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Orla did it!

Hayley & Orla

Spending time, not money

Hayley & Orla

Feeling like a princess

Hayley & Orla

Episode 1: Feeling like a princess

Hayley wants her daughter Orla to enjoy the same experiences as other children. But, as for any single mum, it’s hard to find the money for things they can do together.

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Like many children, Orla loves the popular Disney film “Frozen”. So Hayley uses a £1 pack of branded cake mix to create a fun activity for Orla at home. “She enjoys it so who cares how much mess we make?” laughs Hayley. “It’s good, even if our cakes aren’t!”

But where can you have a day out without paying a king’s ransom? “The local museum is a great place to go,” says Hayley. Warm and welcoming, it’s filled with lovely objects and images and stuffed animals to charm any little princess (or prince). Better still, it’s free.

Episode 2: Spending time, not money

“The challenge really is making your money last,” says Hayley. As a single mum, she knows it’s important to help kids have fun – without spending a fortune.

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So a trip to the local park makes for an easy day out. “It’s great to get them out even just for a short while. It’s fun playing on the swings, splashing in puddles or picking up leaves. They’re in the fresh air, and it means they’ll sleep better at night.”

But a social circle isn’t just good for kids. It’s essential for mums. Back home, over a cuppa and some home-made cakes, mums can enjoy chatting while the children play together.

What’s obvious is how – in just a couple of months – a little PlayTalkRead is helping Orla develop. You can see her growing confidence at the swing park. You can hear her trying to sing "Twinkle Twinkle” at home. And you can see her pride as mum puts Orla's painting up in the kitchen.

Episode 3: Orla did it!

"Orla did it!" says Orla. She’s really come on leaps and bounds since we first met her. Hayley talks about how important spending time together is – "you’re getting that emotional bond and if you manage to establish that, when they go into nursery, when they get friends, they’ll bond with others."

Amy, Hayley’s best friend, explains that "everything that Hayley does for Orla has made an impact on her life." Whether it’s building a princess castle or reading a story together, Hayley and Orla always seem to find plenty to do. And PlayTalkRead has definitely helped – "I’ve learned a lot of new activities to do with her and a lot of things on the website are free which is a great benefit" says Hayley.

You’ll notice Orla’s personality is really starting to come alive – she’s starting to speak in sentences and sing songs. Hayley says that Orla’s getting more confident – "as long as you keep reading to them, playing with them, anything you can… it doesn’t have to be something that’s costly". At the end of the day, busy little hands make for clever, happy kids.

Our favourite days out


Building sandcastles in the sandpit at Battery Park


Having a picnic at the Kelvingrove Museum


Finding the llamas at Tollcross Children's Farm