One of my priorities with my kids is life skills. From things like how to change a tire, how to cook, to how to interview well, and lots more besides, it’s all important. These books help us accomplish this goal, coupled, of course, with plenty of real-world applications!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please check our Privacy Policy and Disclaimers and Disclosures.

Books for Kids, Appropriate for Elementary-Aged Students

The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls are actually both just the first books in their series, so you have many options. I make a point of emphasizing that both my kids can read and do the things in both books. Both of these books have an amazing array of skills, tidbits of knowledge, and more. I actually found out about them thanks to a thrift store find – The Dangerous Book For Boys Board Game. I was thrilled to find both of these series. Both books are super well made, beautifully bound, with nice, thick paper. These books are appropriate for younger kids.

For Tweens and Teens

The Encyclopedia of Immaturity – we have volume two, but I’m sure volume one is just as great. It’s mostly how-to’s, but there are also some fun facts sprinkled throughout. The table of contents, rather than being organized by page number, is (thankfully) organized alphabetically, like an index. Most of this book is focused on, well, immature skills, but I still want my kids to know how to make an Altoid robot or hypnotize a hot dog, and how to cure hiccups. I do think this book is probably geared more toward tweens and teens, but not inappropriate for younger kids.

How to Fight a Bear…And Win is all about wilderness survival. From how to make a fire, to how to avoid a tornado, and yes, how to fight a bear. This unassuming little book is jam-packed with 73 survival tips. Since we’re planning on spending hopefully at least the next few years camping, I figure this is a good one for us to explore. However, it may be best to explore *with* your kids, as this book also has instructions on how to amputate a limb, as well as eat human meat, and even fake your own death.

Teenagers and Older

The Action Hero’s Handbook is definitely not written for young children. I still think it’s a good one to add to your collection. From skills like how to secure a hotel room, how to save someone who has flat-lined, how to communicate with an extraterrestrial, to how to pick someone up in a bar, this has a wide variety. I’ll encourage my kids to explore this book as teenagers.