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NSPCC launches new resources for dads

‘Look, Say, Sing, Play with Daddy’ materials aim to help dads and male carers take an active role in children’s early development

The NSPCC has launched a new programme designed to encourage more fathers and male carers to take an active role in their children’s early development. And with Father’s Day just around the corner the charity is aiming to get more dads to get involved.

Look, Say, Sing, Play (LSSP), is a set of fun and science-based resources which have been helping new parents since being launched in 2019. They provide activities that can be enjoyed with babies and toddlers to help encourage higher quality interactions and build stronger bonds.

Parents are encouraged to Look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, Say what they’re doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, Sing along to their favourite tune and Play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.

However, the NSPCC noticed that whilst there had been a strong take-up of the campaign by mums, just 10% of sign-ups were from dads and so the children’s charity started to look at what could be done to encourage more fathers to get involved.

Focus groups were held with expectant dads, those with new babies and those with older children up to the age of 2 to see what could be done to encourage them to sign up to Look, Say, Sing, Play.

The charity also worked with the organisation Father Support Workers and other professionals to get their input on what could be done to target dads and make the resources more appealing to them.

From the research, the NSPCC found that fathers and male carers preferred to have outdoor and more physical activities that they could enjoy with their children. It was also found that they wanted to get more information about the science behind the programme.

As a result, Look, Say, Sing, Play with Daddy has been created with a whole range of activities specifically designed to encourage dads and male carers to get involved.

The activity book created by the NSPCC features a four-week programme of activities that parents can do with their young children, with several options of varying activities suggested for each week.

Jon Coyle lives in Derry with his husband Patrick and 18-month-old daughter, Wren.

He says: “Spending time doing the activities with Wren is fantastic fun and brings the three of us closer together. It’s great to know that every time we Look, Say, Sing, Play, we’re not only bonding, we’re helping her little brain to develop.

“Wren really loves doing the activities, plus with the weekly tips we never run out of ideas for things to do.”

Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC Head of Local Campaigns, said: “Look, Say, Sing, Play was always designed to appeal to all parents and carers, but the majority of those signing up have been mums.

”Dads have told us they want more activities that can be done at evenings and weekends as well as those which could be done as a family group rather than just one-to-one, so that’s what we’ve developed.

“With Father’s Day coming up- it’s a great time for dads to get playing!”

To find out more about Look, Say, Sing, Play and/or to sign up for free weekly brain-building tips, go to search ‘Look Say Sing Play’. For information about Look Say Sing Play with Daddy, and to find out how to get the new resources email: