Basic Life Skills to Teach Your Kids Today

With so much for our children to learn in today’s high-tech world, it’s all too easy for them to miss out on practical life skills, whether it’s running a load of wash, reading a map, or handwriting a letter. Your child is more capable than you realize. Even your preschooler can begin to learn these essential life lessons. Take a look at these skills you might want to teach and/or cultivate in your kids.

Doing the laundry. Too many teens head to college with no clue how to clean their clothes. Don’t let your kid become one of them. You can begin teaching your child when she is around 6. If you have a top-loading washer, keep a step stool nearby. Walk her through the process—how to measure and add the detergent, choose the settings, and start the machine.

Wrapping a gift. Your child already loves giving presents, and wrapping them makes it even more satisfying. Preschoolers can help cut the paper and stick on the tape, while kindergartners can complete additional steps with your help, like removing the price tag, finding the right size box, and wrapping paper all the way around the gift to make sure it fits before cutting it.

Writing a letter. Toddlers can dictate a letter to a family member (enhanced with drawings), attach the stamp, and drop it into a mailbox. Teach an older child how to address an envelope and the five parts of a letter: date, greeting (“Dear…”), body, closing (“Sincerely”), and signature. You can also have them help with holiday cards and find a pen pal.


Preparing a simple meal. Yogurt with fruit is a good first DIY breakfast. Preschoolers can spoon yogurt into a bowl and add prewashed cut-up fruit. Work with kids 5 and older on making sandwiches and smoothies (monitor the blender closely). Around age 7 or 8, your kid can try toaster-oven faves like English-muffin pizza, or make a simple salad by ripping lettuce, dumping in croutons, and cutting up tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. By age 10, kids can use the stovetop with supervision for a grilled-cheese sandwich.

Cleaning the bathroom. Keep rags or a sponge handy for wiping toothpaste blobs off the sink. Toilet duties require greater skill. School-age kids can clean the lid, seat, and base with a disinfecting wipe. Make sure they wash their hands thoroughly afterward. Big kids can scrub the bowl with a nontoxic cleaner: Sprinkle the sides with baking soda, let it sit for a few minutes, pour in some vinegar, then scrub with a toilet brush.

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A Quick Guide to 2018 Home Improvement

Here’s a compilation of the top home improvement trends for 2018. They have been predicted to become very present in many homes throughout this year. Enjoy a few tips on utilising available spaces and learn about some advanced concepts already creating a buzz amongst those who like to enhance their living with smart home technology.

Micro House Design

As homeowners continue to get short changed for space, there is a tendency to adopt multi-purpose, micro house design, with beds folding out to become tables, and the ability to fold everything away after use. Although the ‘micro house design’ trend appears to be a relativity new concept to us here in the West, it’s a way of life for those in Japan-and has been for a number of years. In Japan, restrictions of sizing and space has led to impressive levels of ingenuity; instead of having a designated use for each room (and the subsequent limitations this creates), homes have been designed to enable a bedroom to transform into a living room, with the simple folding of a futon. Japanese furniture tends to be portable as well, ensuring ease of manoeuvre when required; something which will prove invaluable to UK buildings, as this trend continues to take hold.

Using Re-purposed Items

With the financial uncertainty continuing, the trend towards ‘mend and make do’, rather than purchasing brand new, seems set to soar in 2018. This includes: reupholstering old chairs with new fabrics, and repainting and stencilling existing cupboards and cabinets. Car boot sales and flea markets provide a veritable treasure trove of finds that, although appearing a little worn and tattered on the face of it, can be restored to their former glory, with just a minimal amount of effort.


Investing in a Home’s Potential

As more and homeowners continue to stay put, rather than move, there is likely to be a concerted move towards allocating their budget into home improvement products and projects that will increase property value immeasurably. So where do they focus their efforts? Unsurprisingly, designing the dream kitchen the top of everyone’s’ list, with sleek, marble countertops proving particularly popular among property owners. For the majority, creating an open plan layout is the overall goal, as it offers a seamless transition between rooms, as well as creating the illusion of additional space.

Smart Lighting Controls – AIl is set to pave the way to a brighter future in 2018-quite literally! Such systems have been designed to be fully customisable to consumers, enabling them to be adapted in accordance with the seasons, as well as the time of day. This trend feeds into the larger move towards smart energy management systems in general, with thermostats also proving popular among property owners, due to their ability to be controlled remotely.

Mix And Match Appliances

Just when you thought your home couldn’t get any more sophisticated, fridge freezers have had the ultimate upgrade as well! Giving the concept of multi-tasking a whole new meaning, mix and match appliances offer homeowners the chance to take control of conditions within their fridge-freezers-from air purification systems, right down to humidity controlled crisper drawers. At the upper end of the market, some models even feature built in cameras that let you see whether there were any items you left off your list whilst out shopping.

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