Why not make life lessons a fun experience for kids? Simplify big lessons with one of the games or stories below.
Parenting is so much more than the daily tasks that keep the ship running. Sure, there are appointments to schedule, diapers to change, meals to prepare – but one of the biggest and most rewarding tasks is preparing your child to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and grace.
With something so intangible, the mere thought can be daunting. How do you even begin?
Here we offer 6 areas of learning opportunities paired with tools, so you can get started now on imparting some of the most important skills your child will use throughout life.
Emotional Intelligence, also known at EQ, is something that many parents teach their children unknowingly. Some claim that EQ is equally, or even more important than IQ.
Even sharing when to say “please” and “thank you,” is a small way parents can cue their child’s social awareness and shape interactions, important elements of their EQ.
You can also actively develop emotional intelligence as a family with a board game. Developed by a mother and Harvard alum, this game begins with a simple question or a simple challenge and turns into something truly memorable. Just like Candyland, kids move along spaces on the board and each time collect a card for the color they land on. The cards ask questions like “What does it mean to be brave?” or “Name something that’s boring. How can you make it fun?”
These questions offer a platform for discussing intangible values in the context of a game – not a family meeting. You may be surprised by the wisdom and clarity coming from young minds.
Children may inherit some spending habits from their parents, but how can parents actively set good examples of money management for their children to follow?
Whether your child is earning allowance, saving birthday money, or planning to make a million dollars after starting their own company, money management is an important topic for children to learn at an early age.
Money doesn’t have to be hard. Teach basic money management to your family with this board game. In the game, players race to be the first to “master” their money. Manage your budget as you make necessary purchases for your apartment, save money on rent, and pay your bills. Use real-world scenarios to develop financial literacy. In the context of a game, lectures are avoided and larger conversations are started.
And, you can apply what is learned in the game in real life: Say your child wants to have a toy now, but they have a longer-term goal of getting a bike. You can recall the game to encourage and empower them to make forward-thinking financial choices on their own.
How to Cook
In a world where home cooked meals are the healthier option, teaching kids to cook becomes an essential element of parenting. When a child learns how to cook, they are developing math and fine-motor skills, learning about applied chemistry, and building confidence!
Give your kids the tools to be independent in the kitchen. By the age of 8, many kids can prepare simple dishes like eggs, sandwiches, smoothies, or even spaghetti for the entire family to share.
This fun and engaging multimedia cooking program teaches kids ages 8 and up the gamut of basic cooking skills using step-by-step video demonstrations and kid -friendly written recipes. Kids do all the cooking themselves – parents just sit back and relax!
Next time you hear “I’m hungry,” you can suggest a meal they love to cook.
While the chef’s hat is not included, incorporating dress up can be a fun way to to foster some creative fun in the kitchen. Maybe today your child is the head chef at chez – Grandma!
Digital Literacy and Online Safety
Did you know the average amount of time children spend using mobile devices has been tripling in the past few years? Children – now also known as “digital natives” – are quickly becoming digitally savvy.
The increased access and familiarity with online devices also provides great opportunity to utilize them for new ways of learning that are visual and engaging. Children who are digitally literate have opportunities to further their lessons using computer programs for writing, math, art, and more.
This same increase in screen time and device knowledge charges parents with a new and serious responsibility: fostering safe online practices. Children can improve their digital literacy skills and learn online safety with this self-taught course. The course covers how to use digital devices and office-style applications (word processors, spreadsheets, etc).
Students also learn safe social media usage, online safety, and much more! By the end of the yearlong course, the student can edit images, create a webpage, and design a computer program.
Math Skills for Every Day Life
One of the most common complaints about learning math is that it doesn’t apply to life – but it really does! And kids solving everyday problems can spark excitement in learning more about how math and its (satisfying!) everyday application.
For example, times when you are grocery shopping on a budget, estimating the amount of paint needed for a project, or counting miles to your final destination. Instead of intimidating problems, these can be inspiring opportunities!
In this book series, twin siblings visit their grandparents’ farm and encounter plenty of math-fueled problems that need solving.
The Math Lessons for Living Education books include a blend of stories, copy work, verbal narration, and hands-on experience that bring math concepts to real life and invite your child to explore the world around them.
Math Lessons for Living Education Series:
- Level 1: Numbers, shapes, place value, adding, and subtracting
- Level 2: More numbers, shapes, place value, adding, and subtracting
- Level 3: Reading, logical thinking, and measuring
- Level 4: Fractions, metric units of measurement, basic geometry, and averaging
- Level 5: Factoring, improper fractions, common and uncommon denominators, and multiplying decimals
Physical Health & Safety Preparedness
Learning and establishing good eating and nutritional habits ideally starts at a young age. The same applies to emergency preparedness.
It is important for everyone to know the basics of first aid and CPR so they feel confident and equipped to react should an accident happen.
The Permacharts quick reference guide series is perfect for parents, teens, and young adults – it includes guides to nutrition, First Aid, and CPR.
Provide your child with an understanding of the building blocks of nutrition, such as the carbohydrates, lipids / fats, and proteins. Each are described in this guide, along with essential vitamins and minerals, and the principles of digestion.
The comprehensive guide also walks readers through treating common injuries and how to respond when someone is choking, making it an essential series for older siblings, babysitters, and family members who care for children!
What are the life lessons you’re passing to your child ? Share in the comments below!