Tots line up for Chatterbox Challenge

TOTS across Great Yarmouth were in no doubt about where certain parts of their bodies were after taking part in a singing challenge that looks set to get them into the record books.

Local children were among thousands nationwide taking part in a link-up to break the record for the most people singing the elementary children’s song Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

The effort was part of the I CAN charity’s Chatterbox Challenge which aims to support children with speech and language difficulties.

It chose the simple ditty as the perfect vehicle for the attempt which saw children repeating the words and actions for a full five minutes under the watchful eye of official adjudicators who checked numbers and verified timings.

Rebecca Winterbotham, speech and language therapist at Seagulls Sure Start Children’s Centre in Gorleston, said 46 children added to the national total there by joining in.

Having practised at home the youngsters – although fairly uncoordinated during the first round – were all mostly singing and pointing to their body parts in unison by the end, she said, adding: “All of them were watching and having a good go. Even if they couldn’t quite get it the first time round, they were all joining in by the end. We were doing it loud and then quiet and they enjoyed the variation.”

The event saw thousands joining in at hundreds of locations across the UK at 11am on Tuesday.

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At Great Yarmouth Library the multi-tasking workout was overseen by borough council leader Barry Coleman and Ormesby lollipop man David Harvey.

Fifty children took part there with children’s entertainer Steve Majes aka The Tricky Twister adding to the fun with balloon modelling and other activities.

Local childminders Jenny Ewing and Sara Brannan organised their role in the national challenge and said they were delighted by the support from local families who swelled the ranks alongside their own charges.

Children at Shrublands Pre-School and Wroughton Infants School also did their bit towards the Guinness World Record attempt aiming to smash the current record of 1,462, with 92 children taking part and raising sponsorship.

Cheered on by parents everyone was said to have fun taking part in the challenge.

Speech problems are common among the under fives with 130 receiving therapy in the Gorleston/Hopton/Bradwell area alone.

Natasha Theobald, head of communications at I CAN, said 11,000 people had taken part and that the number was rising all the time. Although the attempt had to be independently verified by Guinness the charity was “hopeful” of beating the record.

Every child taking part received a certificate and a sticker.

l Log on to to view video footage of the Gorleston youngsters doing their bit for the Chatterbox Challenge.