With life being so busy and everyone in a hurry we don’t seem to find time to show our kids basic life skills or we end up doing it for them. It is crucial to teach our kids life skills so they can learn independence, and survive in this world.
Basic life skills I think we all can agree are important. I have heard a million times, “ I wish I had learned this in school.” These life skills are essential to living, and every child should know them.
Teaching your kids these skills will teach them not only independence but confidence as well when they are older and living on their own. They won’t feel lost or worried not knowing what to do in case of an emergency, or something simple like sewing a hole or button instead of throwing a clothes item away and buy something new. Learning these skills will teach them a sense of appreciation and empathy.
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Basic Life Skills For Little Kids To Do
Learn to sweep, mop and vacuum
Every child should learn the proper way to vacuum, sweep and mop, this will help you as parents, so they can help around the house. This will also help when they are older and have their own house or workplace where they may need to clean the floors.
Learn to cook and bake
Learning to cook and bake for kids is always so much fun for them and a great basic skill to learn. They love to learn this mainly because they get to eat the food as they cook it, but, it’s a great way for them to learn basic chemistry, even if they don’t understand it yet, being exposed is still good for them. You can also use this time to teach some math skills and growing your bond.
Learn how to do laundry
If your kids are really little, helping sort the colors is a good learning technique for toddlers. For the older kids middle school/high school, they can learn how to do their own laundry, how to use the laundry detergent and bleach. How to get stains out, what needs to be hung up to dry or taken to the dry cleaners.
Basic Life Skills For Older Kids To Do
Learn how to properly cleaning
Now more than ever hygiene and cleaning are so important to teach kids. Teach your child how to clean every part of the house, and what to use and why. Also, very important, tell them what not to do with cleaning chemicals and which cleaning chemicals you can’t use together or at the same time. Along with cleaning teach them how to be organized, this will help them in so many parts of their lives.
Learn how to garden
Teaching them how to garden is so beneficial in so many ways. You can teach them how to garden, why gardening and plants and flowers are so important to the Earth. You can teach them how to grow their own herbs, fruits, and veggies, an amazing life skill so they can always have their own food. You can read how to grow your own indoor herb garden here.
Other topics of interest: Planning a road trip and How To Survive A Roadtrip With Kids;
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Better Than Teaching Them Stranger Danger: Why You Need To Teach Kids About Tricky People
Learn how to write a letter
Writing a good old fashion letter is a great skill and tradition that they have to know. They can start a pin-pal, write a letter to their grandparents, teacher, friend, whoever. This will strengthen their writing skills, spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, and how to correctly address an envelope.
Learn how to clean the dishes
By teaching them how to do dishes they can help you clean up after meals. Teach them how to properly clean, what can go in the dishwasher and what can’t. How to get stuff that is stuck on, off, what pots and pants you can scrub and which ones you can’t. Also, how to start a dishwasher.
Learn how to pull weeds and mow the lawn
This goes along with gardening. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it helps teach them responsibilities and how to care for the outside. You can do it as a family and make it a fun day in the outdoors.
Learn why and how to recycle
You can teach them how to recycle, what they do with the recycle, what you can and can not recycle. You can also use this to teach them why it is important to recycle, and how it effects the world, and every living thing on it.
Feed and clean pets
Taking care of a pet teaches so much to kids. It gives them a chance to build a friendly relationship. It teaches them compassion and empathy, and they develop a love for animals. It also teaches them responsibilities, and how to care about another living creature.
Learn how to pay bills and balance a checkbook
This is a must-know for kids! You can start teaching them when they are young when they are in 5th or 6th grade. It helps with their math skills, but most importantly, it teaches how to manage their money, learn how to save their money, and prioritize their money.
Checkbooks aren’t as big as they used to be, but they are still being used and a must know. In high school is when kids start to get jobs and this will come in handy for them to know so they can budget themselves and get ready for being on their own after they graduate.
For the younger kids, you can print out our pretend play checkbook, checkbook balance sheet, and pretend paychecks to make learning about money fun. Look below to print them out for free.
A way to make this SUPER fun is by using it to give them an allowance. Every chore they do, they get a paycheck. When they have money they can buy something from you, something of their choice, whether it be for extra screen time, candy, a toy, to stay up later, etc. get creative it’s so much fun for them!
Learn how to sew
Teaching your child to sew is a great skill to know. Not only would they know how to sew a button back onto a shirt, or a hole on a sweater, but they can even learn how to make their own clothes. You can either teach sewing with just a needle and thread or on a sewing machine.
Basic Life Skill For Highschoolers
Learn how to change a tire
Your child will thank you for teaching them how to change a tire. I have been stranded a couple of times and I wish I had been taught how to change a tire. When they first learn to drive they should this life skill.
Learn to change oil in a car
This goes a long with changing a tire. This is a great skill to know plus it may help landing a job somewhere… But, this can save your child a lot of money over time as well.
Learn how to iron
Ironing is a good skill to know so if they have an interview, or a special occassion, they will know how to iron and they will look professional.
Learn how to check the breaker when the electricity goes out
This might seem like a simple life skill, but if they don’t know what to do if their electricity went out somewhere in the house it could be worrisome, especially if they are home alone, and not know how to turn the electricity back on.
Learn how to use tools and fix things around the house
This skill can open up so many possibilities for you child, not only by being able to fix things around the house, but if they end up liking to do this stuff they can learn how to build things, get a job as a contractor so many thing, not to mention saving money but not having to pay someone to fix something for them.
Learn how to start a fire in a fireplace
A great skill to know because it will become handy if they have a house with a fireplace, if they go camping, or in an emergency where they need to start a fire. Teach them how to clean the fire place out, how to properly put a fire out, and all the safety hazards that go a long with starting a fire,
Learn how to clean out a drain
This may seem very basic and not necessary, but when it happens, if you can unclog a drain yourself, that could save so much money, rather than having a plumber come out and fix it.
Learn how to navigate
This is a great skill to teach littler kids too, for if they get lost they can learn how to find their way and navigate, using a gps or a compass. This is especially good for kids learning to drive so they know how to read a map in case their gps isn’t working or they don’t have one.
Learn about money management
This goes a long with the “how to pay bills” we talked about earlier. Since they may know by now how to write checks ( or they should), this is a great time to teach them the importance of money, how to save money, and prioritize their spending. Teach them how to be responsible with money.
Learn how to go apartment hunting
With your child being on their own in a few years or less, you can teach them what to look for in an apartment. What all the resposiblities are included with finding an apartment and having an apartment, and how to make sure you are finacially ready to get an apartment.
Learn time management
There are many adults that struggle with this even, but if they learn this at an earlier age, it can become an easier task to do. Teach them, how to set priorities with their time, how to delegate tasks so they get done in a timely manner. This skill will be so great for them to learn before they start having a career of their own.
Soon they will be applying for jobs, and using their email professionally, so it is important to teach them how to fully write a sentence, not like they are talking to a friend. Stress the importance of having a professional email address, so they are taken seriously.
If you teach these things to your child this will open their mind to so many possibilities. They will learn new interests, and find something that they are good at and maybe turn into a career when they are older.
This will also give them a well-rounded education outside of academics because we all know that academics are important skills to have, but we also need to learn common knowledge.
So take this time, and make sure you set aside time to teach these skills to your children. In the long run it will help you out too, so you don’t have to do everything for them, even though sometimes that seems to be the easiest thing to do, but it won’t make their life easier as they are older.