, as well as providing a basic framework forlanguage. This discourse initially requires no words, and the child will remain receptive to music’s strange primaeval power to influence our thoughts and feelings at sub-language levels throughout life

Messy play

can provide great development opportunities for babies and young children and we have inlcuded a resource full of ideas for messay play for you here. These ideas are directed at parents and early years staff to give them encouragement to engage children in many beneficial activities. Click on the image˃˃

Messy Play

Here is a  video describing the benefits of messy play with babies and young children engaging in activities

This resource was compiled by NCN and will provide lots of play ideas for babies toddlers and preschoolers


Here are some of the posts that were on our facebook page in case you missed them

NCN Play Box        Tummy Time NCN

Treasure Baskets 6 12months       Treasure BasketA

Treasure Basket3A           Benefits of Treasure Basket 


Treasure Basket No. 5      NCN Shape Sorter


NCN Water Play2        NCN Stacking Cups