Use Your Community: Local Stores Can Teach Your Kids Practical Skills

My daughter baking a treatOne of my guiding philosophies, which I try to model for my children, is that we try to create for ourselves instead of buying: we make some of our clothes, we do some of our own gardening, and we often make toys and games instead of purchasing them.

To do these things, however, requires a set of practical skills that we as parents may not have learned when we, ourselves, were young. It was a painful process to teach myself how to sew on a hand-me-down sewing machine, for instance, I feel there’s a lot I don’t know about gardening even though I’ve read a LOT of books, and learning to knit from a youtube video? For me–impossible.

In previous generations I wouldn’t have had to teach myself how to cook, or make my own soap, or even breastfeed–I’d have had an entire community to teach me from childhood as part of the local culture. And that’s why, even though I try not to support most big-box stores with my money when I can instead shop at an independent store, there is one aspect of both big-box and local stores that I wholeheartedly support:

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