Over the years we have been intentional about teaching our kids life skills. We understand that our children’s education should include much more than just “book smarts” – we want them to have the knowledge and skills to take care of themselves in a variety of real life situations.
Recently my son brought a fun book to my attention – “Necessary Skills and Then Some…” (by DKPublishing). He said he appreciated the many life skills we had already covered such as food shopping, goal setting, table manners, etc. But, he thought the information in THIS book was just as important for kids to learn.
Necessary Skills and Then Some… is designed to show kids how to do things that are useful, cool, mind-boggling, and just FUN!
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My son couldn’t wait to get started on his new “lessons.”
When I first glanced through the table of contents, however, I wasn’t sure these lessons were things I really wanted my child to learn –
- How to hike safely in bear country
- How to climb Mount Everest
- How to lift fingerprints
- How to land an airplane
- How to escape an alligator (well, we do live in Florida, so this might actually be a useful tip to know!)
However, a quick safety note from the authors helped us appreciate this book even more. You see, this book includes some things kids should learn to do, but it also shares insight into some pretty extraordinary activities kids aren’t necessarily encouraged to try but might find very interesting.
The book explains what people should do in some worst-case scenarios, but it also makes it clear to kids that the information is presented in order to help them be prepared and NOT because it is encouraging them to seek out danger.
Topics for Inquiring Minds
This book is filled with more than 150 interesting activities, each broken down into just a few easy-to-follow steps.
Some of the activities are practical, a few are “good to know”, while others are just cool!
Here are some of the fun topics included:
Amaze Your Friends – “Everyone should have a few tricks up their sleeve to surprise and entertain people…”
- Pull a tablecloth
- Juggle 2 or 3 balls
- Repair a string with magic
- Twist fun balloon shapes
- Walk a tightrope
Food, Glorious Food – “Food is the way to most people’s hearts. Cooking is always an essential skill for life…”
- Bake fresh bread
- Flip a crepe
- Cook perfect pasta
- Make a naked egg
- Make real hot chocolate
- Use chopsticks
Get Creative – “Here are lots of ideas to get you cutting, sticking, folding, and painting”
- Fold a boomerang
- Make marbled paper
- Make origami animals
- Knot a friendship bracelet
- Make a survival wristlet
- Design a flipbook
Explore the World – “Look closer at the natural world around you.”
- Set up a terrarium
- Attract and feed moths
- Cook for birds
- Make a hummingbird feeder
- Build a compost pile
- Pan for gold
- Use a lemon as a battery
Survive in the Wild – “If you’re planning an expedition in the big outdoors, it’s important to be prepared and master some basic survival skills…”
- Avoid getting lost
- Find your latitude
- Escape an alligator
- Cross a swamp
- Stay afloat
- Build an igloo
- Hook a fish
Be a Sports Hero – “Time for fun and games…”
- Juggle a soccer ball
- Dive for the ball
- Pitch in baseball
- Serve in tennis
- Spin the ball
- Perfect skateboard moves
We have had so much fun with this book!
My kids think Necessary Skills and Then Some will make a great gift for their friends. It is one of those books kids would keep on their shelf and refer back to when they are looking for something fun (but not too dangerous) to learn and do.
What “necessary skills” do your children want to learn?