Children and families

Look, Say, Sing, Play information for practitioners

We’re working with the NSPCC and parents and carers across York to help families to support their children, from newborns to 2 year olds.

We'd love health and childcare professionals to be part of this!

The NSPCC Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign provides tips and hints on how parents can help their child’s brain develop and strengthen their bond with them as well as sharing some of the science behind early brain development.

Research shows that when a parent responds positively to their child by speaking, gesturing or touching, it helps shape brain architecture by building and strengthening the neural connections that babies need to develop communication and social skills.

This evidence-informed, strengths-based approach is carefully designed to support parents and carers to understand more about the importance of the first 2 years of a child’s life and the many simple but highly effective things they can do to build strong foundations for their baby's future.

As part of the campaign in York:

  • midwives will share information about the campaign with every expectant mother
  • the Healthy Child Service will give families resources at their child’s 6 to 8 week postpartum check up
  • resources will be shared with families through child care settings and volunteer-led groups

LSSP in practice

An Adult Education Tutor, from York Learning, shared their thoughts on the implementation of Look, Say, Sing Play:

Our Early Start programme for parents of 1 and 2 year olds looks at different aspects of child development and sharing ideas for simple and effective activities. Look Say Sing Play complemented what we were doing already, so we incorporated it into the programme.

"Using the Look Say Sing Play website and asking parents to sign up to the weekly emails gave us extra input into the formulation of our ideas. The associated ‘brain science’ helped us to better understand how we were helping the children to develop.

"Each week parents chose a theme from the Look Say Sing Play cards to implement into their routines and then shared their results with the group in the next session. Over time, the parents became more confident at adapting ideas to their own family’s needs. They discovered how useful singing could be in turning challenging activities into something the children enjoyed and came to look forward to.

"Getting dressed; strapping children into their car seats; walking down the street; and bath time were some of the day-to-day activities that had become a challenge, but through using the Look Say Sing Play ideas, families are now able to overcome tricky situations more easily."

York parents talk about Look, Say, Sing, Play

LSSP resources and information

More information, including resources for practitioners and families, including session plans, posters and information leaflets, is available from the NSPCC.

We've produced a number of videos to see how you can use the Look, Say, Sing, Play ideas with the families you’re working with.

LSSP workshops

We're holding a number of online workshops to support professionals to help parents and carers to look, say, sing and play with their children.

These sessions will take place online following current government guidelines relating to COVID-19.

To book a place on a session email, and joining details will be sent to you prior to the session.

Bringing Look, Say, Sing, Play to life for new parents

18 November 2020, midday to 1.00pm, with Helen Westerman (NSPCC).

This session will include a walk-through of the LSSP presentation for parents, how LSSP can be used in existing parent/toddler groups or used with individual families.

Pregnancy in Mind, Baby Steps, what we do and why it works

10 December 2020, midday to 1.00pm, with Pat Kellet (NSPCC).

Pat Kellet is Nurse Practitioner at the NSPCC and is very experienced in delivering the Pregnancy in Mind and Baby Steps services.

Pat will share an overview of both services. This will include what strategies and techniques are used and the theory behind this. Pat will use case examples to illustrate some of the outcomes for families and children.

The importance of soft touch in creating connections and building a happy brain

19 January 2021, midday to 1.00pm, with Dr Rosie Knowles (Carrying Matters).

Babies brains are shaped by the environment around them and the quality of relationships in their lives.

One major challenge is that we’re not reaching the most disadvantaged families who have the least access to services/groups.

In this session, you’ll learn about how the Building Bonds project has addressed this.

The importance of early brain development

10 February 2021, midday to 1.00pm, with Geraldine Jackson (Senior Educational Psychologist).

Did you know our brain grows more in the first 5 years of life than at any other time?

Babies are born with billions of neurons all ready to make connections. Join us on this interactive seminar where we will explore how connections are made and the impact on child development and beyond. Building better brains!

How Look, Say, Sing, Play compliments Early Start

15 March 2021, midday to 1.00pm, with Angie Taylor (York Learning).

On our Early Start programme we look at different aspects of child development along with simple, fun activities for day to day.

We share our own experiences of what has been successful; what has turned out to be comical and what we would steer clear of.

When we began incorporating ideas from the Look Say Sing Play campaign we could never have anticipated how beneficial it would be at turning everyday obstacles into fun for everyone and learning opportunities.

How you can help

We need your help to spread the word about Look Say Sing Play.

We’re really keen to hear from professionals and community organisations who work with families with 0 to 2 year olds who can help support this important work. To find out more about how you can get involved in the campaign or to book a seminar place email

Also see

Healthy Child Service

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551760