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Our Approach

#462 Using the 50 Things initiative in Norwich

What did we do?

To encourage the use of the 50 Things Norfolk initiative by Norwich families, the Norwich Opportunity Area distributed some additional promotional materials and resources, to the schools and settings in Norwich.

Schools and settings with 0–5-year-olds, received:

1 x Welcome letter explaining the benefits of the initiative
1 x How-to-guide detailing how to successfully launch a 50 things project in school/setting and how to order more resources
60 Copies of the 50 Things flyer to share with parents/carers
2 Copies of the A3 poster to display in and around their school/setting
5 Physical copies of the 50 Things cards that could be used by practitioners in session or by families that do not have internet access.

These materials were distributed to 60 establishments; 31 PVI nurseries, 11 schools with nurseries, 15 schools without nurseries and 3 SEND schools.

We are very excited that this resource is available to all families in Norfolk at no cost to them and it could really enhance what activities they do with their children. Providing them with ideas about how you can make use of local resource and things that you’ve got at home and that doing activities with your children does not have to be expensive or require lots of specialist toys or equipment.

Carla Nichols, NCC

Summary of impact

For the 11 months since the project launched, data has been collected from the 50 Things website detailing which postcode areas of Norfolk have had the highest download rate of the 50 Things app.

The results show that since the promotional materials were distributed in April 2022, all Norwich postcodes (NR1-NR7) are now in the top 14 postcodes (out of 147 postcodes) based on the monthly download figures. At the start of this project, the Norwich postcodes were in the top 21 of all postcodes suggesting that significant improvement has been made.

At present (1/8/22), Norfolk has seen 2527 downloads of the app, of which 619 of them are from Norwich.

Here is an example of how one Norwich school uses 50 Things:

We have a link to ’50 Things’ from the Communication Champions section of our website and we’ve put posters up in the main entrance of the school so that parents can scan the app.
We particularly promoted it as a ‘challenge’ for early years parents in the October half term holiday. All the families who completed activities and posted them on Tapestry received a certificate and we presented prizes to those who made the most inspiring posts. I think we will adopt this as an annual challenge. The children seemed to enjoy the challenges set and families who don’t normally use Tapestry recorded activities far more.

Some of the challenges inspired activities which we emulated in school, for example seasonal leaf rubbing in the outdoor area. It gave us a good insight to our cohorts experiences outside of school by having so much shared from home over half term onto Tapestry.

“I really enjoyed having the challenge to work on with my child over half term” Parent

“It was great to get ideas we wouldn’t normally think of” Parent

Mile Cross Primary School, Norwich

Steps taken

Through working with the Norfolk County Council lead for the 50 Things project, the Norwich Opportunity Area ascertained which resources from the NCC collection would be the most beneficial for promotional purposes. We wanted to include resources that supported both parents and practitioners alike, and that were easy to share and distribute.

We started by modifying the national how-to guide, to ensure it reflected our Norfolk key messages; namely that this was a useful and easy to use app, that could provide parents and practitioners with lots of free and fun activities to support their children’s development. We wanted to provide practical tips to schools and settings on how they could start their own 50 Things projects and we wanted to encourage them to share this initiative with their parents to foster better home/school learning and relationships.

Following this, after creating our welcome letter, we worked with a local printer and courier to distribute these resources to our chosen settings. We were aware that some of the settings may want to request more resources therefore we shared the NCC pathway for making these requests.

From here, throughout all of our wider project work, we have continued to champion the 50 Things app and website, with the schools and settings we wok with.


What would we do differently

The initial timescales of the project had to be pushed back due to issues experienced with the design and printing of the flyer. As a result, the resources were not delivered until April 2022 which meant that the October half term, Christmas holidays and February half term had been missed.

If I were to do this project again, I would attempt to deliver the resources in September, with some additional promotion in the summer term, so that they could have been used to their full-effect.


Cost of printing and delivery to 131 establishments = £3805

(60 Norwich/71 Breckland)

Approximate cost for Norwich: £1742


263 posters (121 for Norwich/142 for Breckland)

660 sets of cards (302 Norwich/355 Breckland)

9000 flyers (4270 Norwich/4500 Breckland)

Welcome letter and how to guide = 132 (61 Norwich/71 Breckland)

Resources to do something similar yourself

More information can be found on the '50 things to do' website which can be found here: