Playbus tour offers free tips and advice

Parents can find out about new free or low-cost activities they can enjoy with their children.

Parents can find out about new free or low-cost activities they can enjoy with their children.

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Local parents and children are being invited and encouraged to jump on board the free PlayTalkRead bus ‘Benji’ as it visits Angus this week.

Designed as a free drop-in playground, Benji offers parents and carers a fun and relaxed environment to pick up exciting new ideas and tips to play, talk and read more with their children, all of which will help to make a positive difference to their health and happiness.

On board can be found all types of fun to enjoy, from interactive storytelling, song and rhyme sessions to easy craft activities, while the qualified and experienced play leaders will showcase a variety of low-cost or free activities to enjoy at home.

The tour has been organised as part of the Scottish Government’s Early Years (0-3) initiative, PlayTalkRead.

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, said: “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.

“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.

Last year more than 27,000 people visited the PlayTalkRead buses as they went to 10 per cent more venues than in 2014. Of those who visited the buses, 77 per cent were introduced to new methods of playing, talking and reading with their children and 83 per cent did something different following a visit to the bus.

The PlayTalkRead bus will be at the Academy Medical Centre, Academy Street, Forfar today (Wednesday) from 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm; Lidl, Commerce Street, Brechin tomorrow (Thursday) from 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm and the Links Health Centre, Frank Wood Way, Montrose on Friday at the same times.