About First Playtime

It's all about the importance of play…

If you think about play being the work of childhood, it puts a new & fresh perspective on things…

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Inspired by the Pikler Approach, First Playtime classes are equipped with playthings that encourage free, self-initiated play. These playthings can be manipulated in different ways – stacked, sorted, rolled, banged – open to interpretation and the wonderful world of your child’s imagination.

And at a time when we’re easily overwhelmed with information and technology almost everywhere we look, First Playtime Classes provide you with time and space to sit back and really enjoy that oh-so-fleeting period of your child making sense of themselves and their surroundings.

The experienced Class Leader helps parents learn how to support their children’s play and learning whilst respecting their autonomy. Questions about behaviour, play and gross motor development can be brought and discussed within the class. Deeper discussion and exploration is offered in adult-only workshops.


I’m Rachel Tapping, and I’ve been running parent-child groups since June 2006. I began with a group in Newbury, West Berks, sharing the job with a colleague.

My inspiration to begin was the invaluable experience of attending parent-child groups at Alder Bridge School with my three children over a period of about eight years. When the call came for new group leaders, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give something back.

I completed the First Three Years course, a series of workshops designed for Steiner-Waldorf parent & child group leaders, child-minders and parents. The workshops covered all areas of working in this way, including child development, biography and song.

I’ve also been privileged to attend the first Basic and Practice Guidance Level Pikler Training held in the UK, with colleagues from around the country. This served as deeper inspiration, leading to the start of a new model of groups focusing on the work of Dr Emmi Pikler. First Playtime Classes are a first step towards sharing this work as widely as possible, both in the home and beyond it.  

If you'd like to read more about how the classes work in practice, visit the Classes page and take a look at my Blog posts. And if you have any questions, try my Frequently Asked Questions first then head over to the Contact Page if you’d like to know more.

If you would like to arrange a visit, please click HERE to book your FREE taster session.

The group is the highlight of my week, how often in our busy lives as parents do we have an opportunity to sit back and observe our children. I have learnt a huge amount from Rachel and other parents in the group and believe I am a more thoughtful parent as a result.