Youth and Play


Case Study: Kayden's Story

Kayden is 4 years old and had been living in temporary accommodation for approximately 6 months with his mother.  Kayden’s mother had a second child at the end of December and Kayden is now a big brother.  Before moving into temporary accommodation Kayden was living with his mother in private rented accommodation until they were unable to pay the rent, which resulted in the family moving into a hostel. 

Kayden has attended the play sessions held by Groundwork since he moved into the hostel approximately 6 months ago.  When first interacting with Kayden it was clear that Kayden did not understand the concept of sharing, Kayden found it difficult to interact with children of his own age and instead preferred to either play on his own or with the workers.  Kayden’s mother also noted that Kayden found it difficult to play with children his own age and preferred to play with children older than him even though he could not always fully take part as he was too young.  Kayden was also prone to having temper tantrums when he was not able to do exactly what he wanted.

Small child playingKayden has been consistently present at the play sessions provided by Groundwork within the hostel.  Over the course of many sessions we have worked with Kayden around sharing and turn taking, and Kayden is now more accepting that when playing with other children he must share.  A particular example of this was when Kayden brought down some of his own toys to the session and then happily shared his toys with the other children at the session. 

Simultaneously we have worked with Kayden and his mum towards structuring his daily routine.  This was done by supporting his mum to identify and implement changes, and in particular to support her around changes to his bedtime, even though at times she felt it would be easier to give in.  We also supported her in creating a rewards chart for Kayden to encourage him to listen to his mother’s wishes surrounding bedtime. 

Through working with Kayden in the play activities Kayden has learnt how to better interact with children of his own age, which was achieved by encouraging Kayden to interact and join in with the activities with other children of his own age.  We have also worked with Kayden’s mother to reduce the amount of temper tantrums that he has.  We have helped his mum to avoid ‘giving in’ to Kayden’s tantrums and to ‘ride out the storm’.

Kayden and his mother have now moved out of the hostel and into permanent accommodation, and Kayden has been offered a permanent place at school within the new area that he is living and will begin soon.  Kayden and his mother have since been back to the session to visit and Kayden mother has stated that she is still using the rewards system for Kayden’s bedtimes and the amount of temper tantrums has continued to decrease.  Similarly, Kayden’s mother has expressed that Kayden’s behaviour has become a lot easier to manage and that she will continue to use the systems that we helped her to set in place.


Groundwork Greater Nottingham is the trading name of the Greater Nottingham Groundwork Trust Ltd, a charity registered in England and Wales; number 1003426.


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