Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery have launched a brand new digital campaign to help parents in Manchester turn the everyday activities they are already doing with their child into new opportunities to build their child’s language skills. 

The ‘Hungry Little Minds’ campaign will provide families of children under five with lots of simple and fun activities to build their child’s speech and language skills at home, which families can easily slot into their daily routines and that children themselves love.

It follows research by the National Literacy Trust which found that one in two parents would like more digital resources to help their child’s literacy at home.  

Over the next six months, the campaign will continue to share stories, art, activities, events, news and videos around the themes of chat, play and read with families on the Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Facebook pages.  

Cllr Luthfur Rahman OBE, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Skills, Manchester City Council, said: “We all know the under-fives are like sponges – whether they’re babes-in-arms, toddlers, or pre-schoolers – they mop up every experience and every interaction with other people that comes their way.

“That’s why it’s vital we do everything we can to share the good stuff with parents and carers that we know will make a positive difference to their child’s development both now and in the future.

“The Hungry Little Minds campaign does just that and using the art gallery’s amazing collection to help bring the campaign to life is going to help make a real difference to children and families across the city.”

Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery will also partner with early years settings, children’s centres, health visitors for homeless families, women’s refuges and more local organisations to provide physical home learning packs, containing books and learning resources, to families with children under five who have been most seriously affected by COVID-19.  

Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the National Literacy Trust and Read Manchester to deliver Hungry Little Minds stories and activities in Greater Manchester. We look forward to sharing our collection of artworks and early years arts programme to support the delivery of exploratory activities that promote curiosity in early years’ children.”

Alice Birdwood, Project Manager for Read Manchester, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Hungry Little Minds campaign to young families across Manchester, encouraging them to discover the joys and benefits of chatting, playing and reading together every day. Read Manchester wants to support as many families of all ages as possible to develop a love of a reading and Hungry Little Minds will help us achieve this mission.”  

Funded by the Department for Education and supported by the National Literacy Trust, the campaign is being rolled out locally across 12 areas of the country in total, including Manchester and the wider Greater Manchester region.