By playing, talking and reading with children more often, parents and carers can give them the best possible start in life and lay firm foundations for their children’s long-term learning, behaviour and life chances.
Parents and carers and their children are being invited to hop aboard the PlayTalkRead buses when they tour Scotland.
Called Benji and Bessie, the buses are designed as free playgrounds, packed with tips and tricks on how to play, talk and read more with children up to the age of three.
“As a mum of two young children, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to fit playing, talking and reading into your daily routine,” says Aileen Campbell, minister for children and young people.
“You don’t need lots of toys or expensive equipment to do it, it’s all about enjoying your time together and helping their brains grow.
“Being a parent is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever do and playing, talking and reading more with kids will give them the best start in life.”
The buses will be in Edinburgh during the week of January 11, in Midlothian during the week of January 18 and in East Lothian from January 25.
The organisers of the Play Talk Read campaign are calling on parents in Edinburgh and the Lothians to vote for their favourite activities in the area. All participants will be entered into a prize draw to win a box of prizes worth £250.
Some of the reasons why it is important to play, talk and read with children include:
○ It helps little brains grow. It can give children a better start in life and make a positive difference to their health and happiness.
○ It brings you and your children closer, which helps them become more sociable.
○ It can make your everyday life easier by turning your daily routine into activities you can share.
○ It is all about enjoying your time together. You don’t need lots of toys or extra equipment.
○ It helps children learn to play for longer.