Workshops & Stay and Play Sessions

We currently have two general workshops to offer schools, children’s centres, nurseries and any other organisations.  Please read below and get in touch if you are interested!

Benefits of Self-Directed Play for Parents and Carers of Children 0-5

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Enjoyment and engagement are fuel for the growing brains and bodies of young children. Luckily neither of these need to cost anything. Children just need time, space and a little more permission to get into things the way they want. Adults maybe need some as well!

We use boxes, yoghurt pots, tape, crayons and other random free or cheap stuff because there is no single “right” way to use any of it. Open-ended materials can engage individual children no matter their age or interest. Better yet, since they are free or cheap it is easier for adults to “let go” of the need to make sure their children “do it right” or don’t break things in front of others.

To explore what self-directed play is, Meanwood Play Project offers “no-toy” Stay and Play sessions for young children and their parents. While the real experts in play, the children, get to what they do best, play; the parents are invited to take a bit of a step back to observe and discuss what we see. Though we will provide a brief and accessible introduction to the science of early childhood development, this is not a parenting class. Take what you like, leave what you don’t and hopefully have some genuine fun too!

During this session parents and carers will:

  • See their children’s interests, behaviour and ability to focus in a new light.
  • Be reassured that children do not require fancy or expensive toys.
  • Be introduced to early childhood development in a friendly and accessible way.

Rediscovering Play for Adult Early Years Practitioners and Teachers


Continuing Professional Development that only has the adults look at play academically and intellectually is the equivalent of going to a Wedding Cake Trade Show to only learn about the ingredients, nutritional value and pricing. By getting past a few of our adult hang-ups and rediscovering what play actually feels like, we can make deeper and more reflective choices in our roles as EY practitioners and teachers.

In this workshop, people will

  • Rediscover what authentic play actually feels like for a bit. It will be awkward at first but it will not require any awkward ice breaker games that force you to have “fun” with people you don’t know.
  • Connect this experience to the Characteristics of Effective Learning and Leuven Scales of Well-Being and Involvement.
  • Reflect in a deeper than usual way on the power of our provision, time table and everyday interactions to help or hinder children’s learning and development.