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Scottish research shows importance of bedtime stories

A new report shows that children who get read to at bedtime are likely to develop quicker than those who do not.

A new report shows that children who get read to at bedtime are likely to develop quicker than those who do not.

The study from Growing up in Scotland (GUS) shows that toddlers who enjoy stories and are involved in lots of activities with their parents from an early age develop faster.

Children's Minister Adam Ingram said in a statement: "There's often a notion that parents need to spend lots of money on expensive toys and activities to stimulate their children but this report shows that's just not the case. It's the simple things like reading bedtime stories, kicking a ball about in the park or having a sing-along that really make a difference."

The GUS report shows that children who were often read to at ten months old and who experienced activities like painting and singing at almost two years old, scored better on language development and problem solving skills by the time they were three.

Mr Ingram added: "Experiences during the early years of a child's life can have a striking impact on future chances and it can be startling how quickly disadvantaged children fall behind.

"That's why our Early Years Framework forms part of the most comprehensive and coordinated attack ever on inequality in Scotland which we have launched to tackle the deep-seated social ills like health, poverty and disadvantage that hold us back as individuals and as a nation.

"By breaking these cycles of disadvantage we can help our all of our young people play their part in a more successful Scotland."

The report also showed that children from less advantaged homes were more likely to be inactive and less likely to have been taken on trips by their parents.

GUS is tracking 5,000 babies (born between June 2004 and May 2005) and 3,000 toddlers (born between June 2002 and May 2003) through childhood and into their teens.

A nationally representative sample of families was selected to ensure the survey represents Scotland's urban/rural and economic backgrounds.

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