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Here you will find all the latest news from the team at PEDAL.


Call for local partners to develop the Playtime with Books programme

Book sharing is a way for children and adults to playfully explore picture books together as the basis for conversation and connection. Book sharing supports the important interactions between babies, young children, and their parents, which are vital for early development. Research has shown that book sharing has lots of benefits for children’s language development, […]


New article on diversity in autistic play

A new study published this month, by PEDAL researchers Emma Pritchard-Rowe and Professor Jenny Gibson, and colleagues Carmen de Lemos and Katie Howard, highlights the importance of centering autistic people’s perspectives when it comes to understanding how autistic people play.   Existing research on autistic play has typically focused on ‘deficits’ in autistic people’s play, […]


‘Play to Heal’: A Visiting Student Researcher Perspective on Play and Health

In this article, visiting student Cate Schultz from the Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  reflects on her internship in PEDAL.   The UN declared in 1989 children’s right to play “a fundamental human right for all children” (UN, 1989). For children, “play is not a luxury, play is a necessity” (Dianne). Despite rising […]


Infant Mental Health Awareness Week: How can we help little minds thrive?

It’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week. At PEDAL, we are committed to conducting research that makes a difference to the lives of children and families right from the start. Our Helping Little Minds Thrive project is focused on the wellbeing of babies, young children, and their caregivers.    Helping Little Minds Thrive aims to provide the […]


It’s Mental Health Awareness Week: But what do we mean by mental health?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and a range of events and activities are taking place to increase understanding of mental health, address stigma and campaign for change. Many people will use the term mental health without pausing to consider what they really mean by it. The same words can often mean different things […]


Understanding mental health in infancy and early childhood

There is widespread concern about babies’, children’s and young people’s mental health in the UK, particularly after the pandemic. Surveys of children, young people, parents, grandparents and teachers all reveal worries about mental health. Significant evidence shows us that the foundations for lifelong mental health are laid during pregnancy and the earliest years of life. […]


Keeping children at the centre of childcare policy: A response to Budget 2023

In today’s Budget the UK Government announced an expansion of the offer of 30 hours of free early childhood education and care (ECEC) to working parents with children aged nine months to three years old. This was accompanied by other measures intended to increase the availability and affordability of ECEC.   The Budget was focused on […]


Building Connections: Who children play with may be key to their early communication skills

Who children play with in their earliest years at school could be more important for their early communication than their fundamental social skills, new evidence shows. In a newly-reported study of 148 primary school children, researchers found that the friends they play with affect how they communicate with others, much more than their individual social […]


Celebrating International Play Therapy Week: Experiences of a Play Therapist

Hello! I’m Cary M. Hamilton, a registered Play Therapist Supervisor in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I have a group practice of play therapists and I am the Director of Play Therapy at Antioch University. I have been a practicing play therapist for the last 20 years. Through the three examples in this […]