When I was a child I often asked for shiny new toys or objects which I wanted very badly. Usually the answer was 'no', but my mum or dad would tell me that it didn't matter because I was lucky enough to have lots of family members to play with, so I didn't need those things that I asked for.

Now it seems that my parents were right all along (as usual...). A new report has concluded that while there is a place for toys, the biggest influence on a child's development is the level of one-to-one interaction and personal attention that they receive. The research, conducted by the Institute of Education, is the latest report from a long-term project which is tracking the development of 12,500 children born between 1991 and 1992.


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