Judy Murray has teamed up with the PlayTalkRead campaign to encourage parents and carers of 0-3 year olds to ‘Play Ball’ with their wee ones.
The Play Ball campaign aims to inspire families with young children to play simple activities with a ball, which are not only fun to do together, but can also make a positive difference to children’s development.
PlayTalkRead has gifted 15,000 balls to leisure centres across all 32 local authorities in Scotland to support the Play Ball campaign. Parents and carers can visit their local leisure centre or one of the PlayTalkRead buses, Benji and Bessie, from today (Monday 7 March) and pick up a free ball and a PlayTalkRead postcard with hints and tips for playing ball with their wee one. Balls will be available in the following leisure centre in Dundee:
* Olympia, 3 East Whale Lane, Dundee, DD1 3JU
To launch the Play Ball campaign, tennis coach and new grandmother Judy Murray, joined Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell for some ball play with children at Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow.
PlayTalkRead is a Scottish Government campaign which focuses on the early years (0-3) of children’s lives and encourages parents and carers to incorporate playing, talking and reading within their daily routines to help their wee ones’ grow. Playing ball, whether that be bouncing, rolling, catching, aiming or throwing a ball, rolled up socks or scrunched up paper, is a simple, easy and inexpensive activity that can support this.
Ms Campbell said: “Playing with your children doesn’t need to involve lots of toys or expensive equipment and using a ball, or even just rolled up socks, is a great example of this. The PlayTalkRead website has lots of great ideas for simple activities using a ball that anyone can play with their kids, such as kitchen basketball or loo roll bowling alley. So whether you are a mum, dad, grandparent or carer it’s worth checking out.
“As a mum of two young children, I know first-hand how much fun playing ball together can be. It’s entertaining for both you and your wee one and it helps you bond with your little one.”
Judy Murray said: “Playing ball and providing young children with opportunities to be both active and interactive helps with their physical and social development. By rolling, kicking or throwing a ball back and forth, children are learning the basic tracking, sending and receiving skills that under pin all ball sports. They are also developing coordination, balance and movement skills without even realising it. Through simple ball games children’s confidence can be improved, but most of all it’s about bonding with your kids and having fun together.”
“When Andy and Jamie were young we invented all sorts of games at home. With two young children and not much space or money, I made use of anything we had lying around the house. Balloon tennis across the sofa was a big favourite. Balloons move so slowly that all kids can make contact with them. The key is to start simple and slow, build the confidence through success and then try something a little more challenging.”
Visit www.playtalkread.scot/play-ball for loads of ideas for fun, simple and free activities to do together and check out PlayTalkRead’s ‘30 Things To Do with a Ball’ list.
You can also visit the PlayTalkRead Facebook page or follow PlayTalkRead on Twitter for lots of handy tips and advice:
The PlayTalkRead buses, Benji and Bessie, will visit every local authority in Scotland. Entry is free. You can see when the PlayTalkRead buses will next be in your area at: www.playtalkread.scot/bus/timetable.