There’s never a wrong time to start teaching your children life skills. Quite the opposite – the earlier you start, the better. Finding the spare time to do it is not as easy. Children lead a busy life, occupied with school, extra-curricula activities, homework and friends. 24 hours a day are just not enough!
That’s why school breaks and holidays are the perfect time to engage your children in fun and educational activities. This will not only challenge their mind but also equip them with useful knowledge they’ll be thanking you about for many years to come. Of course, leave plenty of time for rest and play, because what are holidays for, after all?
And to make sure the important life lessons won’t be interrupted by emergency breakdowns or repairs, that neither of you knows how to deal with, make sure to sign up for a Household Repair Cover as soon as possible. Some life skills are better left to the professionals!
The following skills are suitable for children aged 9 and up. Make sure to supervise them at all times.
Clean the house.
It might sound like the most basic and dreaded chore of all, but trust us – many adults still don’t know how to clean the whole house properly. Teach the young ones to clean the bathroom sink and drain, hoover, mop and wipe the windows (from the inside). The most important thing in these life lessons is to teach the child to pay attention to detail – so why not make a game out of it?
Help with meal preparation.
Do this only under supervision, and try to stay away from activities involving sharp knives. But getting them to read the recipe out-loud, bring products, mix them and assemble the dish is a perfectly good way of introducing a child to cooking. Start with simple things like baking or easy dishes like home made pitta pizzas which we love from the BBC Good Food Blog: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/518639/pitta-pizzas
Next time the bills come through, invite your children to help with the simple calculations. Ask their opinion when comparing hotels, or our Care Club plans. Which one is the best value for money?
Simple household necessities.
This one is good for the teens, and perhaps a little advanced for the younger ones. Teach your child to change a light bulb, unclog the drain, replace a fuse or change the vacuum cleaner bag. All these useful life skills are so valuable and it’s better for your children to know how to do it before leaving for university or moving in with a loved one.
Sew a button.
Sewing is a very basic and necessary skill, which is surprisingly neglected while growing up. But being able to sew a button or mend rips and tears can save your them money in the future and encourage them to ‘make do and mend’ rather than throw away and replace, which is better for the environment too!
Wash the car.
Start with washing the car and learning about its parts and slowly progress through the years to filling it with fuel, checking the tyre pressure, or how to change a tyre. Before your children get a driving license, they should know all of this.
Basic first aid and CPR.
Teach your children how to measure blood pressure, keep a person breathing, reduce their pain or minimise the consequences of injury until an ambulance arrives. If you don’t have the appropriate training yourself, why not sign for a daily course together?
When children learn life skills it makes them feel more competent and promotes responsibility. Even if they don’t enjoy learning it in the beginning, they’ll be certain to thank you later in life.