Every picture tells a story

Story time with play worker Lyndsey Mullen
Story time with play worker Lyndsey Mullen

Benji and Bessie rolled into Motherwell and Bellshill last week as part of a drive to encourage the development of children aged three and under.

Benji and Bessie are two buses which form part of the Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead initiative.

Designed as a free drop in playground, the buses offer parents and carers a fun and relaxed environment to pick up exciting new ideas and tips to play, talk and read more with their little ones.

The aim is to make a positive difference to their health and happiness by incorporating playing, talking and reading within their daily routines.

The campaign rolled into North Lanarkshire with Lidl, Braidhurst High School and Forgewood Family Learning Centre in Motherwell and Bellshill Family Learning Centre among the bus stops.

On board, parents and carers were able to enjoy all types of fun from interactive storytelling, song and rhyme sessions to easy craft activities.

Qualified and experienced play leaders also showcased low-cost or free activities that can fit into parents’ daily routines.

Fiona McLeod, acting Minister for Children and Young People, said: “Playing, talking and reading is all about enjoying time together with your wee one from day one.

“It can give them a better start in life and make a positive difference to their health and happiness in the future. It also helps little ones learn to play for longer and therefore they become less frustrated, which means less stress for them and you.”

The PlayTalkRead roadshow will visit every local authority in Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Early Years campaign. For more information visit www.playtalkread.org.

For more photos see this week’s Motherwell Times or Bellshill Speaker.