If you’re a parent, a school teacher/assistant, a caregiver, a childminder etc to a child with additional learning needs (ALN), you will know that their playing methods are different. 

Different playing methods needs different playing approaches and environment. 

At Dre Twt we pride ourselves in offering inclusive playing opportunities for children with additional learning needs.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of play in supporting children with additional learning needs and how it can have a positive impact on their development.

Let’s take a look at the power of play

I think we all know how important it is for children to play – it’s essential for their development. 

Playing promotes:

  • Creativity;
  • Imagination;
  • Social skills;
  • Cognitive ability;
  • Communication skills & techniques; and
  • Emotional well-being

And this is just a small list of the benefits of play!  

For children with ALN, playing means so much more! 

Play provides a safe and inclusive environment where they can explore, experiment, and develop at their own pace. 


Play for children with additional needs

We understand that play may be a bit trickier to access, for various reasons. 

For example, if your child is sensitive to noise, playing in a busy environment would be extremely over-stimulating; an unpleasant experience for both you and your child.  

We take factors like this into consideration when planning playing sessions for children with ALN. 

You may wish to speak to us before a play session so we can make the necessary changes, such as removing certain toys/materials, making sure there is wheelchair access.

During each ALN session, we open up a break-out room upstairs, don’t use anything loud such as the coffee machine, and reduce the number of children & adults that can visit the setting. 

If you would like to book an ALN session at Dre Twt, please message or call us on 

01994 232115  info@dretwt.co.uk 

Learning & developing though play

Our goal is to promote play in a fun and stimulating way, where children with additional learning needs enjoy playing, whilst also promoting development and learning.

A lot of people may overlook all the learning opportunities that take place while a child is playing. 

We thought we’d take a closer look at some of our areas at Dre Twt, provide an example of play and what the learning opportunity and outcome that takes place as a result of play. 


Area Playing element Learning taking place
Rees and Beynon Limited (Construction) Building a wall with the foam bricks.

– developing gross motor skills and coordination in movement


– sensory sensation from feeling the foam bricks


– cause & effect if/when the wall falls down

Caffi Rhys Placing ice cubes in a cup when making a drink.

– developing fine motor skills and coordination in picking up the smaller cubes and placing into the cup


– language development with words such as ice, cup, drink


– math exploration by identifying the shape of a cube


– science exploration by having a conversation about how ice is made (this is a fantastic opportunity to extend learning & play at home by looking at real ice cubes) 

TWTSCO Adding food into the trolley and pushing it around the shop.

– balancing from walking and pushing the trolley 


– cognitive thinking and problem solving from letting go of the trolly to pick up an item of food, and placing it into the trolley


– money skills from ‘buying’ the shopping 

These are a small handful of examples of how play translates into learning experiences. 


How we support parents & children with ALN

At Dre Twt we welcome ideas, thoughts and suggestions from parents and caregivers/childminders that allow us to continue to provide play opportunities for children with additional needs. 

Both Nia and Gaynor have worked across the country in childcare settings, schools, local authorities and healthcare. With our wealth of knowledge, understanding and ongoing training, we can signpost parents to the correct organisations if they require some support and assistance. 

Gaynor is a qualified Occupational therapist, specialising in neurological conditions, and has links to healthcare professionals such as speech and language therapists. She is more than happy to have an informal discussion about any generalised concerns you may have. 


As you can see, play is a powerful tool in supporting children with additional learning needs. 

By making sure our play area is accessible to all children, regardless of abilities, disabilities, triggers, impairments etc, together we can allow everyone to have the experience and opportunities to play and develop.


If you would like more information on our ALN play sessions, please contact us.