Play Matters

Playday is the national day for play in the UK, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. This year’s Playday takes place on

Wednesday 1 August 2018. On Playday, thousands of children and their families get out to play at hundreds of community events across the UK. As well as a celebration of children’s right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. To celebrate 31 years of Playday this year’s theme is children’s right to play.

Play & Challenge

Let’s get Baby Moving

Baby Move is a programme that helps your baby stay flexible whilst also helping you stretch out your muscles from pregnancy. When babies are born they want and need to be chatted to, played with and loved and this programme is a lovely way for you to be able to do that with them.

The programme has many benefits for your baby:

  • Improves digestion and provides relief from colic
  • Strengthens their muscles to help them sit up, crawl and walk
  • Helps baby relax and settle them into sleep routines
  • Encourages brain development
  • Builds their confidence and trust
  • Keeps them flexible when they grow older

Talking Times


  • Try and encourage your child to play with lots of different things, but remember to let them lead the play. Talk about what they are interested in.
    1. Name the object – “elephant
    2. Talk about what the object is doing“The elephant is drinking water”
    3. Talk about different parts – “The elephant has a trunk
    4. Describe the object using size – “The elephant is big
    5. Colour – “The elephant is grey
    6. Position “The elephant is under the tree
    7. Texture “The elephant’s tusks are hard
  • Share books together.
  • Dump the dummy during the day.
  • Have fun with nursery rhymes and songs, especially ones with actions.
  • Try not to let your child spend too long looking at TVs, tablets and phones, they love to interact with you.
  • Get down to your Child’s level and ‘Face to Face’ with your child so you can see what they are interested in and they know you are listening.
  • Help your child to understand language by using body language and pointing to the things you talk about. Use simple words in short sentences.
  • ‘Modelling’ will show your child how to use words in sentences. Repeat back what they say, add one or two extra words and emphasise any words you want the child to listen to.
    1. Child: “dog”
    2. Adult: “Yes, the dog is sleeping
  • If your child says a word incorrectly, repeat the word back correctly, emphasising the sound they have difficulty with, but do not ask them to repeat it.
    1. Child: “There’s a bish”
    2. Adult: “Yes it’s a fish”
  • Praise your child E.g. “You are listening really well” “Great talking”

National Bookstart Week

National Bookstart Week is BookTrust’s annual celebration of the joys and benefits of sharing books, stories and rhymes from as early an age as possible. This year, National Bookstart Week will take place from 4-10 June and the theme is Bookstart Bird Boogie. BookTrust is thrilled to announce that their chosen book is A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins, published by Walker Books. It’s a brilliant book to read aloud – full of actions to do and noises to make – and it’s guaranteed to get the 0-5’s boogieing!

So come along and help us celebrate with bird themed stories, rhymes and crafts at:

Little Book Worms at Millburn Calf Lane Cafe at 10.00-11.00 on Tues 5th June &
The Borrowers at SureStart Society St at 1.45 – 2.30 Thurs 7th June

You will also receive a
FREE BOOK- A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Collins

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye are running a remembrance service on 3rd of June in St Anne’s Cathedral for anyone who has either personally lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years, or who has been affected by a family members or friends loss.  Whether the loss was recent or 80 years ago, everyone is welcome to attend. We have also extended the services, and gladly welcome anyone who is grieving the fact that they haven’t had children. This may be due to circumstance, infertility or for other reasons – but all are welcome. Babies and children are also invited to come with their family, as the Saying Goodbye service is truly a family event for all.
For more information:

Learn to Swim Week

STA’s Learn to Swim Week is 21st-27th here are 10 tips from STA to help your baby get used to the feeling of the water.

Fun in the Bath
This can be a natural step towards swimming lessons and help improve their water confidence for life. Below are some fun activities you can do with your child to make bath time even more beneficial and enjoyable.

Safety First

• Never leave a baby or child unattended in the bath
• Always make sure you check the temperature of the water
before a baby /child gets in
• Look out for clues that a baby is getting cold or has had
enough: shivering, crying or lip trembling
• Make sure there is a towel at hand for when a baby / child
comes out of the bath. Dry them as quickly as possible.

10 Activities

1. Encourage baby / child to splash their hands and toes. To encourage them, use the rhyme: ‘this is the way we splash our toes’
‘this is the way we splash our hands’
2. Using a cup or watering can gives them an opportunity to play and explore how the water moves. They can also pour water onto different parts of their bodies as they play
3. Place a ball on top of the water, push it down and let the ball pop up out the water
4. Use a mirror to play Peek-a-boo. Try putting bubbles on top of baby / child’s head, this may amuse them and help them relax
5. Place floating boats in the water and encourage your baby/child to blow the boats along. You could join in and have a race as confidence grows
6. Encourage baby / child to kick their legs, pushing the boats out to sea with the big waves they are making
7. Try making a bubble bath party using 4 tablespoons of baby shampoo or bubble bath into the bath to see how many bubbles it
makes. Add food colouring to the bubble bath however you need to rinse the bath thoroughly after.
8. Add some sinking toys into the water and encourage baby / child to look and reach for them
9. Use building blocks to allow baby / child to build towers and knock them down, splashing into the water
10. Sing the wheels on the bus using different actions for the different verses.

Parenting Puzzle

This Programme consists of 4 different workshops all focusing on you and your family.

Workshop 1

  • Understanding your children’s behaviour
  • Listening and how babies and children communicate
  • Praise and encouragement

Workshop 2

  • Praise and guidance
  • Power of play and positive moments

Workshop 3

  • Boundaries and parenting styles
  • Understanding and managing behaviour
  • Looking after ourselves

Workshop 4

  • Dealing with stress and conflict
  • Developing the Family Toolkit

It starts 31st May for 4 weeks in Harpur’s Hill Children & Family Centre, 9.30-11.30am, call 028 7032 1032 to book your space. Creche is available.


Coleraine Sure Start Partnership wish to recruit the following:

Administrative Assistant (permanent, subject to funding)
 Salary – NJC Scale 3, Pt 14-17 (Beginning at Point 14)
 Hours – 22.5 hours per week (worked over five mornings)

Closing Date Monday 16 th April 2018 at 12.00 noon
with Interviews to be held Week Beginning 23 rd April 2018

Please note that CVs are not acceptable.

Coleraine Sure Start is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Application Form AA 2018

Admin Assist JD 2018

Little Book Club celebration

Join us at our Little Book Club (1.45pm in Society Street) on Thursday 1st March to celebrate World Book Day!

Why not come dressed up as a character from your favourite book and join in some fun activities and story telling.

Reading with your child for just 10 minutes a day can have long lasting benefits for their future…