PlayTalkRead bus heads to Isles

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Parents and their wee ones are invited to jump on board the free PlayTalkRead bus ‘Bessie’ as it visits the Western Isles.

Designed as a free drop in playground, Bessie offers parents and carers a fun and relaxed environment to pick up exciting new ideas and tips to play, talk and read more with their little ones which will help make a positive difference to their health and happiness.

Bessie will be stopping at:

Daliburgh School, South Uist on Monday 6 July from 10am-1pm and 2-4pm

Balivanich Primary School, Benbecula on Tuesday 7 July from 9.30am-12pm

Saoghal Beag, Claddach Kirkibost on Tuesday 7 July from 1.30pm-3.30pm

Sir E Scott School, Harris on Wednesday 8 July from 9.30am-11.30am

Stornoway Town Hall, Stornoway on Wednesday 8 July from 1.30pm-4pm

Barvas and Brue Community Centre, Lewis on Thursday 9 July from 10am-12.30pm

Loch School, Lewis on Thursday 9 July from 2pm-4pm

An Lanntair, Stornoway on Friday 10 July from 9.30am-12.30pm

On board, parents and carers of 0 – 3 year olds can enjoy all types of fun from interactive storytelling, song and rhyme sessions to easy craft activities. The qualified and experienced play leaders will showcase lots of great low-cost or free activities that can fit into parents’ daily routines.

Acting Minister for Children and Young People, Fiona McLeod commented: “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 in the future. It also helps little ones learn to play for longer therefore they become less frustrated, which means less stress for them and you.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming all the mums, dads, grandparents and carers in the Western Isles on board Bessie. As a former librarian, I’m delighted to see so many families getting involved in the PlayTalkRead campaign by visiting Bessie. The bus and the PlayTalkRead website provide a wealth of inspiration as well as lots of handy tips and advice on playing, talking and reading more with your little one, which not only helps little brains grow but are simple, inexpensive and easily incorporated into your daily routine.”

Last year more than 19,600 parents and 23,800 children visited one of the 459 PlayTalkRead events held across Scotland. A massive 95 per cent of those felt the advice the buses offered was relevant to them and more than 70 per cent said they would play, talk and read with their children more as a result of visiting.

The PlayTalkRead roadshow will visit every local authority in Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Early Years campaign focusing on the first three years of children’s lives. Entry is free. You can see when the PlayTalkRead buses will next be in your area at:

For more information – plus lots of handy tips and advice - visit You can also visit the PlayTalkRead Facebook page at or follow PlayTalkRead on Twitter @PlayTalkRead.