BBC News

Parents put mud pie making top for toddler development

By Judith Burns
Education reporter, BBC News

image captionThe survey of parents pinpointed some key developmental milestones

Parents have listed mud pie making as the top milestone for toddlers.

Other activities they said children should do before they are three include being chased by a monster, jumping in a puddle and telling a fib.

The "Potty List" was compiled from a survey of 1,000 parents by the baby food manufacturer, Cow and Gate.

The 36 activities were endorsed by child development experts as being fun, but also fundamental to child development.

Cow and Gate said the list was not intended to be exhaustive, but did pinpoint some wonderful experiences for toddlers.

Child psychologist Richard Woolfson said parents were often amazed by the pace of growth during the toddler years.

"Toddlerhood is about learning, about development and about progress. It's also about pushing the boundaries a little.

"Now is the time they will master many of the skills that will set them up for life. Making a mud pie or jumping in a puddle has never been so important," he said.

Other activities on the list are baking a cake, picking fruit, feeding animals or ducks and perhaps scribbling somewhere that you should not.

It's also a time when children take their first steps on the road to independence.

So parents think that by three, apart from having sung loudly in public or worn pants on their head, toddlers should also have learned to clean their own teeth or bought something from a shop.

The list is published as part of Cow and Gate's campaign to educate parents about the nutritional needs of growing children.

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