Over dinner one day a rather more seasoned father than myself introduced me to the concept of baiting your child, giving them nuggets of information that are plainly untrue, but which add hours of endless amusement for the parents.

Trawling through a number of "essential" child rearing texts I came upon an invaluable source - all from "Great Lies to tell small kids" by Andy Riley.

Here are just a few gems which which to mislead your children:

Rain is Jesus' wee-wee
Wine makes mummy clever
Policemen grow from helmets in a single night
It's unlucky not to name every ant you see, for your whole life
It takes the brains and beaks of four real penguins to make one penguin biscuit
If you put a slice of ham in your uncle's DVD player, it will play a short film about pigs
One in ten fish are afraid of water
Men don't go bald naturally, they just like getting their hair cut that way
Mice collect dandruff to eat as cornflakes
Scatter drawing pins next to an ant's nest, then wait until it rains - they'll pick them up and use them as umbrellas