Laughter is the best medicine aboard the PlayTalkRead bus

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Are you up for having a Big Laugh with your little ones in order to boost their wellbeing?

In celebration of Scotland’s Big Laugh day (January 24), Scottish Government campaign PlayTalkRead is encouraging parents to have a giggle with the youngest members of the family.

Laughter is proven to prevent illness, boost energy and build a closer bond between parent and child — and the campaign has tips on how to tickle those funny bones, from singing songs to playing peek-a-boo.

Fiona McLeod, acting minister for children and young people, said: “Laughter really is the best medicine, and babies learn to laugh before they learn to talk, crawl or walk — so you can do it from day one.”

Glasgow father David Flynn loves to entertain 18-month-old Grace. He commented: “I try to spend at least an hour every day, chatting and playing with her. We like chatting about her day and I notice her vocabulary broadening. It blows my mind when she says something unexpectedly in context.”

There are lots of tips on fun activities to get the family laughing at

PlayTalkRead bus Bessie also is back in East Renfrewshire this week with fun activities tailored to ages 0-3.

The tour starts at Neilston Leisure Centre on Monday (Jan 19), and takes in Barrhead until Thursday before moving on to Rouken Glen (Jan 23), Thornliebank (Jan 26), The Avenue (Jan 27), Busby (Jan 28), Clarkston (Jan 29) and Eaglesham (Jan 30) — see the website for details.