Welcome to ABC Magazine

The longest established, best-read, free parenting magazine in the South.

ABC Magazine is the FREE local parenting magazine offering practical parenting advice to everyone with young children. From babies to big kids!

Competitions

ABC have lots of fantastic competitions again in this issue

Enter now for your chance to win fabulous prizes

enter

Directory

Find activities, businesses and services in your area

Sussex directorySurrey directory

Events

Fabulous things to do this spring in Sussex & Surrey

Sussex eventsSurrey events

 Recent Articles

Encouraging play

By | dance & Art, Education, family, fun for children, play, Relationships, Sport, Theatre, Uncategorized
by Claire Russell
founder of PlayHOORAY!

Have you ever thought about how you can better encourage your child to play more effectively? Now, we don’t all live in an ideal world, our homes have to work for many different things, as well as look nice, but there are a few simple tricks we can apply to create a more playful home.

• Turn off the TV and keep distractions to a minimum when your child is playing.

• Keep resources to hand and ensure your child knows where they are, helping them to become independent and not rely on you to find the answers.

• Teach your child how to do an activity first. Don’t assume they know how to take on the role of a shopkeeper despite the numerous times they’ve been to the supermarket with you!

• Go with the flow. If you set up an activity for your little one, but they do something totally different to what you’d intended, that is absolutely fine. Support them and encourage them to follow
their own initiative!

• If they have enjoyed playing with a particular activity try leaving it out for them to access when they want for at least a week. If you don’t like the mess, perhaps you can throw a tea towel over it?

• Praise your child for their play, the way they play and what they are doing, reassuring your child and showing them how much you value their play. After all, it is supporting their development!

• Try not to interrupt your child when they are focusing, if it can wait then let it. Young children can only concentrate for small amounts of time, so you’ll probably only be waiting for a few minutes anyway!

But what exactly should you be doing when your child is playing?
In reality, there are some days when you want your little one to play to occupy themselves so that you can take a breather because, let’s face it, it’s exhausting being a parent and its important to prioritise looking after yourself! And there are those days when you have a list as long as your arm and you just need five minutes to get jobs done or make dinner. And that’s fine too, honestly it is. We all do it! But then there are days when you do have time, you do have a flicker of energy and you have the headspace to support your child as they play – great! When that occurs, there are many things you can do that will support their development:

• Sit by your child, giving them a sense of security, reassuring them that you’re in sight while showing them that you value their play.

• If they invite you to play with them, copy them. Don’t take charge, just do what they do and let them take the lead.They will love it!

• When you feel you can, talk about what you are doing. You might feel a bit silly doing it but you are teaching your child how to play. Use words they may recognise but introduce new vocabulary too. Tell them what you like, dislike, your favourites and give reasons. Your child may offer their opinion or they may not. There’s no pressure!

• As your child plays, as long as you don’t think it will break their concentration, comment on what they’re doing. Suggest a few things you like about their playing, for example: “I like the way you are stacking the bricks to make a tall tower. I like the way you are trying to get that to stick. I can see you are persevering.”

These show your child that you value what they are doing. Your child may choose to tell you about their play and may begin running their own commentary.

These are just a few ideas you can implement to encourage play. You don’t have to do them all, try a few and see if it makes a difference.

Happy playing!

Mum to one and Early Years Specialist, Claire Russell is founder of playHOORAY! and the designer of playPROMPTS activity cards designed to equip parents with realistic, fuss-free play ideas. For further information please visit www.playhooray.co.uk

ABC Magazine on Twitter

 Subscriptions

Annual ABC Subscriptions are available and make a lovely gift for new mums.

Subscribe Now

Where to get your free copy

The best place to pick up your free copy of ABC Magazine is via one of our advertisers who are listed in our Shopping & Services Directory.

Pick up locally

Alternatively, ABC Magazine is available to pick up from libraries, hospitals, baby clinics, playgroups, shops and selected supermarkets.

The local information magazine for parents

in print, online, plus free social media

Every issue of ABC Magazine is packed full of local information and practical parenting advice to help you find what you need and where to buy it, ideas on what to do and where to go, where to find this and that – all child related and child friendly!

Loads of articles, great competitions, true-life stories, health updates, all sorts of parenting advice, facts and figures, ideas to fill your days and masses of useful practical parenting tips to help put you on the right road for early parenthood.

ABC Magazine covers all manner of child-related issues and parenting advice as well as subjects such as Health & Beauty, Diet & Fitness and Fashion & Interiors.

Local editions

ABC  publishes two editions in the UK – Sussex and Surrey

Join in

 Have you got a story to share with ABC readers? We would love to hear from you…

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter 

Published three times a year

Each edition of ABC Magazine is published three times a year, out and about on 1st of March, July and November

ABC is available to pick up FREE via local hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, baby clinics, libraries, shops, schools, activity classes, playgroups, selected supermarkets and the majority of our advertisers.

 is FREE

and will remain so as long as advertisers are aware of the magazine that local parents read!

Please mention ABC when replying to adverts, give copies to your friends, and help to spread the word!

 Read the current edition online

ABC Magazine Sussex

ABC Magazine Surrey

 Testimonials

What our advertisers say about ABC Magazine

I am delighted to be advertising in ABC Magazine again, you are simply the most effective way to get all the bookings I can handle for my children's party company. ABC is 'the bible' for parents of small children and the most friendly and supportive company to do business with.

Pinkle’s Puppets07904 208135

ABC Magazine has proved to be the perfect place to advertise our Monkey Music classes. Parents know and trust the magazine and we have received a high number of enquiries through advertising in it.

Monkey Music01825 760970

Gymboree Play & Music consistently advertises with ABC Magazine in Sussex as we find it to be the most comprehensive and well-written magazine for families in the area. The readership is extensive and we find that parents read each issue cover to cover.

Gymboree Play & Music 020 7258 1415

The only two forms of advertising I would highly recommend for a successful business are ABC Magazine and word of mouth!

Rox School of Dance & Drama01273 208513

Starting out as a new business this year it was really beneficial to receive lots of new customer enquiries after they saw our ad in ABC. We were so pleased with the response and the friendly service from the team that we have signed up for another ad this quarter with ABC!

Caterpillar Music 01375 859850

"I have had more enquiries this month than ever before! I will certainly be keeping the ad in for another year. Well done to you on the success of the mag.

Kingswood Specialist Cleaning 020 8405 9229

I've been really pleased with my advertising in ABC, and of course the opportunities for editorials. We would like to continue for another year. I've had some excellent feedback from my parents about the magazine and often from parents I show around the nursery.

Hopscotch Day Nursery 020 8770 0761