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Watch Me Play!


Course overview

Explore the ‘Watch Me Play!’ approach with our Masterclass series, presented by Dr Jenifer Wakelyn. This accessible introduction is now available to watch on our Vimeo Video on Demand platform.

Over three hour-long Masterclasses, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Dr Wakelyn presents the fundamentals of the ‘Watch Me Play!’ method as well as its background in child development research and links to infant observation.



Course aims

Helpful in a wide range of contexts, ‘Watch Me Play!’ is a simple method for supporting babies, young children and their caregivers – promoting child-led play, individual attention from caregivers, and talking with children about their play in order to enhance relationships and create a better understanding of each child’s strengths and needs.

This Masterclass series introduces the ‘Watch Me Play!’ approach – summarising the method, exploring how to introduce the approach to caregivers and colleagues, and examining the research and principles which underpin its development and application. Over the course of each stand-alone Masterclass, you will gain an understanding of how the approach might be used to help parents and caregivers support their child’s development through play.

Find out more about ‘Watch Me Play!’ and training in this approach.


Course topics

  • The first Masterclass provides an introduction to ‘Watch Me Play!’ – outlining how practitioners can introduce and model the approach, and discussing a range of practical examples from mental health, social care and educational settings.


  • The second Masterclass explores the child development research which supports the ‘Watch Me Play!’ approach – including the benefits of child-led play, the nature and consequences of childhood adversities, and the need for flexible intervention.


  • The third Masterclass examines the roots of the ‘Watch Me Play!’ approach in infant observation, discussing the role and significance of ‘attention’ and the relevance of observation in perinatal, early years and social care practice.

Who is this course for?

This Masterclass series will be of interest to anyone who is curious about the subject, or is considering undertaking ‘Watch Me Play!’ training.

In particular, these Masterclasses are for you if you work with babies, young children and their families and wish to enhance your understanding or practice or are considering further training.

You may be working in:

  • A school, preschool or nursery
  • Social services
  • Healthcare
  • The voluntary sector
  • Perinatal, infant or child mental health
  • Or you may be considering work with babies/young children in the future.

Course requirements/assessment

There are no requirements for this Masterclass series, and there’s no assumption that you’ll have prior knowledge in this area.

There’s no assessment associated with this Masterclass series, just click the link and watch!


Course Timings

These Masterclasses originally took place live on Zoom between November 2020 and January 2021, but are now available to rent individually or as a bundle through our Vimeo Video on Demand platform.


Course facilitators

Dr Jenifer Wakelyn

Dr Jenifer Wakelyn

Dr Jenifer Wakelyn worked as an artist and in early years’ education before training in psychoanalytic child psychotherapy at the Tavistock Centre. Dr Wakelyn is lead child and adolescent psychotherapist in a mental health service for children in care in London, and has a special interest in therapeutic support for babies and young children in…


I have really enjoyed the Master Classes for 'Watch Me Play!'. They are easily accessible and very well organised. This enables you to fully immerse yourself in the world of 'Watch me Play' and to learn the different aspects of this intervention. I am certainly interested in using this approach in my work and am keen to learn more. I hope that there will be further masterclasses in the future.
Masterclass Participant

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