Life Skills for Children: Although kids spend a lot of time in the classroom, there are some life skills for children which can only be learnt outside of school. By learning life skills before they become teens, children can become independent and self-sufficient before they begin high school. Children that cultivate these proficiency at an early age, can improve their social and reasoning skills, which will give them the confidence to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.
1. Life Skills for Children: Household Chores
The easiest skill children can pick up at home, are simple everyday chores. Helping around the house builds character and teaches kids to be responsible and cooperative. Undertaking chores shows that you care for others and your environment, which is a social skill that can be applied to all other areas of life.
Inspire your kids to get involved with:
- Dusting and wiping down surfaces
- Collecting waste baskets from around the house for you to put into the main garbage bag
- Grooming and feeding pets, and taking them for a walk
- Washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher (knives and glasses should only be handled by adults or much older children)
Recommended Reading: Age-Appropriate Chores for Children
2. Meal Prep
Cooking a simple meal is the most basic life skill for children. By starting to teach this skill to your kids in early life, they will get into healthy habits from a young age, which will also help them choose the best menu options from the school canteen menu.
The basic cooking skills to introduce to children are:
- Measuring ingredients with cups and scales
- How to wash and prepare vegetable
- Mashing root vegetables
- Preparing salads
The following should be done under supervision, until you and your children are confident in their abilities:
- Chopping vegetables and fruits (don’t use a very sharp knife)
- Scrambling eggs & boiling pasta
- Making juices & smoothies
- How to use simple and safe kitchen equipment such as a can opener, microwave, and toaster
3. Doing Laundry
A simple and easy chore to get even the smallest of kids to take part in, is to do the laundry together. Break down the laundry process step by step and give kids complete control to complete their part. Over time, they will be able to do it just as well as you, so be patient and let them get on with it (even if you must redo it a few times at the start!). By teaching your kids this skill, you can save yourself hours of laundry in the future, as they won’t be bringing their dirty washing back home for you to do when they are in college!
Have your kids watch you do the laundry a few times until they are familiar with the process and ready to start copying you and learn for themselves. Begin by:
- Sorting out clothes to be washed; separating white clothes from colors or clothes that need to be dry cleaned
- Loading clothes into the washing machine
- Adding detergent and fabric softener (always supervise small children when doing this)
- Explain and understand the various settings of the washing machine
- How to wash clothes by hands & how to soak and deep clean stains
- How to operate the dryer and clean the lint catcher
- Folding & hanging clothes and putting them away in the correct places
4. Basic Money Management
Teaching money basics to children leads to financial independence, this is also one of the most important life skills to teach your children. Start off by explaining about how people work to earn money to pay for things they need and want in life. You should also encourage them to save their pocket money and plan when and how they will spend it. It also a good idea to get kids into the habit of giving to charity, so give them options and let them choose the cause they want to donate to.
5. Going Grocery Shopping
Following on from money management, grocery shopping is a great opportunity to demonstrate how to stick to a budget. Sit with your kids before you visit the grocery store to compile a shopping list of the things you need. This should be a separate list from things that you don’t actually need, but just want as additional luxuries. Have your kids look in the refrigerator, cupboards and bathrooms to see which items are missing or which you are running low on and have them write them onto the ‘needs’ list.
Once you get to the store, give each child a few items from the list to search for and teach them how to compare prices across products and brands to identify the best deal, and depending on their age and understanding; explain how much goods cost based on their volume and weight. Also use a trip to the grocery store to explain the nutritional information of products.
Recommended Reading: How to Become Wealthy & Successful at Any Age
6. First Aid Skills
Kids often hurt themselves while playing so it’s a good idea for them to know basic first aid skills. Teach kids to where you keep the first aid kit in your home and how to use the items within it. Make sure they know how to clean a wound and apply antiseptic creams and band-aids. As your children gain in confidence, teach them how to:
- Control bleeding by applying pressure
- Identify allergic reactions and broken bones
- Calling 911 for help in emergencies
7. Organizing Their Room
Parents often organize the room for their children because it’s quicker than having your kids do it themselves, but eventually, kids should master this important skill so they can not only do it for themselves at home, but also so that they know how to organize their own apartments and working space when they are older. Start by:
- Encourage daily habits: Making beds, putting their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper
- Keeping their books and stationery in order and easily accessible on their desk
- Hanging outfits in wardrobe, and putting their shoes away
- Returning toys and other items of play to their correct place at the end of each day or play session