Memorizing telephone numbers

When you were young, chances are you knew at least 10 telephone numbers by heart. Now, it's possible you don't even know your spouse's number. Make sure your child learns some essential numbers by heart just in case they're ever stuck and need to contact you. It's also a good exercise for the brain.


That little blue blob that accompanies you as you find your way to a destination is mighty handy, but it does prevent you from learning to map-read. Not only is this a useful skill for your child if they ever end up in the middle of nowhere without a signal, but knowing how to fold a paper map back into that neat rectangle shouldn't be underestimated.

Writing letters

It's so easy to send a quick text or email, but there's something very human and meaningful about receiving a hand-written letter. Whether it's a little thank you note or a long letter to a grandparent, the effort it takes putting pen to paper is deeply appreciated by the recipient.

Asking for help

The great thing with smartphones is that you have the answers to almost everything at the tip of your fingers. But what if your child is out and about, has lost their phone and needs to get in touch, or find their way somewhere? It's an art to be able to seek help in a polite manner and show gratitude to those who've come to the rescue.

Talking to friends

As children become more attached to their phones, they often spend more time pinging messages to each other than actually talking face to face. Kids should be encouraged to engage in conversation and show a genuine interest in whomever they're chatting with. This can start at home by making sure phones are banned at the dinner table.

Taking a thoughtful photo

The great thing about smartphones is the ease at which you can take hundreds of photos -- although they all too often stay on the phone and not in a frame. If your child learns to take a proper photo with a camera, they'll spend more time appreciating the image they want to capture: whether it's a beautiful landscape, a family pet, or a kind relative, the end result will feel more heart-felt.