- About Us
Sensory play is the gateway to all learning yet is often neglected in our plastic dominated world. Founded in 2007, it’s Play to Z’s mission to remedy this imbalance by providing quality multi-award winning sensory resources for babies and children, as well as award winning training, consultancy and Play Therapy services. Sensory exploration is essential for developing a child’s growing body and brain, and through our resources, training, Play Therapy, research and published books, we strongly believe we are helping to spread the word about the wonders of sensory play.
Recognised as The Sensory Play Company, our products are widely praised for their unmistakable quality and design, the result of careful research, observations and extensive testing. Quality, lasting play and learning potential are an essential part of our resources and many are inspired by watching children, the experts, playing.
Parents and practitioners can be confident that they are giving children the best start in life with our fun and engaging resources which effortlessly support the early learning curriculum while keeping safety paramount. Watch play with any of our captivating sensory-rich resources and be amazed by children’s concentration, problem solving, creativity and imagination. With something to suit all budgets, we also offer a Treasure Trove of unique objects to add interest to your own collection or for use independently as well as Masterclasses and open warehouse shopping events to inspire and educate the senses. We pride ourselves on the functional yet beautiful specialist SEN equipment that we design and provide for children with extra special needs.
So much more than a resource provider, award winning trainer, author and founder Sue Gascoyne is recognised as a sensory play specialist. As well as Sue’s acclaimed training courses and books you can now benefit from her pearls of wisdom in our exciting new Masterclasses – bitesize sessions with an emphasis upon practical ideas, to get practitioners and parents making the most from sensory play.
A qualified Creative Arts and Play Therapist Sue can also be commissioned to provide a Play Therapy service in schools, organisations and for private clients, as well as play therapy products, simply click here for more information.
Environmental and Ethical Values
Environmental and ethical values are central to our ethos with all our fabric resources made in the UK.
We are proud to work in partnership with a number of UK Centres for adults with learning difficulties and physical difficulties sourcing our gorgeous handmade resources from them for our Treasure Baskets, Collections and Stacking Hoops. Not only does this nurture and value their talents, we know it provides them with job satisfaction and confidence too. When you buy a Play to Z toy or product not only are you investing in a quality resource, packed with play potential but you are also supporting a wealth of great causes. Every knitted teddy, purse and ball, handmade hoop, lavender bag and pottery pebble is a unique work of art which will bring awe and wonder to a children. Where we do source from wider afield, we select products made by Fair Trade organisations and community projects to add intrigue and excitement, while supporting good causes.
At Play to Z we’re passionate about safety without compromising play value and are delighted to offer the only toy safety tested (EN71) Treasure baskets and natural sensory resources in the UK, possibly the world! This means that items have been carefully selected and extensively tested to offer you maximum play value and peace of mind.
Award Winning Resources
Play to Z offers four multi award winning product ranges, great for children across the ages.
- Sensory Bambini features delightfully charming essentials for babies and nurseries
- Playscope includes our beautiful handmade Treasure Baskets, Top Up Sets, Playmats and Storymats
- Little Explorers incorporates our wonderful sensory-rich collections and Stacking Hoops, resources with a guaranteed wow factor
- Sensory Tales, fabulous and intriguing sets, our stories and carefully picked treasures and artefacts will foster a lifetime love of books
Our track record in winning awards year on year speaks for itself and we are really proud of our success, but don’t take our word for it, the best measure of our success is feedback from children and customers.
Research & Development
We enjoy developing and trialling products and love a challenge. With all the resources designed and made in the UK we’re happy to turn our hands to most things, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for just let us know.
Always keen to better understand how children play and learn we are proud to have launched a number of research projects, which have helped shape our resources and form the basis of several books. If you’d like to be involved in our latest research projects then contact us to find out more.
Meet the Team
As the world wide web shrinks the world we think its nice to know the people behind each business. If you have any queries, or would like to place an order, feel free to contact our small yet dynamic team, who will be only too happy to help you. Here at Play to Z we're a very small but dynamic team:
Name – Sue
Position - Founder and Creative Director
Founder, Creative Director and author Sue is passionate about children's play and sensory education. With two children, Play Therapy clients and a new book deadline it doesn’t leave Sue much time for mischief, but when she does she loves woodland or beach walks, getting messy with the children, watching Masterchef and chilling with a glass of wine.
Name - Gemma
Position - Fulfilment & Office Manager
Behind every leader is a person like Gemma that works magic on the website, fulfilment, social media, and all those important administrative tasks essential for businesses. Gemma has a young family, a medley of pets and a passion for making and decorating delicious show stopper cakes. Having tried more than a a few bakes the team can testify to them being ‘exceedingly good!’ She loves touching all the treasures and toys, especially her favourite the penguins.
Name - Fi
Position - Exhibition Sales
If you’ve ever visited us at an exhibition you’re likely to have met the lovely, bubbly and infinitely knowledgeable Fi. A qualified Physiotherapist and expert on all things sensory and physical, Fi knows our products inside out. Fi’s body is her temple and so healthy eating and living are her mantra. Just as well she’s not office based or she’d have Gemma’s tempting cakes to contend with!We have a fabulous team of staff who like nothing better than selling resources, answering questions and receiving your amazing feedback at exhibitions. We have a fabulous team of other staff who like nothing better than selling resources, answering questions and receiving your amazing feedback at exhibitions. Watch this space for where you can catch us next.
Name - Kevin
Position - Exhibition sales
Chatty and knowledgeable Kevin is a real asset to our exhibition team. Happy to help with enquiries, sharing his own sensory toy preferences and his insight into sensory equipment and dementia - the focus of his MA.
IT, Website and Accountancy support -
Thanks go to our dedicated team of IT and accountancy gurus whose work enables us to focus on priorities and continue to meet children's needs.
Ethical Centres – We're also incredibly proud to work with several UK Centres for adults with physical or learning disabilities that make the wooden, woollen and other amazing crafted treasures that really set our resources apart as being unique and made with love:
There’s Audrey and her team that makes the knitted and felt items which go into our treasure baskets and Stacking Hoops.
Andy and members at the Centre that cuts Loofah for our fab Sensory Bags and makes the wonderful wooden flower hoops on our award winning Stacking Hoops.
Peter and the gang that de-label, make batik for the gorgeous lavender bags and the amazing pottery pebbles, each unique.
Tune in soon for some new mug shots!
Our team of Testers - We’d also like to thank the host of children, parents and practitioners who perform an invaluable role in testing our sensory toys and equipment.