Free daytime sessions aimed at helping young children have fun and develop basic skills are coming to Croydon's Centrale Centre this week.

On Wednesday (November 24), the shopping centre is hosting free sessions without the need to book for families and guardians with young children.

The animal-themed activities and games come courtesy of the Hungry Little Minds campaign that helps parents turn every day activities with their little ones into new opportunities to aid their literacy and language development.

Wednesday's activities will be hosted by the Institute of Wellbeing and the National Literacy Trust, in partnership with Hachette UK, and are funded by the Department for Education.

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The activities will take place in the shopping centre from 10am to 4pm, and organisers stressed that "there's no need to book – families can just turn up!"

Claire Kelly, Programme Manager at The Institute of Wellbeing, said:

"We are delighted to be in partnership with the Hungry Little Minds campaign in Croydon and to share this memorable family event with an exciting line-up of lively chat, play and read animal theme entertainment. This action-packed day promises to be fun, creative and educational with each child walking away with a goodie bag filled with home learning activities, boost their literacy and language development and family wellbeing."

Hungry Little Minds Senior Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust Ella Burns echoed Claire's excitement at the scheme's arrival in Croydon as she touted its benefits for kids:

"We are thrilled to be bringing our Hungry Little Minds activities to Croydon and hope that lots of families will come along on Wednesday to give some of our chat, play and read activities a go. These activities are simple and fun, helping their children’s literacy and language development, ready for when they start primary school. This event is completely free and families will get to take home some fantastic goodies!"

For more simple tips and activities that parents can do to support their children’s literacy at home, visit the national Hungry Little Minds website here, or the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website here.

Families of Croydon can also visit the Institute of Wellbeing or for more local information visit their Facebook page