Topic outline

  • play@home Books

     Covers of play at home books

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  • play@home background information

    play@home originated in the Waikato Region of New Zealand, and was adapted for use in Fife, through a partnership between Fife Council Education Service and NHS Fife.

    NHS Health Scotland is now promoting the use of this programme throughout Scotland. The programme consists of three books; the baby book (yellow) for children from birth to one year, the toddler book (green) for children from one to three years and the pre-school book (lilac) for children from three to five years.

    play@home has been developed on the philosophy that parents are their children’s first teachers. Children learn through movement and play, they imitate sounds and actions, they enjoy loving touch and they will appreciate the benefits of the programme as they grow up. Parents have a crucial role to play in encouraging their children to develop friendships and interact with situations outside the family home.

    This programme is not only about what parents can do for their children, but just as importantly, what parents can do with their children

    For further information nhs.HealthScotland-playathome@nhs.net

  • play@home books content

    Baby Book

    The Baby Programme guides parents and carers through their baby’s first twelve months by giving appropriate instructions to aid development in a simple, easy-to-use book. The Baby book is also available in Gaelic.

    Some of the benefits include

    • Developing body awareness.
    • Encouraging loving touch in the family.
    • Baby massage.
    • Encouraging baby’s enjoyment of physical activity.


    Toddler Book

    The Toddler Programme introduces the idea of exercise for toddlers appropriate to their stage of development. The aim is to start them on a life of health, exercise and sport.

    Some of the benefits include

    • Creating an enjoyment of physical activity through play
    • Developing skills involving thinking, moving, communicating, socialising and imitating.
    • Stimulating curiosity, imagination and creativity.
    • Promoting the value of giving praise and positive reassurance.
    • Strengthening family relationships.

    Pre-School Book

    The Pre-school Programme builds on the idea that toddlers play for sheer enjoyment, not just for the good it is doing them, and that all play involves movement which can be health and exercise related.

    Some of the benefits include

    • Extending children’s bonding and communication experiences.
    • Strengthening family relationships.
    • Creating opportunities for learning.
    • Promoting a healthy lifestyle.

    We are not trying to produce superkids ...

    ...we are trying to increase children’s confidence in their own ability and therefore increase their feelings of self-esteem.

  • play@home evaluations

  • How play@home is being used across Scotland

    How play@home is being used across Scotland

    If you have any information to share on how play@home is having an impact in your area please let us know (all material will be anonymous).

    Health Visitor, Fife

    "I have been using play at home since it was introduced to Fife some years ago. I feel that it has a lot to offer families from all kinds of backgrounds. I always highlight however that it is written from the perspective that the reader has no knowledge of children or of childcare as some of the more basic topics could be offensive to some readers due to the simplicity of the topics described. It can reassure parents that their child’s development is within normal limits. I also always use it to highlight the need for skin to skin contact in formula fed babies to help with forming attachments.

    I normally issue the 1st book at the primary visit and discuss how useful a resource it can be and advise the parents that it is a good source of information when there is no-one else around to ask for advice. Thereafter it can be helpful when trying to explain a concept which some clients may find difficulty in understanding. I also suggest that the book should be left where it is easily seen as such a valuable resource as this should be used at every opportunity"

  • Useful links

    Useful links

    GreaterSport is the Greater Manchester charity committed to changing lives by creating and providing opportunities for everyone to take part in sport and physical activity.

    GreaterSport’s Let’s Play pages aim to provide resources and useful links to guide parents and carers to be active with their children.

  • Contact

     for further information

    Joyce Waugh, Training Co-ordinator. Tel 0131 314 5397 or e-mail:  nhs.HealthScotland-playathome@nhs.net