A new project aimed at giving children the best start in life has launched in Calderdale.
’50 things to do before you’re five’ suggests 50 activities parents and carers can do with children before they turn five, all chosen by childcare specialists to help boost development.
The campaign launched in Calderdale at Eureka! the National Children’s Museum, in Halifax, coinciding with National Play Day – the theme for this year being ‘play builds children’.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift, said: “A child’s development starts long before they reach school and the first 1000 days of life is the most important development time for a person’s future health and wellbeing.
“The ’50 things to do before you’re five’ project helps parents share everyday experiences with their children that will support their child to be school ready.
“It’s especially exciting that we’ve recruited volunteer parents with their young babies to take part in our Vision2024 Babies project. This will allow us to see the ’50 things’ in action, following families on their journey using the app and seeing the progress of the children over the next five years, culminating with them starting school in 2024.”
At the event, Calderdale Council’s Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham and colleagues from public health and primary care spoke about the importance of child development and how this aligns with Calderdale’s Vision2024 project.
To support this idea, Mr Tuddenham also introduced the Vision2024 Babies, an exciting project in which Calderdale babies under 12 months will be taking part in the ‘50 things’ activities.
Their experiences will then be shared over the next five years in the run up to them starting school in the year 2024.
Other speakers at the event included Holly Lynch MP; Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher and Dr Caroline Taylor, GP at Beechwood Medical Centre and Children and Young People’s lead for Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group.
’50 things’ activity guides are available as an app on both iPhone and Android devices and a poster version will be given out to parents/carers at the health visiting service’s two year check.
The app is available in several regions across West Yorkshire and families have the opportunity to choose their local area in order to access bespoke activities and suggestions.
Activities in Calderdale include visits to local parks, museums, the Piece Hall and the borough’s distinctive countryside.
Parents are also encouraged to join their children in simple, home-based fun ideas, including making music, blowing bubbles, sharing books, dressing up, making tasty meals together and much more.