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Don’t Wait! Four Skills Kids can Learn Surprisingly Young

Young children’s minds are incredible. As they grow and develop, young brains are constantly documenting and using new information. Even before school begins, children can learn a massive number of skills, words, ideas, and values. Some skills can be learned at any time in childhood while other skills are best taught during a window of time in their development.

Here are a few surprising skills kids can learn, and learn well, before the age of 10:

  1. How to Handle Injuries
    Many adults are unsure exactly how to handle even minor scrapes and bruises, and some of us panic when we get hurt. According to Parents magazine, kids can be taught that while bumps, blood, and pain can be a little frightening, remaining calm is the best way to handle an injury. Parents can teach kids who are old enough to remember simple tasks to apply pressure for bleeding, to clean away dirt with water, to use ointment to sterilize, and to cover wounds with a bandage.
  2. Basic Music Skills 
    According to Child online magazine, infants as young as two months old can recognize when notes do not sound pleasant together. Even toddlers can learn basic scales, and kids can start to understand harmony between ages six and 12. Working on children’s music skills early may not groom them to be the next Mozart, but it can help them foster a lifelong appreciation for and familiarity with the art form.
  3. Financial Literacy
    Kids learn a lot by observing how parents and mentors behave. Make your shopping habits easier for them to understand by explaining the choices you make. For example, tell kids that you buy the store brand cheese because it’s 20 cents cheaper, or ask them to help you find the brand of toilet paper that costs the least per roll. Consider letting children make their own purchases with a small allowance. According to Parents magazine, including young ones in your shopping decisions can help them become financially intelligent in the future.
  4. Foreign Languages
    Children’s brains are hardwired to be constantly acquiring new language skills, making childhood an ideal time to learn a second language. Kids might even be better at learning other languages than adults. Start teaching bilingualism young — before age 10 is ideal, and some experts say before age five is even better for maximum language acquisition potential.

Though reciting the alphabet, naming colors, and counting are all great skills for kids to learn early, few parents realize how many essential life skills (and how much common sense) can be acquired before the age of 10. By being patient and including children in some adult activities, you can set your child up for a richer and happier life.

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