Movement Play courses are run with two to four children and adults, over twelve or twenty-four sessions.
During courses adults take part in four coaching sessions, without children, for thirty minutes.
They get to know more about:
- the thinking behind Movement Play
- the principles of attachment and the secure base within which children develop feelings of safety, belonging and trust
- how to stay calm when children are distressed
- how to listen to children while they play.
Additionally children and adults have either eight or twenty movement play sessions together, which last forty-five minutes.
The final week is a celebration session.
Here’s what children have said:
I enjoyed it when we had to get on other people’s back.
I like swinging in the blanket. It makes me feel happy.
I am much calmer. I am able to talk about staying calm.
Now my teacher says “Really good day!” everyday. I stay in class all day without running out.
Whenever it’s Movement Play it’s always a fun day.
Here’s what parents and carers have said:
It gave me time to slow down and just be with my son rather than thinking about what to do. Zillah allowed my son to be him, she went with his behaviour and made it a good thing.
My daughter has loved Zillah’s Movement Play sessions. She responded so well to the child-led games. Her speech has improved, and she is happy to join in with the group now. I have been impressed by Zillah’s manner of talking with the children and encouraging their creativity. We got so much from these sessions.
In the first weeks my grandson did not leave my side, but now he takes the lead and does all the activities.
I am not always saying don’t do this or that to my niece now – instead I’m following her lead.
The course showed me that it was okay for my son to make loud noises and get distracted. He actually responded really well after having time to get distracted.
Here’s what teaching assistants and teachers have said:
The reflections of children’s movements were really incredible. The children gave immediate eye contact, slowed and refined their movements, the connection was visible. One child took of his coat!! He often keeps it on all day … it’s his ‘safety’ coat. – Teaching Assistant
My favourite part was the ‘Pause and Relax.’ I brought this into class and every day after lunch we all do peer massage using the ‘Build a Road’ model. The children love it and have started to do it without adults during their continuous provision. – Teaching Assistant
I have never seen anything like it. It was amazing to have time with children who would normally choose to not stop running. The children had such trust and emotional connections so quickly, and I connected on a level I can’t usually do in the classroom. Thank you for this opportunity. I feel very touched by what I have learnt, especially about meeting children in the moment. – Teaching Assistant
One child’s confidence has increased tremendously. He stands at the front of the class and talks to everyone, whereas three months ago he would not say a word. He is able to manage his panic attacks, rather than go right into them. He has really benefitted from Movement Play. – Teacher
I have seen quite a dramatic change in the children. They are more tolerant, less anxious, more eager to jump straight into activities. Empathy has grown. I have seen them sharing warmly with their peers. One child especially, will engage in partnership and small group work, with encouragement. – Teacher