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As well as what is taught in school, there are life skills that children must learn to become independent. There are 5 core skills that we believe are essential for this – cooking, cleaning, communication, problem solving and creative thinking ability. These can be worked on through a range of activities, like by giving your child the chance to help out once in a while as skills are built through practice.
This is a collaborative post that we’ve put together with the help of an independent school in Somerset.
They don’t need to be able to produce a three-course meal, just a few cooking basics so that they can take care of themselves when you’re not at home. Consider the different aspects involved in cooking, like cutting up vegetables and using the stove. Depending on how old your child is, you may need to look for something a little different as it’s dangerous for younger children to use the stove and sharp knives. Sandwiches and a simple fruit salad can be made using a few ingredients, no heat, and a butter knife.
If you’re sick of the sight of their toys, you can set your child chores to make sure that they’re all put away once they’re done playing with them. They will learn about dealing with responsibility and organisation as a result.
Problem solving is a key transferable skill. We need it whenever we run into a problem and require a creative solution. Games are a good way to work on this as they get children thinking tactically and strategically.
A problem shared is a problem halved. Communication is a vital skill and something which you can work on with your child by creating conversation and looking for ways in which they can put themselves out there. That might be a club of some sort that they can join to pick up a hobby and make new friends.
The last is creative thinking. It can be exercised in a number of ways, including arts and crafts where they must think innovatively to create and apply their own ideas.
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