Fun with the Winter Elements

Winter is here and it’s getting colder and darker – but it’s still a great time for getting
children of all ages outdoors. We just need to EMBRACE the weather!

Have a playful and positive attitude towards the winter season; show your children that
winter can be fun. Try to model ways to be playful.

Stamp your feet on ice patches or in puddles, have a snowball fight, play in the rain, make snow angels or snowmen! Take a breath of that cold winter air and remember that whatever you do outdoors you are supporting your children’s health, wellbeing and happiness.

View the flyer below for more play ideas.

Play & Challenge – Play Matters Briefing July 2018

The latest Play Matters briefing explores Play and Challenge. Children need the freedom to play how they choose and sometimes this includes taking risks and engaging in risky, challenging play. This briefing paper explores how we, as adults, can support children to test themselves and stretch their limits through play.

Please click on link below to download the latest Play Matters Briefing:

Play & Challenge – Play Matters Briefing July 2018

Play Matters – EITP Project

The Children and Young People’s Strategy Team within the Department of Education is taking forward a Play and Leisure project entitled Play Matters which is funded through the Delivering Social Change – Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP).

As part of the project’s play campaign they plan to promote key play messages through social media platforms and are asking you to support the project by taking the time to read and share their play messages through your own networks, forums and social media outlets. You can follow Play Matters on twitter at @Education_NI  #playmatters

If you would like more information or would like to hear more detail on the full Play and Leisure project (including Play Shaper and Play for Parents programmes) please contact Angela Stallard at or Pamela Baxter at or call 028 91279203.

For more information please click on the link below:

Play Matters Campaign Release

Play Matters Leaflet


EITP – Getting Ready to Learn Funding Information Sessions

Getting Ready to Learn is a project funded through the Early Intervention Transformation Programme, which seeks to support pre-school settings with DE Funded places to encourage and develop parental involvement in children’s early learning.  This is to ensure maximum parental contribution at a crucial time in children’s early brain development.

The funding application process for 2017/18 academic year will open on Wednesday, 1 March 2017 and a number of information sessions will be held over the coming weeks for new applicants.

For more information on the Getting Ready to Learn Project and the Information Sessions please click on the links below:

Getting Ready to Learn Introductory Information

Getting Ready to Learn Information Sessions

EITP: Getting Ready to Learn Programme Update


The Getting Ready to Learn Project aims to support pre-school education settings with DE-funded places to encourage and develop parental involvement in children’s early learning to ensure maximum parental contribution at a crucial time in children’s early brain development.

Within Getting Ready to Learn, four key thematic approaches have been identified as particularly relevant to parents of pre-school children:

  1. Big Bedtime Read
  2. Education Works in Pre-school
  3. Happy Healthy Kids
  4. Ages & Stages, 3-4

Currently, over 350 pre-school settings are participating; holding workshops for parents to help them understand:

  • how children develop, including attachment and brain development;
  • the importance of parent-child relationships for the child’s development and behaviour;
  • the importance of childhood education and learning; and
  • the importance of healthy lifestyles and diet.

Read more


How to get involved?

All settings delivering the NI Pre-School Education Curriculum are eligible to participate. The next call for applications will open in March and close at the end of April 2017. 

For further information please go to the following website: or contact:


Nicola Mitchell, Research and Development Officer                                                         Programme Manager at:


Telephone: 028 90564047


Hilary McEvoy, Programme Manager at:


Telephone: 02890 564 047