We are launching 12 new bespoke story trails across the country for children aged 2-5

25 Jun 2021
Story trails picture

We are delighted to unveil 12 brand new story trails in local parks across the country for families, carers and early years settings with children aged 2-5, as part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign.

The Hungry Little Minds story trails will launch the week beginning Monday 5 July with exclusive events for local parents and carers aged 2-5 (complying with all COVID-19 guidance and guidelines). Children will be able to follow an exciting story trail - bespoke to their local area - and hear from special guests including Patrick Hutchinson in Croydon, theatre groups in Scarborough, and magicians and a story teller in Swindon.

Upon arrival each family or early years setting will receive a story trail booklet including a beautiful story written by children’s author Rebecca Lewis-Oakes and brought to life with eye-catching illustrations by Aaron Cushley, which will help create an immersive experience for little ones aged 2-5.

After the launch week, the story trails will be available to all families, carers and early years settings in the areas. More information of the launches and location of the booklets are included below.

The story trail launches form part of Hungry Little Minds, which is funded by the Department for Education and supported by us. The campaign provides families of children under 5 with simple and fun activities to slot into their daily routines, while building their child’s speech and language skills at home.

Research shows that the majority of literacy problems experienced in adulthood can be traced back to the early years. Children who have poor language skills at the age of five are six times more likely to fail to reach the expected standard in English at age 11, three times more likely to experience mental health problems as adults, and twice as likely to be unemployed aged 34. Find out more about our research on the role of literacy in combatting social exclusion.

Rebecca Lewis Oakes, children’s author and writer of the Hungry Little Minds story trails, said:

“I’m thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust and Hungry Little Minds local partners on this exciting project. I hope that my words and Aaron Cushley’s joyful illustrations inspire families to get outside and explore their local parks, while gently encouraging them chat, play and read together and improve their children’s learning. I cannot wait to see the little ones’ reactions as they make their way around the magical trails!”

*All story trails have been risk assessed and are in line with the Government guidance and guidelines for COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding the story trails, please contact Campaigns Manager, Rebecca James.

Story trail locations and local partners

Birmingham

Cannon Hill Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Birmingham Stories, partnered with West Smethwick Enterprise. Facebook page: @BhamStories

Black Country

Sandwell Valley Country Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust, partnered with West Smethwick Enterprise. Facebook page: @HungryLittleMindsBlackCountry

Cornwall

Tehidy Country Park, delivered by the Early Years Alliance. Facebook page: @EYAlliancesouthwest

Croydon

Sanderstead Park, delivered by the Institute of Wellbeing. Facebook page: @iWellbeing

Doncaster

Doncaster Lake Side, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Doncaster Stories, partnered with Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Talking Together. Facebook page: @DoncasterStories

Manchester

Platt Fields Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Read Manchester, partnered with Manchester City Council and Manchester Adult Education. Facebook page: @ReadManchester

Middlesbrough

Albert Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Middlesbrough Reads, partnering with School Readiness. Facebook page: @BoroReads

Newcastle

Leazes Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Read North East, partnering with Urban Green. Facebook page: @HungryLittleMindsNorthEast

North Yorkshire Coast

St Mary’s Church, delivered by Coast and Vale Community Action. Facebook page: @HungryLittleMindsNorthYorkshireCoast

Peterborough

Peterborough Central Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust, partnered with Peterborough Reads. Facebook page: @PeterboroughReads

Swindon

Coate Water Country Park, delivered by the National Literacy Trust with Swindon Stories, partnered with Swindon Libraries and Swindon Borough Council. Facebook page: @SwindonStories

The Wirral

Birkenhead Park, delivered by the Foundation Years Trust, partnering with Wirral Council, Koala North West and Wirral Unplugged. Facebook page: @FoundationYearsTrust