GIVING a high five to a police officer, visiting the beach and playing in the snow are just some of the things included in a guide of things local children should do before they are five.

50 Things To Do Before You’re Five is a new initiative was launched this week in Bradford.

It is a list of things that any families in the district can do that will help young children develop basic skills, and families can even download a mobile phone app to help them complete as many activities as possible.

The launch event saw activities in Rainbow Children’s Centre in Keighley and Delius Special School this past week, and will end with a similar session at the National Science and Media Museum this morning.

The scheme has been created by St Edmund’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre, with the aim of helping the district’s 24,000 under fives.

They have been supported with funding from national group the Big Change. And other schools and groups, such as Delius Special School, have helped to make sure the activities are fully inclusive for children with disabilities.

The activities have been designed so that anyone in the district will be able to access them, and are either all free or very low cost. On the website and on the phone app, parents or carers can access all the information they need, including routes to get to where they need to go and what they need to do to prepare. They can tick off the activities when they complete them, and the app can also store photos of the children taking part in the activities. Parents and carers can also learn how that activity will help their child’s development.

Last year the group asked different groups about which activities should be included on the list, and they got over 3,500 responses.

The activities range from when the children are just weeks old - practicing making sounds with babies, to when they are about to start school, such as collecting leaves or pinecones and making art out of them.

Parents can also pick up a posted with all the activities on to hang in their home and tick off each one as they complete it.

Christian Bunting, head of teaching at St Edmunds, said: “We hope that in the next few years this gets out to every child in Bradford, and all parents and families that work with young children. These are all no cost or low cost activities, and ones that everyone can get involved in.

“A lot of the activities are based around the idea of development of children’s speech, language and communication. They all create positive learning environments and happy children.

“There are a lot of children out there who don’t have adequate speech and language skills, they haven’t had things to talk about with their families. This gives families ideas for activities they can enjoy and talk about.”

The scheme is also soon to be launched in Leeds, and other local authorities across the UK have shown an interest in adopting it.

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