Breaking news! We have reached the consultation phase of our exciting new initiative ’50 Things to do Before You’re 5’, which means that we’re one step closer to the official launch date. If you haven’t already heard about 50 Things, let me fill you in.

The idea was suggested by the Executive Head of St. Edmunds Nursery School and Children’s Centre and Lilycroft Nursery School, Anne-Marie Merifield. The proposal was aimed at developing speech, language and communication skills in children aged birth to 5, but through a child-centred approach. This means that it has been tailored so that adults can engage the children positively and the children can learn through play. The 50 Things initiative does exactly what it suggests; every child in Bradford has 50 (fun) activities to complete and those activities are chosen by… you! That’s right, you read that correctly, we need you. We need parents, carers, relatives, teachers, health visitors, early years’ practitioners, in fact anyone who is interested and wants to support the development of young children. Sounds fairly straight forward doesn’t it? All you need to do is connect with your inner child, and come up with an idea that will appeal to under 5’s. It has to be inclusive so can’t be based on ability, agility or accessibility, (see what I did there?) and fairly cheap because let’s face it; we’ve all had to tighten our belts over the last few years, but other than that you have free rein. Once you have your idea, email it across to or you can call and speak to me personally. If you’re a nursery, school or other institution then please feel free to get in touch and we can organise a consultation event at your convenience.

So, going back to the 50 things… as I said earlier, it centres around the development of speech, language and communication skills. Don’t worry, I’m not going to demand you all produce a research project with a clear breakdown of how your idea links back to oracy before submitting it to me. Somebody else will be conducting the research, so if your idea is ‘watching the sun set’ an expert in the field will find that this activity creates a conversation rich with details; Look how the colours change as the sun sets, what shape is the sun? I wonder where it goes when it moves out of sight… This activity encourages children to communicate and think about the language that they’re using. Comprendé? It’s fairly simple stuff, and it’s also a really exciting new project to get involved with. Picture the scene; You’re waiting for the 72 bus, and as it arrives your eyes catch the advertisement on the side ’50 Things to do Before You’re 5! #47 make a snow angel’. Your bursting with pride, you smile secretly to yourself and let that warm glow of accomplishment accompany you all the way home because YOU thought of that idea. It was YOUR idea and now it’s on the side of a flipping bus! All you have to do is get creative and send me an email... I will look forward to hearing from you!

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