A brand new story trail from the National Literacy Trust and Hungry Little Minds in Swindon is launching at Coate Water Country Park, in partnership with Swindon Stories and Swindon Borough Council. The story trail, which is part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign, officially opens on Friday 9 July at 14:00 for families of children aged 2-5.
The trail is based on a bespoke story about shipwrecks and swans in the local park written by children’s author Rebecca Lewis-Oakes and illustrated by Aaron Cushley. It will lead families around the park as they follow the adventures of Uncle Josh, Mia, Kai and their dog Scruffy. This brand new immersive experience will aid children’s language and literacy development as they fill out their booklet while following the story around the park.
Families, carers, guardians and early years settings are invited to the special launch of the story trail on Friday 9 July at 14:00, where international storyteller John Row will start them off on the adventure around the park. There will also be an opportunity to see a magical magician, however this is based on a first come, first serve basis. The first 50 families who attend will also receive a free refreshment voucher of up to £2.00 to use at the Coate Water café.
The Hungry Little Minds team in Swindon is following Government guidelines to ensure that the event is COVID-19 safe and so there are a limited number of spaces. To book, register via Eventbrite:
Session one: Friday 9 July, 14:00 – 14:45
Session two: Friday 9 July, 15:14 – 16:00
Following the event, the story trail booklet will be available to pick up from Coate Water café. All parents and carers with little ones aged 2-5 are encouraged to pick up a booklet, enjoy the story of the unicorns and monsters and help develop their children’s literacy and learning skills along the way!
The launch in Swindon is one of 12 story trails launching across the country as part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign, funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the National Literacy Trust. The campaign provides families of children under five with lots of simple and fun activities to easily slot into their daily routines whilst building their child’s speech and language skills at home.
Rebecca Lewis-Oakes, Children’s Author and writer of the Hungry Little Minds Story Trails, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust and local partners in Swindon on this project. It has been a pleasure to discover so many beautiful parks across the country and view them through the exuberant imagination of pre-schoolers. I hope this Hungry Little Minds story trail encourages families to explore and enjoy Coate Water park, with a gentle underlying prompt toward those key Early Years learning concepts. I look forward to seeing the little one’s reactions as they make their way around the magical trail!”
Lynn Turner, Parent Support and Engagement Manager at Swindon Borough Council, said:
“We hope that this event will help fuel the curiosity and imagination of the children in Swindon and allow them to enjoy an outdoor activity with their families and carers. Coate Water is a fantastic area for exploring nature and keeping active. To be able to incorporate this into a story is amazing and such a great opportunity for supporting those early language and communication skills.”
Anish Harrison, Swindon Stories Hub Manager, said:
“We are thrilled to be putting on this story trail for families across Swindon. I am passionate about connecting the community with the beautiful Swindon landscape and with words – what better way to do that, than a story about Coate Water! We hope that families in Swindon will enjoy the beautiful surroundings of such an iconic park, whilst sharing magical stories together.”
For more details on the Story Trail visit the Swindon Stories Facebook page.