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School does an amazing job of teaching our kids the things that we can’t, but what about those other life skills they’ll need to know as adults? 

Kylie Archer, creator of popular parenting blog Kidgredients, reveals what your kids should be learning at home.

“I love school – I used to be a teacher, but in a classroom, with thirty kids it is nearly impossible to teach some of the more practical skills to kids,” says Kylie. “Take the chance while life is a little slower than usual to enjoy teaching your kids these 5 DIY skills.”

Cooking and baking
When it comes to getting kids to learn DIY skills, the first thing that springs to mind is when I was a university student and realised that a lot of other students didn’t know how to cook. Sure, you can have book smarts, but if you can’t feed yourself, they won’t get you far in life!

Start small, decorating cookies (I use a GLAD SNAP LOCK Reseal bag for icing as it’s much easier than fiddling around with icing bags- just snip the corner and you’re ready to ice!). Then progress to baking the cookies, then onto even more challenging activities, making sure along the way kids are learning the skills of planning, recipe reading, and the good old French mise en place- or getting everything all the ingredients so they’re ready to go before you start to cook. Make sure they also learn to clean up their mess as part of the process too – you’ll thank me later down the track for this! 

Watching something grow!
Plant something and watch it grow. Ryegrass grows super quickly and is a cute starter plant. Then move to something edible, radishes are a quick and satisfying crop. Move onto harder things that have more requirements once their interest is piqued. Not only are you teaching them to grow something, but you are also teaching them patience, persistence and resilience as not everything in the garden turns out as you expect, takes the time indicated on the packet, as well as a sense of ownership and responsibility.  

Knitting or sewing
I was lucky and my grandma taught me to sew, but when it came to learn to knit, I did so as an adult and paid for classes. Now I’m teaching both of my kids (boy and girl) how to knit and sew as they’re such important skills as you get older. The creation of fabric from yarn is actually quite a magical thing and even after all these years, I find it easier and more fun than sewing as I have a lot of fear around cutting things out wrong!

Teaching kids to sew also teaches them mending and the possibility of extending the life of our clothes- which is so important! I grew up with my clothes being repaired- holes in knees were patched, hems were let down and it means you may have greater respect for your processions.

Repurposing household items
See that pallet? That can become a coffee table! That piece of timber? That can be a new handle for a garden tool. That pot with a broken handle can become a flowerpot. The more we teach our kids to repurpose/recycle things that are not perfect, the better we become at looking after our environment.

Using workers tools
Starting from a young age, kids should be taught to use tools, hammers, screwdrivers, shovels, measuring tapes, the works! When kids have an interest in everything around them- it’s a great time to get them involved and engaged. 

Teach them the safe way to hold the tools, and the right way to use them and not only do you gain an assistant, but you know that kids are learning important life skills that they won’t be learning at school!

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.