popular topics in skill-building activities

  • Entertainment and Activities
    Writing Activities
    Writing to the President
    Writing to the PresidentMaterials Writing paper Pen Envelope Postage stamp Directions There are many reasons kids would like to write to the president. They might be concerned about the environment or youth crime. Your letter will be read by a ...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Window Cleaning
    Window CleaningMaterials Glass cleaner (or vinegar and water) Paper towels or dry cloths Small, portable stepladder Soft brush Directions Offering your services as a window cleaner will bring you plenty of customers. You should offer to clean wi...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Math Activities
    Math Codes
    Math Codes Required: Writing supplies Kids love to make and break codes. Here's a variation that adds a new level of fun and reinforces basic math skills at the same time. You can easily adjust the level of challenge for your child's math and re...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Snow or Leaf Removal
    Snow or Leaf RemovalMaterials Snow shovel Whisk broom Leaf rake Yard broom Large bags Directions A snow-shoveling service is in great demand in those areas of the country where winter snowfalls are the rule rather than the exception. Be availabl...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Car Washing and Detailing
    Car Washing and DetailingMaterials Plastic bucket Detergent Wool mitt or soft sponge Chamois cloth (optional) Towels Window cleaner Soft cloths Vacuum cleaner Vinyl cleaner (optional) Toothbrushes Directions Close all windows and doors after ma...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Pet Grooming
    Pet GroomingMaterials Pet shampoo Flea and tick shampoos Bath brush Towels Hair brushes and combs Hair dryer Large tub Directions Dog and cat grooming is a good business if you like animals and you don't mind getting wet. First, make sure you h...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Reading Activities
    Magazine Scavenger Hunt
    Magazine Scavenger HuntMaterials One old magazine per player One sheet of paper per player One pencil per playerDirections Before your trip, leaf through each magazine. For each magazine, make a list of fifteen objects pictured in it. Each list s...
    Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book
  • Book Finder
    Book Finder
    Book Finder
    Find our top picks for the best books of the year!
    familyeducation editors
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Lawns and Yard Work
    Lawns and Yard WorkMaterials Small garden tools Rake Large bags for clippings Yard broom Trimmer or shears Garden gloves Lawn mower (optional) Directions First practice your lawn mowing and garden care skills on your own backyard. Know how to us...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Tutoring Math and Reading
    Tutoring Math and ReadingMaterials Dictionary Calculator Note paper Pens and pencils Directions If you have a fairly good grade point average and get along well with your peers and younger children, you are a good candidate for a tutoring busin...
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Gift Wrapping
    Gift WrappingMaterials Assorted rolls of wrapping paper Colored ribbons and matching bows Clear adhesive tape Empty gift boxes Tissue paper (sheets) Gift tags Scissors Directions Before you begin wrapping gifts for other people, practice gift w...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Reading Activities
    15-Minute Reading Activities
    15-Minute Reading ActivitiesMake 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your younger kids. 1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs...
    the National PTA
  • Kids
    Earning Money
    Tie-Dyed T-Shirts
    Tie-Dyed T-ShirtsMaterials Fabric dyes in assorted colors Large plastic tubs Wooden spoons Plain white T-shirts in several sizes Strong rubber bands Directions Mix the dyes according to the directions on the packets. Use a separate tub for each...
  • Babies and Toddlers
    Activities for Toddlers
    Balloon Fun
    Balloon FunTime 5 to 10 minutes Materials Package of balloons Directions This activity helps your child to explore force and motion. Inflate the balloons and tie them off with the string.Suspend them from the ceiling just low enough to be reached...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Science Activities
    Ocean Sounds
    Ocean SoundsTime 5 to 10 minutes Materials GlassWater Directions Sound waves can mimic the sounds of the ocean. Fill the glass halfway with water and hold it to your child's ear to "hear" the ocean. This happens because the water movement on the...
  • Egg Drop Science Activity for Kids
    Science Activities
    Egg Drop
    Egg DropMaterials Raw egg (and a few extra) Packing materials String or tape Directions The object of this activity is to wrap up an egg so that it won't break when dropped from a height. The recommended height is 12-15 feet. Design a container ...
  • Baby Name Finder
    Baby Names
    Baby Name Finder
    Search names and meanings in our Baby Name center.
    familyeducation editors
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Geography Activities
    Map Facts
    Map FactsTime 15 to 30 minutes Materials Map of the local area Directions Map skills can develop special concepts that help children understand distance and time. A good way to expose children to maps is to use one of the local area when you take...