No matter if you have a very young child or an older child - make it a priority that they acquire at least one new skill this month for the New Year.
Melissa and Doug's basic skills board is fantastic for little ones to learn the basics of dressing themselves. Another fun activity many little tykes enjoy is the simple activity of pounding wooden pegs into a board. While it's just plain fun for your little one, it's also teaching hand and eye coordination and even colors when you play games like "Pound the blue peg first" or "Hit the red peg" and let your child do so.
Older children will enjoy learning skills such as cause and effect in building blocks and even how the world of retail works by owning their own snack shop. Learning life skills can't be done early enough and kids can learn a lot though pretend play.
Group play is especially beneficial as it allows your child to learn to listen to the ideas of others and even compromise when necessary. Learning to play well with others is paramount to getting along with other people throughout his or her life - learning those skills can't be done early enough.
If your elementary school age child has been asking for his or own savings account, you can let them practice with their own pretend play checking account. It comes with a calculator and you can practice with your child for saving and spending before they have the real thing.
If they got a check from Grandma or Grandpa for their birthday, let them spend the money at the bookstore or wherever you normally take your kiddo and then let them keep track of what they have spent in their checkbook. Learning life skills through pretend play is so powerful and will enable your kids to develop lasting skills they carry throughout their lives.