Whilst children are off school until further notice due to Coronavirus, parents are now full time carers for their children. Having to pick up the role of school is an overwhelming challenge and not one most of us can effectively perform, but this could be a great opportunity to teach kids some key life skills not tackled in the class room.
Most of us aren’t qualified teachers able to fulfil the roles of these great professionals but there’s plenty we can be doing to help our younger ones develop. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids practical skills which will be invaluable throughout their lives. Not only that, but it should mean that they’re more handy round the house from now on. Win-win!
Basic cooking skills
Start with the basics. These skills will be the same for beginners of any age and they teach kids independence and a healthy attitude for life. A good place to start for all newbies is spreading, pouring, measuring, stirring and mixing. Older kids can also take on more of a challenge with grating, cutting with sharper knives and using the hob and oven. The great thing about cooking is that they’ll also be beefing up their maths skills and picking up a bit of science along the way too. For a great guide of appropriate skills by age take a look at this great article on BBC Food https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/guide-cookery-skills-age
Helping with the laundry
Ah, the smell of fresh laundry! Even better when it’s not been done by you, after all, it’s mainly their stuff anyway. The first step is to make them more mindful of putting their clothes directly in the (correct) washing receptacles. Start off by taking them through the basic principles of checking clothes really are dirty, checking pockets for items and separating out the whites from the colours. Help them to be mindful of load size – we know what happens when too much is shoved in the wash, likewise it’s wasteful to just pop in a pair of socks. Older kids can also help with the pods/liquid/powder (being careful as these can be very strong and harmful if not used correctly). You can also take them through the basic settings and you’re good to go!
Tidying their bedrooms
As families are now restrained to their own homes, kids will probably be spending a lot more time in their rooms. This can only mean way more mess. Feel free to keep shutting the door on it, but the likelihood is that it’ll be you who (eventually) has to tackle it. Start as you mean to go on and keep them on the straight and narrow with clear guidance and instructions on how to stay in control of their own space. Why not create a tick list to put up on their wall or door to refer to as we know they don’t always notice what needs to be done. A daily check on their floors, cupboards and surfaces should do the trick (just check it’s not all been shoved under the bed!).
We hope these are useful starting points. There are loads of great ideas for teaching kids basic lifeskills. Why not try: