As parents, we all know how important it is to teach our children various life skills.
Learning about money, healthy behaviors and other everyday tasks are just as important as all the math & reading skills the kids learn at school.
But how should we go about teaching life skills to our kids ?
There are two ways that we can introduce these topics -- first, discussing the topic as it happens in real life is invaluable! During a trip to the grocery store is the perfect time to talk to children about money. And learning to read a map or learn your way with a compass is a wonderful vacation activity!
The second way to introduce life skills is by using a creative activity or craft -- kids learn a lot when they are able to explore while they play :)
The books we are introducing today are part of the Cat in the Hat Learning series, a great group of nonfiction books for kids! If you missed our previous posts, be sure to visit --
The books we are highlighting today are the perfect way to introduce kids to new topics that can sometimes be harder to explain and not as 'front of mind' but oh so important as they grow up. We're also including affiliate links for each of the books and any other items that we feel are stellar when it comes to teaching these important life skills!
Money Games & Financial Literacy
Kids can learn about the history of money, how money has been used by various societies and tons of money trivia in One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent: All About Money.
This is less of a 'what to do with money' and more of a historical perspective. The book includes so many details about where money came from and how currency began that I've found it can get kids really interested in learning about both money and some historical cultures too.
I will say that financial literacy will vary across families -- some families like to use allowances, some use various savings/spending jars, other families believe that involving kids in daily financial decisions is the best. As you discuss this topic, know that you need to make a choice that fits your family best as there will be LOTS of information.
Kids will really benefit from some of these great hands-on games & activities that teach the value of money, saving vs. spending and budgeting:
Learn which money skills to teach at which age with this Money As You Grow- 20 Things Kids Need to Know
If you're looking for some fun games, check out these 30+ games & activities at the US Mint website!
Let kids play store-keeper with this fun Melissa & Doug Play Money Set.
Teacher Mama has a round-up of 7 Ways to Learn about Coins -- a basic skill for young kids!
Once kids can identify coins, use this free printable How Much is in a Dollar activity from The Activity Mom.
If you have tweens or teens, this post on The $100 Allowance from Power of Moms is really worth a read -- be sure to go through the comments also as other readers also share their tips on teaching kids about budgeting.
Map Skills & Activities
Learning to read a map is one of those life skills that everyone needs and yet, it's not something that we think about teaching kids. Many kids who attend school will have mapping skills as a part of their curriculum but having a chance to practice those skills in real life is so important.
There's a Map on My Lap!: All About Maps is one of my favorite books in the whole series! The book does a great job of introducing mapping terminology, tools and the various types of maps that are used. Kids will have a better understanding of all the different ways maps can be useful in life.
It's important to have some physical maps around the house whether it be a wall map, atlas or globe. Here are a few kid-friendly versions that would work well:
Eeboo World Map if you'd like a kid-friendly version of a wall map
Animals World Map Wall Decals Sticker is perfect for a playroom or classroom!
Inflatable World Globe is a fun way to get active and learn geography too.
Try a few of these outstanding map crafts & activities to pair with the book:
Explore these 7 Fun Ways to Use Maps at Home.
National Geographic has more than 30 Map Skills & Activities for kids ages 5 - 12.
Kid World Citizen shows us how to find Where Your Food Is From with this fun mapping activity.
Crayola has a free printable Neighborhood Map that kids can print & color.
Not sure what to find on a map? Try mapping locations from your kids' favorite books!
You can also learn about geo-literacy and map world landmarks with these free printables from Nuture Store.
In addition to some of the basics of health (eating right, getting enough sleep, etc), Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy also introduces some super fun (and gross) facts about health -- kids always like gross ;)
I really like that the book covers positive behaviors -- brushing your teeth and wearing bike helmets -- things kids can easily learn to do on their own along with details about why these behaviors are so beneficial to our health!
Enjoy these activities that teach kids about healthy behaviors:
123Homeschool4Me has a great list of 20 Dental Health activities & crafts so kids can learn about tooth care.
The Nourish website has more than 30 free printables the discuss healthy eating & good food choices.
I love this free printable Roll & Exercise dice game from MPM Ideas.
Vegetables are always a sticky topic with kids -- try some of these fun Vegetable Activities from Fantastic Fun & Learning to get kids more excited about eating their veggies!
Research shows that kids who are involved in grow & cooking their food are more likely to eat a health diet. Here's a list of some wonderful Kids Cookbooks if you want to get the kids in the kitchen more often.
And if you're thinking about growing your own food, be sure to check out some of our Kids in the Garden posts:
Be sure to check out these 30 Life Skills Kids Can Master this Summer too!
Those long summer days are the perfect time for your kids to learn a few new things ;)