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Home is where the start is: an online family festival of fun and learning

Home is where the start is: Communication counts

An online festival of fun and learning for the whole family!

Our free online family festival celebrates your role of parents and carers as your child’s first and most enduring educator.

During this fun family event, which will take place via Zoom and is aimed at parents and carers of under-fives, we will share information and advice about how you can support children’s learning and development at home through lots of exciting sessions for you and your children.

Activities will include fun communication and language sessions, easy money-saving cookery ideas that you and your children can join in with, taster baby massage sessions and much, much more.

The three-day online festival will run from Thursday 22 February to Saturday 24 February 2024, and you can book to attend as many or as few free sessions as you like.

We will look forward to seeing you there!


Book your free sessions today


Thursday 22 February

1pm – 2pm: Annie Price from Tiny Happy People

The online family festival will kick off with a talk from children’s television presenter and BBC Tiny Happy People ambassador Annie Price.

Annie will focus on highs and challenges of parenting, and why it’s so important that all parents and carers take the time to look after their own wellbeing.


2pm – 2.30pm: An introduction to Tiny Happy People

BBC Tiny Happy People is a free resource to help families support their little ones’ development skills in the home learning environment.

BBC Tiny Happy People has a simple message at its heart: talk to your baby from pregnancy – we will show you how and why it’s so important.

On the website parents and carers will find:

  • Activity ideas that support children’s language development; there are hundreds of fun, simple activities, all organised by age.
  • Child development content that explains why supporting language learning is important. It is all about children’s amazing brains and how they understand the world around them.
  • Tips and advice from speech and language experts, health care professionals and early years practitioners covering a wide range of parenting topics.

This 30-minute introductory session will explain everything you need to know about BBC Tiny Happy People to feel confident about where to find the information you need to support your little one. The session will show you easy-to-share content on the website and highlight those key language techniques and resources that you will want to use and share with your friends and family.

Tiny Happy People website is accessible and relevant for all families.


Friday 23 February

10am – 11am: Family Connect – Building babies’ brains

Did you know that in the first years of a child’s life their brains develop rapidly? In this session we’ll discuss children’s early brain development and explore ideas to actively engage your child through everyday activities like playing, reading and being there when they feel stress. We’ll share information and ideas to support you to help your baby develop a healthy brain.

We encourage you to bring your little ones along to this session!


11.30am – 12.30pm: Bilingualism – Making it count

Join Sharon Bond, from the Early Years Alliance, to think about and explore the joy, value and benefits in bringing up your child to be bilingual or multilingual. Together we will look at top tips and ideas to help your child learn more than one language, and think about the sort of strategies that an early years educator will use to help your child with their learning.


1pm – 1.45pm: Activity fun with BBC Tiny Happy People

Join BBC Tiny Happy People and speech and language expert Janet Cooper for an interactive session of fun activities to support your little one’s speech and language development.

Using everyday household items we’ll show you how you can create fun, easy to play games as part of your daily routine, highlighting the speech and language benefits.

We will have further details regarding the items you’ll need to join in the activities nearer the time of the event.

The session will be followed by a Q&A with Ruth. If you would like to ask a speech and language based question, please send them in advance using this form and we will try and answer as many as we can in the session.

We encourage you to bring your little ones along to this session!


2.30pm – 3.30pm: Using Makaton in the early years

Join in with an interactive Taster session which is for anyone who’d like to learn how using signs and symbols alongside speech can give children a helping hand with their communication.

This one-hour session is facilitated by Richard Fish – an Ambassador with The Makaton Charity. Within the session you will be introduced to Makaton and how it works – and have a chance to have a go yourself to learn around 20 signs and symbols, including having a go to use them in some little sentences! Makaton is fun and easy to use when you are out and about, looking at books or singing songs.

Many children have already seen Makaton in action if they’ve watched Mr Tumble on the CBBC TV programme ‘Something Special’. You’ll receive a handout pack to remind you of the signs and symbols you’ve learned, with some worksheets to use on the taster.

We encourage you to bring your little ones along to this session!


Saturday 24 February

9am – 9.45am: Music and movement, rhythm and rhyme

Boogie Mites Teacher Liv Mclennan will take you on a magical musical journey to explore the wonderful world of music and movement, rhythm and rhyme.

She will keep 1-5 year olds engaged in music activities that include lots of clapping, stamping, marching, dancing, shaking, tapping and drumming. She will share information for parents about the brain boosting benefits of these activities with focus on links to language and literacy skills.

Be prepared to take part with your child, you will need a shaker, wooden spoons/cardboard tubes to tap together and a box or tub each to bang!

Liv Mclennan is a community musician who has worked for Boogie Mites as a tutor and trainer for 12 years. Liv has a music degree, performance diploma, certificate in music workshop skills, Certificate Music Education in Early Childhood, currently doing doctoral studies in inter-generational music making in care homes.

We encourage you to bring your little ones along to this session!


10am – 10.45am: Time for a snack

Food is more than fuel – it’s an opportunity for learning! Preparing and sharing a tasty nutritious snack together with your little one is a great way to help them develop new skills and knowledge.

With your support as they prepare and try new foods, they are learning how to keep themselves healthy, discovering new words, developing their physical skills, exploring new sensations and building those independence skills – all this at the same time as having fun!

So why not bring your little ones along and join us for this session as we make some chips, sticks and dips together? A recipe card will be provided in advance of the session.

We encourage you to bring your little ones along to this session!


11am – 12 noon: 15 minutes of ‘you-time’ a day – an adult mindfulness and yoga session

Make a commitment to spend at least 15 minutes a day on yourself without checking your phone or filling your time with an activity.

What could you be doing that is simple for you? It’s often the simple things like mindfulness breathing exercises, gentle seated yoga or reading your favourite magazine can make a big difference.

Join us for an induction session of a combination of yoga, breathing, mindfulness, visualisation, and relaxation to support you throughout your life journey.


Book your free sessions today

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