Give Midlothian tots a good start

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The Scottish Government has launched a campaign to help give Midlothian youngsters the best start in life.

The PlayTalkRead drive comes on the back of research which showed:

- During the first three years 75 per cent of brain growth is complete

- By the age of three, 50 per cent of our language is in place

- Children whose parents talk to them frequently have better language skills than those with parents who seldom talk to them (at 20 months babies of talkative parents knew 131 more words that infants of less talkative parents. At 24 months the difference was 295)

Government’s Early Years Framework highlights that simple interaction (playing, talking and reading) with children under three helps build the child/parent bond and can provide essential social skills, motivation and capabilities that make lifelong learning easier and help build a more successful life in the long term.

The national drive – which includes TV and radio adverts, a one-stop website for parents of young children and a national roadshow – aims to help and empower parents to stimulate their children from day one through easy, fun, interactive activities by offering advice and practical ideas and tips – that are low cost or free.

This year a wish list for 0-3 year olds was launched to encourage mums and dads to have fun from day one.

From jumping in puddles to feeding ducks in the park, 30 Things to do Before You’re 3 is a big list of simple fun for little ones across the country to get under their belt before the early years are over.

For more details, visit www.playtalkread.org