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Welcome to the Carly Budd
Developmental Play Academy®

The online educational platform for professionals who are passionate about providing time and space for babies and children to move, explore and play, whilst educating and empowering parents and caregivers to bring more play home.


Never is the brain more susceptible to interactions and environments as they are in the first 1001 days of life (conception to age 2).  This period and during the preschool years is a critical window for brain development that sets the foundations for lifelong emotional and physical wellbeing. Mountains of evidence confirms that movement, exploration and play are essential brain building activities and supportive to all areas of child development that contribute to the cognitive, physical, sensory, social, and emotional skills of children with life long impact.

As a Children's Occupational Therapist I view play as a core occupation of children that is essential for developing a vast array of sensory, cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills. It is my mission to raise awareness about the importance of play and movement, a variety of positions for play and gentle multi-sensory play experiences from birth; it is these experiences that provide the platform to what it means to be human >>

I believe that in order to provide developmentally appropriate and safe play spaces we must first nurture the nervous systems of little ones, honouring the need for co-regulation, sensory regulation and emotional safety. I believe that by sharing the power of play for building brains and nurturing nervous systems we can promote playful relationships with caregivers, fostering a sense of belonging, connection, confidence, and hope. In doing so we also provide those vital opportunities for little ones to move, explore, get curious and learn.


My goal is to guide and support other professionals to enhance childhood developmental outcomes by providing both theory and practical learning on the importance of play, playful interactions, positions for play such as Tummy Time, developmentally appropriate sensory baby and toddler play - what I refer to as Developmental Play.


The Carly Budd Developmental Play Academy is for you if you are a service-led, play loving person who wants to up-skill your knowledge, up-level your confidence with accredited training. It is for you if you are someone who wants to do more in our society to provide play rich environments, whilst providing education for parents and caregivers to bring more play home. It is for people who care deeply for ALL children and seek to find a more socially conscious, responsive, loving and nurturing way to support parents and their children through developmental play.


My practitioners include those in Paediatric or Perinatal services and Therapeutic settings both NHS and Independent, those in Early Years Provisions, or with Early Year backgrounds, those in Home Education Communities and those in the Parent and Baby / Toddler group sector. 


Whether you are new to this area, or you are ready to take your knowledge to a new level, you have found yourself in the right place to access evidence based accredited training with Carly Budd, a UK registered Health Professional and Occupational Therapist. 

Join the worldwide community of over 350 play practitioners sharing the power of Love and Play for Building Brains.

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The truth is that play seems to be one of the most advanced methods nature has invented to allow a complex brain to create itself.”

Dr Stuart Brown

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"If you’re on the fence about whether you should take the plunge and invest in Carly's training, just do it - you won’t regret it and it will 100% enhance your practice"

Gillian - Early Years Specialist

More About Me

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I'm Carly the founder of the Developmental Play Academy. I am a Mummy to two and a registered Paediatric Occupational Therapist (OT). I am so pleased you are here, and would love to teach you more about play.


Play is the occupation of children; it is my dream that I share my knowledge and teach others how to use play as a way to support the growth of our smallest people, our babies and children. My mission is to share Love & Play for Building Brains by teaching Therapists and Practitioners ways to promote loving parent-infant interactions and more play into every child's life. 

I am so proud of the developmental play opportunities my practitioners go on to provide in their therapy sessions, baby and toddler classes, and family led services whilst empowering the parents they reach to bring more play home.

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