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Play Programmes


Little Explorers is a play programme that encourages children to explore the world around them, through participation in a variety of activities both indoors and outdoors. Children will engage in messy play, story sack activities, outdoor walks, gardening activities, fun at the park, playdough making and cookery sessions. The programme uses lots of low-cost resources so that parents can extend their children’s learning from play at the group, to the home environment. The group is aimed for 2-4 year olds, but younger children are welcome to come along with their siblings.

Newry Sure Start’s Multi-Sensory Room can be both a relaxing or stimulating space, specifically designed to promote children’s learning and development through their senses. The Room has a wide range of lights, bubble tubes, music, textures and smells that will promote brain development and growth. Our sensory worker will facilitate a planned programme of activities that will ensure fun and learning, go hand in hand for parents and children who attend these sessions. There are two groups; one for babies and one for toddlers.



Our Parent and Toddler Group provides a warm welcoming, stimulating and safe environment, where all parents and children can relax, feel valued and supported, while having fun and playing together. It offers an opportunity for parents to meet with other adults within the community and enjoy a cup of tea and a chat. Children can interact with peers and form friendships; while developing social, physical and creative skills. Experienced staff are available to offer advice and signposting to a variety of other services, that will benefit the health and wellbeing of the whole family. The group is suitable for children 0-3 years old

The Saturday Play Den offers a variety of themed play experiences for children and parents to participate in, at the weekend. This group particularly welcomes Dads and Mums who are unable to attend our services during the week. The activities that we promote at this group, aims to develop children’s natural curiosity and creativity, whilst offering parents ideas on how to provide quality play experiences that will benefit their child’s learning and development, that can be easily repeated at home. The group is suitable for 0-4 year olds and is located in Newry Early Years Centre.


Rhyme Time is a fun and interactive session for parents and children to enjoy together. Join in singing, finger and action songs, help ‘Dotty’ our puppet to find rhyme props in her bag and participate in playing musical instruments, using our parachute and popping bubbles throughout the session. All of this will help to develop your child’s speech, language and communication skills as well as promote their social, emotional and cognitive development.

Little Blossoms is a 6-week programme that aims to support parents of children with developmental delay, through information sharing, peer support and professional advice. Each week will have a topic and a speaker, who will offer knowledge, support and advice within their professional specific area of expertise. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions and air anxieties that they may have, around their child’s needs with others in the group.


Kids cookery offers children the opportunity to develop independence and confi-dence, through making their own healthy snack. It also provides parents with ideas for simple healthy snacks, that can be made easily again at home. This class encourages children to prepare, cut, mix, wash, add, stir and eat simple snacks! It also assists with learning about personal development and simple food hygiene.
Little strollers is a walking group for adults who care for young children. The adults get the opportunity to get physical exercise, while pushing the pram/buggy. Children also benefit from getting out in the fresh air and seeing the world around them. Walking also aids mental wellbeing and gives us an op-portunity to chat to others, while getting fit and healthy!!! Occasional songs and rhymes may be sung along the way.

Toddler bootcamp is a 4-week physical activity programme that is suitable for children aged 18mths – 2.5 yrs. Each session encourages early movement skills. It involves simple fun activities to encourage young children to develop their muscle strength, special awareness, balance and coordination. Involving music, balls, parachute, balance beam, soft play area, slide, trampoline, games and much more, this is a fun way to develop physical confidence and competence.

Who You'll Find Here

Karen Sands

Team Leader

Sarah McAteer

Play Development Assistant

Katrina Monaghan

Play Development Worker

Thelma Donnan

Play Development Worker

Ciara Millar

Play Development Assistant

Florentyna Kulinska

Creative Development Worker

See other programmes and services Newry Sure Start offer. 

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