Boosting a tot’s brain is child’s play

FAMILIES in the Borders have been urged to take part in the Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead campaign.

A consortium of leading charities has put itself behind the Holyrood initiative which has the motto: “30 things to do before you’re three”.

A Holyrood spokesman commented: “Most people have fond memories of singing nursery rhymes, playing games or reading favourite books from childhood, but many are unaware that these fun moments with mum or dad played an important role in making us who we are.

“That’s why PlayTalkRead has launched a list of ‘must-do’s’ for nought-to-three-year-olds to encourage mums and dads to have fun with their tots from day one.

“From jumping in puddles and pulling silly faces in the mirror to feeding the ducks in the park, 30 Things to do Before You’re Three is a list of simple fun for little ones.

“The list was produced because the early years provide a golden opportunity for mums and dads to play, talk and read with their kids more often and give them the best start in life.”

The spokesman went on: “Evidence has shown that during the first three years, 75 per cent of brain growth is complete and an estimated 50 per cent of our language is in place. So mums and dads are encouraged to dive in now and start ticking off their tot’s list of unmissable PlayTalkRead experiences.”

Parenting Across Scotland, a partnership of high-profile charities which offer support to parents and families, is getting behind the campaign.

Project manager Clare Simpson commented: “The good news for mums and dads is you don’t have to wait until your kids are bigger to do fun things together. There are lots of opportunities to get out there and have simple fun every day and for little cost. So make the most of this time while you can.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said: “We must never underestimate the power of play and its crucial role in the development of our wee ones. Our ‘30 things to do before you’re three’ checklist offers some wonderful ideas for inexpensive, fun-packed play. I’ll certainly be looking to try out many of the things on the list with my own wee boy.”

To download the 30 things to do , visit www.playtalkread.org