A Dorset charity has come up with simple suggestions for things parents can do at home with their babies while they can't attend baby and toddler groups under lockdown.

DorPIP helps nurture family bonds and is suggesting things parents can do to help promote their child's development.

Viv Allen, who founded the charity in 2017, said: "We’re offering free counselling sessions online.

"And as the lockdown continues, we’re beginning to see more and more parents taking us up on this. But we’re keen to also offer practical tips and advice, helping all parents get through this stressful period."

Here are five of DorPIP’s favourite activities:


Sing and talk to your child using exaggerated tones of voice. Watch your little one’s facial expressions and see how they react to different pitches. This supports the development of their language.


While your baby is lying on their back, hold a soft toy in front of their face and, if needed, wiggle it slowly or gently touch them with it to get their attention. Then move the toy from side to side and encourage them to follow along with their eyes. This activity will support their visual development and visual tracking skills.


Put on one of your favourite songs and, while holding your baby securely to your chest, gently move around together in time to the music. This will help develop your little one’s listening skills and encourages an interest in music. It’s also a lovely way to strengthen the bond between you and your baby, which is important for emotional development.


Next time your little one is having a meltdown or resisting a nap, sing them a lullaby in a soothing voice. This promotes the development of listening skills and will also help your baby regulate their emotions.


Show your baby their reflection in the mirror and ask them, "Who is that?" Repeat with your own reflection and a sibling's or a stuffed animal's. This little activity can help with multiple development factors including, visual, social, and emotional development.

DorPIP was established to work with mothers-to-be and parents who feel lost, lonely or just plain exhausted.

Viv said: "These feelings are going to be particularly acute at the moment. As a mother who had to navigate her own way out of the fog, I know how difficult those early days can be and am determined to make sure no one else has to go through it alone. This is why we’re offering the free counselling, have plenty of tips on our website and facilitate on-line groups where parents can talk to each other."

For more information go to dorpip.org.uk