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Do-It-Myself Guide on Babble.com How to float, swing, tie your shoes, blow your nose, and be a kid.

The Babble Do-It-Myself Guide

How to float, swing, tie your shoes, blow your nose, and be a kid.

by Allison Pennell

July 21, 2009

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How to Set the Table

Helping around the house is a self-esteem builder, or so they say. To wit, we love the classic, award-winning settable.gif“I Can Set a Table” laminated placemat.

How to Cook

For teaching kids everything from cracking an egg and kneading dough to slicing and grating, Bank Street College Librarian Lisa Von Drusek loves Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes (Tricycle Press, ages 4-8) by Molly Katzen of Moosewood Cookbook fame.

How to Be a Good Loser

Cut through the usual touchy-feely stuff with a no-bunkum explanation sure to appeal to young competitors: self-interest. Teach them that in most games, there’s always going to be a winner and a loser. And there’s always going to be a next time, if you play it right. Nobody (not even their long-suffering parents) is going to want to play with a sore loser, or a sore winner, for that matter. So, tell them to take a deep breath and let it all go.

How to Take Gross Medicine

Having your child suck on a popsicle or ice cube before taking the big, bad gulp will numb the taste buds long enough to get the medicine down.

How to Ride a Bike

In bikes as in life, it’s all about balance. And pedal-free bikes are just the ticket (albeit a kind of pricey one) for getting kids balanced and ready for a two-wheeler. Of course, you could just take the pedals off of an old Schwinn and call it a day.

How to Float

Any kid can float, no matter how little, says Swim America programmer Rose Cholewinksi. It’s a matter of body position. Stand behind their heads cradling their head in your hands and have them look back at you. Head, bellies and toes are all on top of the water. Let them know you have them.

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