My Place To Play

My Place to Play promotes the development and well-being of very young children living in accommodation that has a limited amount of space available for free movement and play.

It aims to

  • promote the importance of play;
  • increase developmental activities for babies and toddlers including tummy time, sensory development and language development;
  • and encourage parent-child bonding.

My Place to Play was originally a programme designed for parents and infants 0-12 months centred on a baby plat mat and age appropriate toys and resources to support baby development.  More recently MPTP has been developed and enhanced with the design of a Toddler Pack as a follow-on from MPTP Baby Play Mat . 

My Place to Play Baby Play Mat

Specifically  the 'My Place to Play Baby Play Mat Pack' aims to enhance parent-child interactions and the infant’s physical development (tummy time), emotional  development (sense of safety, wellbeing and belonging), and cognitive and language development. 

My Place to Play Toddler Play Bag

The 'My Place to Play Toddler Play Bag'  supports play for 1 - 3 year olds to promote language, communication, literacy, social and emotional development as well as fine and gross motor development. The toddler pack focuses on supporting toddlers aged one to three years with their overall development including communication, social and physical development.

The My Place to Play Project was awarded a “Child Health and Wellbeing” award at the 2019 Irish Healthcare Centre Awards.  That Project under the auspices of Dublin City North CYPSC 2018-2019 was led out by the Early Learning Initiative, a local Area Based Childhood project in North East Inner City Dublin.

Over the years since, and with various targetted funding streams levered to support continuance and expansion, My Place to Play resources have been developed to support the implementation of "My Place to Play" with families living in International Protection Accommodation, families experiencing homelessness and families living in inadequate and/or cramped living circumstances.

My Place to Play 2024

The My Place to Play Spring 2024 Communication provides an overview of My Place to Play and invites locally based staff to attend a My Place to Play Briefing Session as a pre-requisite to using the My Place to Play resources with families. 

Below you can watch a 2021 video of a 'My Place To Play Briefing Session' for practitioners working with and supporting famlies living in international protection accommodation.  This recording was produced prior to the design of  the 'My Place to Play Toddler Play Bag' however it can provide an overview of the purpose and essence of My Place to Play.

My Place to Play has also produced parent tip sheets.  These tip sheets are intended as an aid for parents receiving the My Place to Play materials and resources; supporting and encouraging parents and carers to use the MPTP materials and toys with their young family members.  There is a My Place to Play Baby Play Mat Pack Tip Sheet and a  My Place to Play Toddler Play Bag Tip Sheet.  These are are available to download in a range of languages: 

My Place to Play Parent Tip Sheets

2021 My Place to Play Briefing Session for Practitioners Video

2021 My Place to Play Briefing Session for Practitioners Slide Presentation

2021 My Place to Play Practitioner Guidance 

Research and Information 

A Report on the Review of the “My Place to Play” for families living in International Protection Accommodation Project and a Summary Report of the Review findings have been produced and this CYPSC News article about My Place to Play provides more information. Some key recommendations from the Project Review include:

  • My Place to Play Project should be continued into the future for families living in international protection accommodation to support realisation of the draft National Standards for Direct Provision Centres, i.e. Standard 4.5: The accommodation centre has adequate and accessible facilities, including dedicated child friendly, play and recreation facilities.
  • My Place to Play Project should continue to be replicated for other families living in accommodation with limited space such as families living in homeless hubs and emergency accommodation.
  • The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Department of Health or its designates should consider funding the Project for sustainability.

This 2022 My Place to Play Information Document outlines My Place to Play implementation during 2022.

Other Useful Links Tummy time to strengthen your baby's muscles Tummy Time

Read about some of the background to "My Place to Play"

Read some CYPSC News.