Bus to basics for play help

Scottish Government-funded play buses are visiting Cumbernauld next week, as part of a tour designed to boost early years parenting skills.

Activities on the PlayTalkRead bus will entertain youngsters while parents and carers are offered “a fun and relaxed environment to pick up new ideas.”

It all adds up to a bid to boost basic parenting skills which mums and dads have traditionally developed almost exclusively on their own initiative.

But the Scottish Government reckons its play bus sessions are improving quality of life for youngsters.

Activities include tips aimed at encouraging parents to do more playing, talking and reading with children, to “help make a positive difference to their health and happiness”.

Parents and carers of children up to three years old will be able to take part in storytelling, song and rhyme sessions and easy craft activities.

Meanwhile qualified and experienced play leaders will showcase “lots of great low-cost or free activities that can fit into parents’ daily routines.”

The Scottish Government reckons its hands-on approach, aiming to bring what some would argue are basic parent skills to communities such as Cumbernauld, is paying dividends.

Acting minister for children and young people, Fiona McLeod, said of the play bus scheme: “Playing, talking and reading is all about enjoying time together with your wee one from day one.

“It can give them a better start in life and make a positive difference to their health and happiness.”

She added: “It also helps little ones learn to play for longer therefore they become less frustrated – which means less stress for them and you.”