Posts from offspring.lifehacker.com
How to Match Your Kid With a Bike That FitsIt used to be that when it was time to buy my son a new bike, we’d take him to the store and let him try a couple out. Usually just him sitting on one for a few moments was enough to tell us if a bike was too small, too big or just right. Well, around here in Eastern Pennsylvania (and in many other areas), bikes have been out of stock for months. And even if they weren’t, I’d have no intention of taking my son into a store to try them out. Which is why, of course, his bike broke a few weeks ago.
How to Help Your Teenager Find a Virtual Summer JobSummer jobs are more than a backdrop for 1980’s teen romcoms—they are an adolescent right of passage. For some kids, these starter gigs are their first real bite of independence. For others, it’s a chance to hone a skill that could later become a career. And for all kids, it’s a chance to make a little—or sometimes a lot—of extra pocket money.
Help Kids Learn Important Life Skills With This BookThe timing of the release of the new book How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn before You’re Grown Up really couldn’t be better. I’m sure author Catherine Newman wasn’t expecting or intending for her book focused on teaching kids basic life skills to be released during a pandemic, but here we are. And with our kids home for the summer, and many more months of varying degrees of isolation ahead of us, it seems like the perfect time for them to learn how to chop an onion, address an envelope or sew on a button.1
Label Your Kid’s Dresser Drawers With What Belongs InsideIf your kid is resistant to putting away clothing, toys or other items, there is a good chance they just don’t feel like cleaning up. But if it has become a regular battle in which their opposition to the request seems disproportionate to the ask, there could be something deeper at play. They might actually be confused about which items go where.
Let Your Toddler Play With BirdseedIf you’re the parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you’ve discovered the joy (and the mess) that sensory activities can bring. When my son was that age, a bin full of strange material would occupy him for many minutes at a time—certainly more than plastic toys or games or puzzles ever could. The trick to a successful sensory activity is to find something that is fun to dig your hands into, isn’t a choking hazard and, most critically, won’t make a mess that takes longer to clean up than the time spent playing with it. Might I suggest: Birdseed.
How Are You Salvaging This Summer for Your Kids?I’ll say it: This summer has been a bummer so far, and it’s not looking like it’s going to get much better. As the school year wound down, and summer approached, my son would even say things like, “Well, I’m going to be on summer vacation soon, not that it matters because we won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything.” He’s at an age—nine years old—where he should be having those quintessential summer experiences that he’ll look back on the rest of his life. Long days at the pool, barbecues with the extended family, trips to Ohio to visit his cousins. And none of it is possible.
Dropping Ice Cream Onto Your Kids Is the Weirdest Fun You'll Have All SummerIf you’ve run out of ways to make this summer exciting, we’ve got a suggestion you probably haven’t thought of yet—drop ice cream from your roof onto your kids. Or, rather, try to drop ice cream into the giant bowls your kids are holding, and hope for the best.
Let Your Kids Have ‘Video Sleepovers’ With Their FriendsKids are missing out on lots of conventional social interactions with their friends right now, but we’re also getting pretty good at figuring out pandemic variations on the classics. “It’s Better Than Nothing” should be everyone’s mantra by now, which is why I’m going to recommend that you let your kids have video sleepovers with their friends.
How to Safely Take Kids to the PlaygroundI cannot tell you that by going to a playground right now, you or your child aren’t exposing yourselves to at least some risk of contracting COVID-19. But I see you out there, parents of little kids who are desperate to get them out of the house and burn off some of their energy. If you’ve been debating whether or not to venture out to a playground, there are some precautions you can take to make the outing safer.
Learn How to Teach Your Kids Life Skills With This Free WebinarMost parents are probably burnt out right now on reviewing math facts and vocabulary words. I, personally, have been mostly focused on making sure my nine-year-old continues to read consistently and gets outdoors enough; beyond that, fine, play Minecraft. But one way we could be taking advantage of this summer is by zeroing in on teaching our kids life skills.
Here's What Pediatricians Recommend for School This FallParents everywhere are holding their breath this summer, waiting to see what school in the fall might look like. Sending kids into school everyday seems so risky for everyone involved; and yet, the thought of more weeks or months of remote learning is also emotionally daunting. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now weighing in—and they say schools should make it a goal to have students physically present in schools.
How to Get Your Kids to Read More This SummerGetting our kids to read consistently can be a challenge. But given how the end of the school year just went down, you may be especially worried that you need to help them step up their reading game, at least so they don’t slip backward in the months leading up to whatever fall will bring. We’ve written quite a bit about reading over the years, so I’ve curated for you some of our best tips for little kids and big kids, as well as some overall trickier tactics we endorse.
6 Great Energy-Burning Backyard Games for Little KidsWell, here we are. We’re knocking on July’s door and COVID-19 is still running rampant through many of our communities. Maybe you’ve added some socially distanced playdates into the mix by now, or maybe you’re starting to figure out how to safely venture out to a playground or a friend’s pool. If you haven’t run out of backyard, energy-busting activities yet for your little kids, I am impressed. If you have, here are a few ideas you may not have tried yet.
These Free Books Can Help Kids with Autism Understand the PandemicIt can be difficult for any child (or adult, honestly) to grasp all the changes we’ve had to make in our lives this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But children with autism often need a little extra help in understanding why life looks so different right now, especially as we approach the start of another uncertain school year. That’s why one speech/language pathologist has created a collection of free books for parents to download and share with their kids.
How to 'Unplug' Your Kid's Tech AddictionThe global pandemic has changed the world on a macro level, but it has also reshaped the microcosm of our family routines. Once, screen time was a special treat for my kids, saved for weekends and movie nights. Oh, but then all the schools closed. And the daycares. And the summer camps. Suddenly, screens became school, or vice versa, and the days got a hell of a lot longer.
Make Little Kids the 'Family Mask Monitor'I don’t know about the rest of you, but the novelty of mask-wearing has officially worn thin in my family. My nine-year-old son thought they were pretty cool at first—he even wanted to create reasons to have to wear them—but now he sees them for the uncomfortable inconvenience that they are. Unfortunately, he (and me, and you, and your kids) still have several months of mask-wearing ahead of us.
Help Your Graduate Turn a 'Gap Year' into a 'Purpose Year'This year’s high school seniors didn’t exactly get the full graduation experience this year. In many cases, they missed the last few months of school and with it, proms, spring sports, end-of-school-year celebrations and even their own graduation ceremonies. As uncertainty about the fall looms, graduates may be considering something that is often done even in non-pandemic times: They may want to take a “gap year.”