Drop-in sessions, such as 'Stay and Play' or 'Parents and Toddlers', are a great way for families to meet each other and have a change of scene and activities. They are more flexible than a group - there is no expectation that parents/carers attend every week or get there for the start time. They can provide a relaxing way for mums, dads and carers to chat together, while their children play with other children and toys, as well as joining in some of the activities with their child, with practitioners and parents sharing information about how it helps children's development.
Drop-in sessions also offer a great opportunity to share ideas with parents and carers in bite-size chunks, about how they can support their children’s learning through everyday activities, singing, stories and play. Peep can be used in new or existing drop-ins, or run in places where families already go, such as a local shopping centre, library or child health clinic, as well as in Family Centres or Hubs, Children’s Centres or early years settings. They can also act as a stepping stone for families to go on to attend a Peep group.
Through attending Peep drop-in sessions, dads, mums and carers are supported to enhance their understanding about:
how adults can use the ORIM framework (Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction, Modelling) to support babies’ and young children’s learning
the importance of developing conversation, of talking and listening to babies and young children, and how adults can help
how to provide play opportunities which help babies’ and young children’s learning
how positive relationships help babies and young children feel good about themselves and want to learn
using numbers in everyday situations with babies and young children
how babies and young children make sense of their world through exploring and making choices
how the whole family can help babies’ and young children’s developing reading and writing skills through play and everyday activity together
how to share books, stories, rhymes and songs with babies and young children.
Stay and Play session example - early maths
activity on the floor: posting things into a box
Families are encouraged to post items (e.g. socks, toy cars, pegs) into a posting box (a cardboard box with holes cut in the top and sides) and find them again when the lid is lifted.
Sharing a key idea: The practitioner talks with the parents/carers about matching things into pairs and counting 1, 2, as they are posted in the box. Counting an object in each hand is helpful for very young children.
activity at the table: feeding porridge to the three bears
Families are encouraged to feed the small, medium and large sized bears (made from shoe boxes), thinking about which size bowl and spoon (small, medium or large) each bear should have.
Sharing a key idea: Chat about how adults can help their children’s understanding of size, by talking about different sizes and pointing them out in everyday life.
As well as conversations, Peep practitioners also share these messages with parents through the use of short signs next to each activity, handouts, and cued modelling (explaining why and how they are doing something, as they are doing it). Peep Stay and Play sessions also have a singing and story time, so a relevant story (e.g. Goldilocks and the three bears) and songs (e.g. 5 little ducks went swimming one day) can link to the activities.