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Children this age enjoy taking on more responsibility and being asked to do important things. Asking your child to help out not only teaches them important real-world skills but also gives them more confidence that they’re useful and important members of the family.

4 activities to help your child learn real-world skills

  1. Planning activities

    Let your child be in charge of family fun. Have him research entertainment and outing options for the family by googling “family friendly activities near me.” Have your child write down kid-friendly destinations, like museums, zoos, concerts, sports games, or festivals, along with the cost and location of each. Discuss the pros and cons of each option and make a decision together.

  2. Getting directions

    Next time you need to go somewhere, ask your child to look up the directions on Google Maps to help you find the best route. Have your child enter the two addresses — where you’re leaving from and where you’re going — and click “Get directions.” Then click one of the icons for the trip by car, public transportation, walking, or bike. Ask your child to tell you the difference in travel times between walking and taking the bus, and then decide how you’ll get there.

  3. Buying household items

    The next time you need to make a household purchase, let your child be your shopping helper. Let’s say you’ve decided to buy a microwave. Tell your child how much you can spend and then help her look online for the prices and features of different microwaves that would fit within your budget. You can check prices online and then go to the stores in person. Ask your child to bring a notepad and ask the salesperson questions and take notes on what you find out. Ask your child to make a chart of the options, with the make and model of each microwave, along with their prices and features. Decide together what would be the best choice for your family.

  4. Shopping for groceries

    Get your child’s help with grocery shopping. Make a list together of the items you’ll need for the week, and then talk about your budget. Talk with your child about whether there’s any place you can save money. With your child, look online for tips on saving money and eating healthfully (such as this list of grocery shopping tips).

    You can also have your child check online or in a local newspaper for coupons for items you’re already planning to buy. Have him do some simple math to see how much a coupon would save you. When you go to the grocery store, have your child compare the prices of different brands of the same product. Put him in charge of keeping the receipts each week, and ask him to add up your total grocery costs for the month.

Want more? Check out this list of 8 great chores for elementary schoolers.

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