Get your little ones school-ready with free chat, play and read activities

04 Aug 2020
Hungry Little Minds chat play read North East

This summer, families with young children (aged 0-5) in the North East are being given free access to a series of simple, fun and engaging literacy activities that will help give their children the best start in life, thanks to our partnership with Hungry Little Minds.

The North East is home to some of the most serious literacy problems in the country and, last year, 1 in 4 (27%) five-year-olds in the region started primary school without the literacy skills they need to learn and flourish, rising to 4 in 10 (40%) disadvantaged children.

To better equip local children with the literacy skills they need for starting school, Read North East has joined forces with the Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds campaign to encourage families to chat, play and read together throughout the summer.

A summer of chat, play, read includes exciting activities that, when done at home, can have a positive impact on children’s early literacy skills; including storytelling videos with leading children’s authors, tips to help children express their emotions, school readiness activities and milestone indicators.

Starting with Chatting chums, activities are being released on the Read North East website every Monday for the next three weeks. Additional activities and tips for caregivers will also be shared on the Read North East Facebook page throughout the summer and beyond.

Anne Goodall, Hungry Little Minds Community Organiser, said: “These summer activities are all about showing parents that helping their child learn doesn’t have to take lots of time or money. Activities that they already do together can be used to make a difference – whether it’s introducing new words while out and about, chatting about the pictures in books or scribbling and mark-making which are the building blocks for writing.”

James Kingett, Programme Manager for Read North East, said: “This partnership could make a really positive difference for young children in the North East as the first five years of a child’s life are formative. Children who start school with poor literacy skills will struggle to catch-up later on and having access to advice and support, as well as things like free books and resources, from an early age can make all the difference.”