A brand new story trail from the National Literacy Trust is launching at the Platt Fields Park in Manchester. This forms part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign working in partnership with Read Manchester, Manchester City Council, Manchester Adult Education, Manchester Parks and Platt Field Park. The trail officially opens on 5 July at 10:00 for families of children 2-5.

The trail is based on a bespoke story about elves in the local park, written by children’s author Rebecca Lewis-Oakes and illustrated by Aaron Cushley. It will lead families around the park as they follow the adventures of Uncle Josh, Mia, Kai and their dog Scruffy. This brand new immersive experience will aid children’s language and literacy development as they fill out their booklet while following the story around the park.

Families, carers and guardians have been invited to the special launch of the story trail on Monday 5 July, with the first session starting at 10:00 and the second taking place at 13:00. Mary Clements, the park ranger for Platt Fields Park will start families and their children off on their adventure around the park. Alongside the story trail there will be elf making activities, an elf garden and all little ones will walk away with a free book from the Read Manchester Look for a Book partnership.

Following the event, the story trails booklet will be available at The Lakeside Centre. All parents and carers with little ones aged 2-5 are encouraged to pick up a booklet, enjoy the elf story trail and help develop the children’s literacy and learning skills along the way!

The launch in Manchester is one of 12 story trails launching across the country as part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign, funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the National Literacy Trust. The 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.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said:

“This story trail is yet another wonderful activity which bring learning to life in pre-school children in a fun and exciting way. There is also the added benefit of being in the great outdoors allowing children to be free as well as getting a daily dose of exercise in one of our stunning parks and is sure to be a winner with families across the city.”

Rebecca Lewis-Oakes, Children’s Author and Hungry Little Minds Story Trails writer, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust and local partners in Manchester on this project. It has been a pleasure to discover so many beautiful parks across the country and view them through the exuberant imagination of pre-schoolers. I hope this Hungry Little Minds story trail encourages families to explore and enjoy Platt Fields Park, with a gentle underlying prompt toward those key Early Years learning concepts. I look forward to seeing the little one’s reactions as they make their way around the magical trail!”

Ella Burns, Hungry Little Minds Programme Manager, said:

“We are really looking forward to seeing families across Manchester in Platt Fields Park enjoying this wonderful story trail. Rebecca has created incredible stories which will bring the park to life with the help of Aaron Cushley’s wonderful illustrations. These story trails are perfect for families with young children to enjoy throughout the summer months, helping children develop their literacy skills whilst enjoying an fun and free outdoors adventure.”


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