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With schools closed families have the chance to follow their children’s lead and to give them opportunities to learn through play, rather than formal structured study. Paul Ramchandani, LEGO Professor of Play at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, says that unstructured play is essential for young children, and learning at home does not have to follow the strict timetable of school. Instead, different types of play allow children to explore the world, to understand consequences and learn how relationships work. It is this free type of play that is fundamental to early years’ development, rather than sitting for long periods in lessons. He says that parents should not worry about the type of play as “children will learn and enjoy different things from different kinds of play”, but to focus on being mindful to what their child is doing and to be responsive to what they are trying to communicate. This, he says, is the key to supporting young children’s learning and social and emotional development. Read more here.

Family Kids & Youth LLP
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Family Kids & Youth – what we are doing during Coronavirus lockdown

We are continuing to carry out our UK and international research with children, teens and parents but have switched all this online and to our apps. Our qualitative research is filmed and our mini groups, depth interviews and focus groups are proving to be a great success. Children and young people are totally at home speaking online and are extremely vocal, even on the most sensitive of topics. Parents are appreciating the ‘group effect’ of online video conferencing.

Our resourceful team at FK&Y has been home-based since Monday 16 March and our regular catch-ups on Microsoft Teams ensure we all know what each other is doing! We’d like to thank our clients, our suppliers and of course our research participants for being so encouraging and so supportive.

We have compiled lists of organisations that offer help on home-schooling, child behaviour, and anxiety and mental health. Please contact me if you wish to receive this list.

Wishing all our clients, colleagues and friends our very best wishes! Dr Barbie.

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