New research has found that children who spend at least 30 minutes a day with their mum doing educational activities such as being read to are actually smarter.


The study, which was conducted by University College London and Essex University, was set up to understand conditions that influence a child’s early development.



Looking at data from 8,000 children over a 16-year period, the study also found that children who do recreational activities like walking with their mum, are found to have better social skills.


“While children who spend more time doing educational activities will go on to do better in university and in the workplace, children who spend time doing recreational activities are less aggressive and integrate better into groups," Essex University economics professor at Marco Francesconi explained.



Adding that only 30 minutes a day was needed to see these results, the study which was published in the Economic Journal concluded: "There is no recipe, but from our studies I would estimate that just half an hour is enough to make a real difference," he said.


"Parents can make a very positive difference to the life of their kids just by making a small change."