Life Hacks for Little Kids

I often receive e-mails or see an internet headline offering to teach me the newest “life hacks” – how to do anything and everything, better, easier, quicker and cheaper.  For children, I feel that everyday life includes little moments when they are learning how to do something new or learning how to do something in a simpler, easier manner.  So, I started thinking of some of my favorite Little Kid Life Hacks.  Not only can these make your child’s life a little simpler, they are also a great way to practice independence, learn how to take care of their own responsibilities and feel more capable.

Some of my favorites include:

*Dealing with long sleeves and coats: Our kids call this one the “Daddy Trick” because Daddy taught it to them. This is the simple idea of gripping your long sleeve shirt in your hand while putting it through the sleeve to avoid that horrible bunch up that can happen when the sleeve slides up to your elbow.

*Getting shoes on the right feet: Cut a sticker in half and place one side in each of your child’s shoes.  When the sticker lines up, your child knows he’s putting his shoes on the right feet.  This is a great life hack to help keep those shoes on the right toes.

*Clearing the dinner table: Help your future restaurant employee learn the art of clearing a table efficiently and effectively. Demonstrate that they can put silverware in their bowl and put their bowl on their plate to clear their table setting in one simple trip.  This works best with tablewear that won’t break if you have a spill, but it’s so great for kids to learn that they can carefully stack their food items correctly and clear their place setting in one trip (instead of 3).

*Avoiding the sticky mess of popsicles:  We learned this one at the local ice cream shop. As my son bought the bright red SpiderMan popsicle treat, the ice cream lady handed over an extra cup cover. Slipping the stick through the straw hole in the middle protected my little guys hands and clothes from the bright red drips.

*Playing cards like a big kid:  Does your child wish he could play cards with the big kids, but can’t keep his cards private in his hand? Cut the top off of an egg carton and invert the bottom portion to hold the cards up between the egg slots.

*Passing food at meals:  While I often plate my children’s food from the stove and counter, I realized they were missing out on an important skill. Help your child learn table manners and portion control by always serving a dish or 2 at the meal that needs to be passed.  For example, by having a fruit salad bowl on the table, children learn how to scoop fruit, how much fruit to take and that they need to pass it on to the next person.

It’s fun to find opportunities to teach our children independence and a sense of self-reliance.  Life Hacks for Little Kids can make the world a simpler place!


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