KIDS must jump in a puddle, make a friend and visit their local swimming pool before they start school, parents have revealed.
Moms and dads also think the kids should feed the ducks, throw a birthday party and meet friendly farm animals before their first day of elementary school.
The catalog of 30 bucket list activities was compiled in a survey of 1,000 preschool parents.
Jumping on a bouncy castle, going to a toy store and dancing with the parents were also high on the to-do list during their formative years.
It also emerged that 89% of parents believe it is important to regularly introduce new things to their toddlers to help them with their development.
The research, commissioned by childcare provider Busy Bees, found that for 72% of parents, experiencing new things is key to boosting their children’s confidence.
Seven in 10 think it helps preschoolers learn new things, while 60% say it lets children explore different emotions.
Deena Billings, Head of Experience at Busy Bees, said: “Life is full of wonderful things and every child should experience as many of them as they can in their early years to help build their confidence and his understanding of the world.
“Unfortunately, many have missed important moments due to the pandemic.
“These results confirm what we have seen in our nurseries and heard from parents as they hope to introduce their children to more experiences now that life is returning to normal.
“That’s why we are creating additional activities at our centers to provide our children with the extra developmental support they need.”
To extend these experiences beyond the childcare environment, Busy Bees has created a fun quiz to see which activities their child has already checked off the list.
Almost two-thirds of parents (63%) believe their child has missed out on many of these key experiences due to the pandemic, and 78% agree that their development has been stunted because of it.
Social interaction (53 percent), social skills (51 percent) and speech (30 percent) were voted the top things that were affected.
In a separate survey conducted by the nursery, among 1,905 parents, it emerged that more than a third (36%) feared the pandemic had made it harder for their child to feel ready for school.
In fact, four in 10 members of the Busy Bees parent panel said they had spoken to their child’s key daycare worker about the impact the pandemic had on their child.
TOP 30 THINGS EVERY CHILD SHOULD DO BEFORE STARTING SCHOOL:
1. Swimming in a pool
2. Jump in a puddle
3. Make a friend
4. Feed the ducks
5. Host a birthday party
6. Meet friendly farm animals
7. Go to a toy store
8. Ride in a bouncy castle
9. Paddle in the sea
10. Dance with their parents
11. Make a cake
12. Build a snowman
13. Play with playdough or slime
14. Watch at least one Disney movie
15. Eat fries by the sea
16. Finger painting
17. Jump into a big pile of crisp fall leaves
18. Get on a bus
19. Dig a huge hole or build a sandcastle on the beach
20. Wear disguises
21. Have a picnic with teddy bears
22. Make a sofa fort
23. Plant a seed and watch it grow
24. Go to a carnival
25. Use a bed as a trampoline
26. Go on a treasure hunt
27. Eat a 99 flake
28. Go to the movies
29. Go on a bug hunt
30. Scratch their knees
More than half (52%) plan to catch up on this over the summer and have already started ticking things off their list, according to the OnePoll study – with eight in 10 parents planning new and exciting experiences for their child .
It also found that 89% ‘feel good as parents’ when they see their child enjoying new things, with the average mum and dad aiming to give their child four new experiences every month.
Despite this, a third still struggle to find new things to do.
The main source of inspiration for what to do with their little ones is friends and family (59%), while 43% usually turn to Instagram and 27% turn to their nurseries or child care centres.
Another 39% will turn to various websites and 37% will browse other people’s Facebook posts or ask the child themselves.
However, not being able to live a normal life during the pandemic had its benefits for parents, as 61% enjoyed spending more time together as a family.
And almost half of parents surveyed (49%) say they plan to continue to make room for more family time and shared activities in the future.
Deena Billings added: “There’s a lot that families have missed over the past two years because of the pandemic, but it’s great to see that parents are keen to make up for lost time.
“That’s why we worked with parents to develop a list of 30 things every child should try before they start school.
“We hope this will inspire some take-home family activities over the coming summer months.”