App helping Bedford families find things to do turns one today

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A free app and website that showcases 50 fun activities for parents and carers in Bedford to do with their little ones celebrates its first birthday today (14 July)

Fifty Things to do Before You’re Five – Bedfordshire includes things to do around the home, as well as links to activities around the Borough, which are enjoyed for little to no cost.

Ben Slater, the 50 Things project leader said: “It has been a fantastic first year for the programme and we are delighted with the response of parents and carers who have downloaded the app and visited the website.

“We’ve received really positive feedback and we’re delighted 50 Things has helped families find fun things to do,”

Produced by HEART Academies Trust in collaboration with Bedford Borough Council, the activities are specifically designed to help with language development and school readiness in under-fives.

The activities also include health and well-being benefits and are also said to help with that ‘special bond’ between child and adult.

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With the launch of Bedford’s Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme, the provision for under-fives across the borough is expanding and there are a whole host of free and low-cost groups that parents and carers can attend to try out the 50 activities and meet other families.

Cllr Jane Walker, Portfolio holder for families, education, and children’s services, added, “We are delighted to team up with HEART Academies Trust to co-produce the 50 Things to do Before You’re 5 app.

“This free app helps local families to discover fun experiences and create cherished memories together, whether that’s at home or in and around Bedford Borough.

“With so many incredible events and activities across the first year, we can’t wait to see what’s next – make sure to download the app to start exploring the opportunities available to you!”

Links within the app allow families to find places where they can explore new words and experiences.

Some examples of these experiences include The Higgins Bedford Museum, the local parks and woodlands around Bedford Borough, and the signature activity for Bedford a circular Embankment walk, taking in rivers, castles, cafes and play areas.

A local parent with a three-year-old expressed her enthusiasm over the app, “I get stuck for things to do with mine sometimes so it’s great to be able to pull up the app and pick something for us to do together.

“I look at the local links and plan a trip out so we can make the most of each activity. I like going to the Embankment because there’s so much to do, and there are plenty of options for a nice coffee break,” said Emma.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the app, 50 Things is running a competition to name the official mascot of 50 Things Bedfordshire.

Participants will be in with a chance to win one of five family rail tickets to Brighton in partnership with Thameslink.

The enter the completion, head to their Facebook page here.

You can download the app for iPhone and Android.

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