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PlayTalkRead kicks off football tour

Published: 19 Feb 2016 10:00
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Young fans invited to get on board.

PlayTalkRead, the Scottish Government's early years campaign, is to visit a number of football clubs across the country, the Children's Minister Aileen Campbell revealed today.

The PlayTalkRead bus will kick off its football tour on Saturday (February 20, 2016) when it visits St Johnstone Football Club ahead of their match against Motherwell.

The tour coincides with 'Year of the Dad' which is led by Fathers Network Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government. The year aims to promote the important role of fathers and male role models in child development.

Actor, and star of CBeebies' 'Woolly and Tig', Colin McCredie will also join families on board the bus at McDiarmid Park in Perth to lead a story session ahead of kick-off.

Ms Campbell said:

"As a mum of two wee boys, I love visiting the PlayTalkRead buses to get ideas on how to turn daily tasks into fun activities that can help their development. I'm also a big football fan so I'm really excited that the buses will now be visiting a number of football clubs this year.

"This year is also Year of the Dad which celebrates all male role models in families so I also hope dads, uncles, grandpas and many others across Scotland will take the opportunity to visit the bus with their children. As a St Johnstone supporter, I'm delighted McDiarmid Park is the first stop for the bus as it's where my dad took me to watch the football as a child.

"Improving literacy and numeracy in our children and young people is a key priority for this Government and we know that learning begins long before school. That's why we are investing in programmes like PlayTalkRead which encourage parents to play a part in their child's learning through fun, everyday activities."

Former St Johnstone striker and current Associate Director Roddy Grant said:

"We're delighted to welcome PlayTalkRead to our home match this Saturday against Motherwell. I would encourage any families with young children to come along pre-match to get involved in all the exciting things they have planned on the day. We're also proud to support the 'Year of the Dad' campaign which our players will be promoting by wearing t-shirts during the pre-match warm up."

Colin McCredie said:

"I'm delighted to be attending the PlayTalkRead bus with my daughters Maisie (10) and Betsy (7) who both appear with me in 'Woolly and Tig'. As a parent of young children I'm fully aware of the vital importance of playing and reading for their development.

"Also, in the Year of the Dad, I'm keen to promote how fun and easy it is for all dads to get involved and as a St Johnstone supporter I'm especially looking forward to visiting the bus at McDiarmid Park!"

The PlayTalkRead buses are free for families to visit. Experienced play workers on board lead activities demonstrating simple and low-cost ideas on how to incorporate playing, talking and reading with children into daily routines.

Notes to editors

PlayTalkRead is aimed at parents, grandparents and carers of children aged 0 – 3 years. It encourages them to play, talk and read with their children every day to give them the essential skills, motivation and abilities that will make it easier for them to keep learning throughout their lives.

For more information about PlayTalkRead, including the bus timetable, visit

The PlayTalkRead bus will also visit:
• St Mirren Football Club on Saturday, March 12, 2016 ahead of the match against Queen of the South (the PlayTalkRead sensory bus will also attend)
• Hearts – date TBC

Click here for PlayTalkRead's 30 Things To Do with Football:

PlayTalkRead reached a record number of families in 2015:

For more information on Year of the Dad visit