On Wednesday 3 February at 10:00, the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Read Manchester will be going live via Zoom to host a digital family day.

This digital family day is going to be introduced and headed by children’s author and illustrator, Nick Sharratt. Sharratt’s popular book The Whales on the Bus (written by Katrina Charman, illustrated by Nick Sharratt and published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books) will be used as a recurring theme throughout the day.

The session will be going live via Zoom, from 10:00 to 12:30 and is primarily aimed at parents, carers and early years’ settings with children aged 0-5. However, the invite is extended to all families who are welcome to dip in and out of the activities. All activities will be based on the themes of chat, play, read and sing and are designed for parents and carers to be able to follow along, in the comfort of their homes.

In Manchester, Jessica Eddlestone from the National Literacy Trust will be joining in the fun, using paint to create sea creatures and melting ice in a messy play session. Together with Martyn in Middlesbrough, a further seven areas across the country will be joining in the session, alongside local figures including ‘Martyn the Music Man’ in Middlesbrough, Lisa Clissett from Peterborough Reads and Claire Kelly from The Institute of Wellbeing (Croydon).

The digital family day is forming part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign, which is funded by the Department for Education and supported by the National Literacy Trust. This campaign provides families of children under five with lots of simple and fun activities to easily slot into their daily routines whilst building their child’s speech and language skills at home.

Ella Burns, Senior Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said:

“We are really looking forward to hosting this exciting day of interactive family fun, coming to you from all areas of the country. From a draw-a-long with Nick Sharratt to singing, stories and messy play, there should be something for everyone with young children to enjoy.”

Jessica Eddlestone, Hungry Little Minds Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said:

“We are really excited about running some lovely sessions for families, which are particularly needed in these difficult times when so many other activity opportunities outside of the home are not available. The session is inspired by the wonderful work Manchester Art Gallery has done with Hungry Little Minds, using materials and objects that are natural or found around the home to provide children with interactive messy play sessions that encourage investigation and exploration.”

A full schedule of the digital family day will be available on the National Literacy Trust’s Facebook page, but for now all families, carers and early years’ settings who would like to join the session please email Rebecca James: Rebecca.James@literacytrust.org.uk

For more information on the Hungry Little Minds campaign delivery in Manchester please visit: (Read Manchester | National Literacy Trust)

For more simple tips and activities that parents can do to support their children’s literacy at home, visit the national Hungry Little Minds website (https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/) or the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website (https://wordsforlife.org.uk/).