To help with the hard work of raising independent kids, here are some books, games, tools, and sets to make your job easier. And make it more fun and meaningful for them. In case you missed either or both of them, this list is a supplement to What We’re Really Doing When We Think We’re Raising Kids and What We’re Really Doing When We Think We’re Raising Kids: The Sequel.
I put this list together for two reasons:
- To give you ideas. A lot of this you can put together on your own, probably with things you already have. If you’re missing some things, you can probably get them at a dollar store or discount store. Your library may have some of these books, so look into that. Or ask your friends if they have them.
- To show you where you can get these goodies, if you want to go that route. Sometimes, it’s easier just to order what you need and let it come to you. (My symbiotic relationship with Amazon is evidence of that!) I’ve included some sets for things like cooking and yard work. I looked for sets that are either tested by me or are well-reviewed, and are not overly expensive. (If you are familiar with Amazon, some of the smaller items are “Add-ons”. If your order doesn’t meet the minimum, just find a good alternate.)
(This post contains affiliate links. A lot of them! When you order through these links, it costs you nothing extra. But it might help cover some of the costs of the blog, so thanks!)
If your child has shown a real interest in one of these areas, the sets make darn fine gift ideas. They send a message that says, “You’re growing up and need your own set of tools.” It’s nice to have your own special set, right?
I really don’t want you to miss an opportunity to create a sense of “the moment.” Giving a kid his own set of tools to help around the house, or to help make dinner, can be a big moment. And make it one. It can–and should–feel like an invitation to step into a more grown-up world. And truly, if it’s a set of cooking utensils from the dollar store or a fancy personalized set from Pottery Barn, it doesn’t matter. It’s the gesture.
Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma
Rite of Passage Parenting by Walker Moore
Raising Great Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Master Chef Junior Cooking Essentials Kits
Set of Basic Household Tools in a Case (Note: This is not a kids’ set, just a basic set. I love the idea of little kids having toy tools to play with when they are younger, but this is a set for when your child is old enough to start using real tools to help around the house.)
Gardening and Yard Tools (Note: The first set of gardening tools are regular-sized, but the second one is specifically for kids. The yard tools are kid-sized. But they can be used to do actual yard work, especially raking leaves!)
Financial Peace Junior by Dave Ramsey
Banks with Different Sections
Money Skills Game (This is Buy it Right, the one we had when the kids were growing up, and we loved it. There are lots of others, too. Teacher supply stores are a good place to look for these and get advice.)
(Both of these are undated.)
Brother Offended Checklist $11 (It teaches kids to handle conflict among themselves on their own.)