Families are invited to launch of new troll adventure in Birkenhead Park for children aged 2-5

A brand-new story trail from the National Literacy Trust and the Foundation Years Trust is launching at Birkenhead Park in Wirral, in partnership with Wirral Council, Koala North West and local libraries. The trail, which is part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign, officially opens on Friday 13 August at 10:00 for families of children aged 2-5.

The launch will take place on Friday 13 August at 10:00, where families can pick up a story trail booklet and start their adventure by finding the Foundations Years Trust team at the main entrance to the park.

This immersive experience will help little ones’ language and literacy development as they follow the story around the park.

The trail is based on a bespoke story about trolls written by children’s author Rebecca Lewis-Oakes and illustrated by Aaron Cushley. It will lead families around Birkenhead Park as they follow the adventures of Uncle Josh, Mia, Kai and their dog Scruffy. Throughout the trail, little ones will find fairies and pixies to guide their way – we are asking all little ones to keep their eyes peeled for the baby troll!

Once they have completed the trail, families will find extra activities, story time sessions and will also receive a free activity pack outside the park’s visitors centre. There will also be a special picnic area for families who want to pack a lunch and make a day of it.

For families who cannot make it to the launch, booklets will be available to pick up at Birkenhead Central Library, Wirral Children’s Centres and the Koala North West Hub. All parents and carers with little ones aged 2-5 are encouraged to pick up a booklet, enjoy the magical story trail and help develop their child’s love of reading stories along the way.

The Wirral launch 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 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.

Rebecca Lewis-Oakes, Children’s Author and writer of the Hungry Little Minds Story Trails, said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust and the local partners in Wirral 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 the Hungry Little Minds story trail encourages families to explore and enjoy Birkenhead 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!”

Anna-Louise Van Der Merwe, Trust Director of the Foundation Years Trust, said, “We are so happy to be able to launch our story trail in Birkenhead Park this summer and to invite families along to play. Birkenhead Park is the perfect setting for our troll story – it will light up children’s imaginations and encourage children to practise new words, and there are lots of opportunities for running and jumping! The story trail booklets are available after the launch as well, so families can use the trail whenever they want. We hope families will enjoy doing the trail as much as we enjoyed putting it together.”

Councillor Wendy Clements, Chair of Wirral’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, said, “I’m thrilled to see yet another family-centred trail experience launched in Wirral, this time in the beautiful Birkenhead Park. The story trail, launching along with 11 others nationally, will help children to learn through play, while also encouraging families to get out and about in our green spaces, enjoying some exercise and fresh air. It’s fantastic to see our borough represented as part of this brilliant project and I hope to see many families enjoying the trail this Summer.”

For more details on the Story Trails launch please visit the Foundation Years Trust Facebook page.

For more simple tips and activities that parents can do to support their children’s literacy at home, visit the Hungry Little Minds website or the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website.

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