48 Life Skills to Teach Your Kids at Every Stage

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Use this life skills for kids checklist to fill your summer with intentional growth opportunities!

Have you and your kids suddenly found yourselves at home a lot more? Our collective Coronavirus Summer is upon us, and you may be staring down an empty calendar for the next three months wondering “what can we do?” 

Camps are canceled, playdates aren’t happening, and your backyard or balcony suddenly looks like the best place to be . . . well, all the time. This summer offers an incredible chance for you to introduce your kids to some fun (and important!) life skills. Life skills help build confidence and resourcefulness in kids, allowing them to do basic tasks themselves. 

Take a break from the screen, push pause on free play, and laugh your way through learning these important life skills for kids.

48 Life Skills for Kids at Every Stage

FOR PRESCHOOLERS 

Kids ages 2–4 will love learning some of these fun life skills that should serve them well through childhood and into adulthood! 

In the Kitchen:

  • Crack an egg
  • Wash and dry the (plastic) dishes 
  • Make a simple sandwich 
  • Properly wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water

Around the House:

Outside:

  • Put on sunscreen 
  • Catch a firefly in a jar 
  • Identify the weather and the proper clothes to wear 
  • Throw a ball 

For Themselves:

  • Tie shoelaces 
  • Put on a bandaid 
  • Zip a jacket 
  • Mail a letter (seal envelope, put on stamp, put in mailbox) 

FOR EARLY ELEMENTARY 

Kids ages 5–8 can learn some of these more advanced life skills!

In the Kitchen:

  • Boil water 
  • Set a table for family dinner 
  • Make scrambled eggs 
  • Replace the batteries in something

Around the House:

  • Make a phone call, especially in an emergency
  • Make the bed properly 
  • Lock and unlock a door with a key 
  • Light a candle safely 

Outside:

  • Use a compass 
  • Ride a bike without training wheels 
  • Identify easily-seen constellations, like Orion’s Belt or the Big Dipper 
  • Plant and water seeds 

For Themselves:

  • Floss 
  • Braid or style their hair
  • Do a pushup (or 10!) 
  • Pick out their own clothes

FOR LATE ELEMENTARY

Kids ages 8-10 will have a lot of fun learning to do these life skills as you prepare to send them into the tween years! 

In the Kitchen:

  • Make a meal for themselves (mac and cheese, sandwich, pancakes) 
  • Load and unload a dishwasher properly 
  • Make a cup of tea 
  • Cut up ingredients for a salad 

Around the House:

  • Operate the washer and dryer and fold the laundry 
  • Sew on a button 
  • Use a hammer and screwdriver 
  • Change a lightbulb 

Outside:

  • Read and follow a map 
  • Use a pocket knife safely 
  • Fix a flat bike tire 
  • Check the tire pressure in a car tire 

For Themselves:

  • Write a proper thank you note 
  • Iron their own clothes  
  • Handle/save money such as their allowance
  • Introduce themselves properly with good eye contact

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Download your Life Skills for Kids Printable Checklists