Let’s Play – Ideas for Families

Let’s Play – Ideas for Families

Published: 24 April 2020
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

While there are lots of ideas around for different age groups, here are some ideas that the whole family can enjoy together:

  • have a movie night, choose a movie together and add some popcorn
  • play a game of chess, dominoes, jacks or card games
  • try a board game – they can be great fun!
  • how about a dance mat or playing a game on the Wii
  • ping pong, air hockey, tennis, darts, pool or snooker
  • have a pamper night with facemasks, foot soaks and hand massages
  • if you have a ‘gamer’ in the house – play together. Teens find it hilarious to see how bad their parents are at gaming!
  • go outside – play some football, frisbee, dodgeball, piggy in the middle or stuck in the mud or go for a walk at night (within 2km of your home). You’ll be amazed at what fun can be had!
  • share some of your old traditional games – kerbsie, two ball, kick-the-can, skipping
  • have a picnic, cook a meal together, or plan a BBQ. Sleep outside!

You can find out more about play on the Let’s Play Ireland website  https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/lets-play-ireland/

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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