Life Skills for Kids Mega List

Life Skills for Kids

Life Skills for Children ages 2-18.  Discover the Life Skills your child needs to be successful in life.  Whether it’s teaching your children how to dress themselves everyday or learning how to swim, these are the essentials.  Subscribers to Busy Kids Happy Mom, receive this as a free printable.

Life Skills for Children ages 2-18

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This is the largest, most comprehensive list of Life Skills for ages 2-18.  Life Skills are the tools your child needs to succeed in life… The skills they don’t teach you in school.  Do teachers teach some of these skills?  Of course!  As a mom, I just found that I needed a guide.  I needed someone to tell me that my children could use a handheld vacuum or sort their own clothes.

Please note that all skills should be taught under adult supervision.  Many take months, if not years to master.  Do not assume that your child has failed if they are behind.  Children learn best by working alongside you.  This list was compiled after consulting many resources and other moms.  I am not able to do everything on this list nor do I expect my children to!  I do feel; however, that helping to prepare your child for life with some basic skills will make them a more independent, productive adult.  I enjoy teaching them when they’re young and interested!

If you would like a printable list of all Age 2-18 Life Skills,  it is available for subscribers (click here for email or RSS).

There is a list of book resources at the bottom of the page.  You can also follow the Life Skills for Kids Pinterest Board here.

Age 2 Life Skills

  • Undress self
  • Put own pajamas away
  • Wash face and hands
  • Comb or brush own hair (with help)
  • Brush teeth (with help)
  • Pick up toys
  • Tidy up bedroom
  • Clear off own place at table
  • Be able to play safely and alone for a set period of time (1/2 to 1 hour) in own room.  (Under supervision.  Children need to know that they can be alone and still have fun.)

Age 3 Life Skills

  • Dress self (with help)
  • Make own bed (use comforter)
  • Wipe up own spills
  • Help set table
  • Snap, zipper and button
  • Put dirty clothes in hamper
  • Start swim lessons (click here)

Age 4 Life Skills

  • Help gather laundry
  • Use a handheld vacuum
  • Pick up outside toys
  • Dust and clean bookshelves
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Know own phone number
  • Know own address
  • Help empty dishwasher
  • Help bring in groceries
  • Sit quietly in church (looking at books or drawing quietly is okay)
  • Next level swim lessons (click here)

 Age 5 Life Skills

  • Put clean clothes away neatly
  • Swim (goal – swim independently)
  • Leave bathroom clean after use
  • Clean toilet
  • Feed and water pets
  • Get mail (if in a safe place) and put it in the proper place
  • Receive a small allowance (if used)
  • Money Management:  saving, spending and charitable giving
  • Know how to make emergency phone calls (911)
  • Dust low shelves and objects (consider using a Swiffer)
  • Empty bathroom trash
  • Organize bathroom drawers
  • Learn to roller skate
  • Learn to jump rope
  • Learn to ride a bike
  • Begin learning how to tie shoes

 Age 6 Life Skills

  • Organize own drawers and closet
  • Empty dishwasher and put dishes away
  • Wash and dry dishes by hand
  • Straighten living and family rooms
  • Rake leaves
  • Help put groceries away
  • Make juice from a can or mix
  • Make a sandwich and toast
  • Basics of spending, saving, and giving
  • Pour milk into cereal
  • Pour milk or juice into a cup
  • Wash out plastic trash cans
  • Clean mirrors
  • Bathe alone
  • Clean windows
  • Empty kitchen trash

Age 7 Life Skills

  • Use a vacuum cleaner
  • Clean pet cages and food bowls
  • Use a broom and dustpan
  • Sweep porches, decks, driveways and walkways
  • Take a written phone message
  • Learn basic food groups and good nutrition habits
  • Cook canned soup
  • Read and prepare a simple recipe
  • Be familiar with cooking, measuring tools and their uses
  • Make Jell-O and boil eggs (hard and soft)
  • Money management (earning money and saving for a goal)
  • Pack own sack lunch
  • Cut up own meat, pancakes, etc.
  • Water outside plants, flowers and garden
  • Arrange refrigerator or bulletin board “pictures”
  • Weed flower beds and vegetable garden
  • Strip bed sheets
  • Carry dirty clothes hamper to laundry room
  • Sort clothes for washing by color and fabric and check pockets
  • Straighten book and toy shelves
  • Begin music lessons

Age 8 Life Skills

  • Fold clothes neatly without wrinkles
  • Remake own bed with clean sheets
  • Clean interior of car
  • Vacuum furniture (ie., chairs and couches), especially under cushions
  • Water house plants and lawn outside
  • Clean bathroom sink, toilet, and tub
  • Load and turn on dishwasher
  • Trim own nails and clean own ears
  • Learn model making
  • Set table correctly
  • Mop floor
  • Peel carrots and potatoes
  • Begin teaching time management skills, assignment deadlines, or short blocks of time
  • Money Management:  Spend, Save, Give principle

Age 9 Life Skills

  • Load and operate washing machine and dryer (clean lint trap and washer filter)
  • Time management (get activities done in a block of time)
  • Fold blankets neatly
  • Straighten and organize kitchen drawers
  • Help clean out refrigerator
  • Prepare hot beverages
  • Prepare boxed macaroni and cheese
  • Cook hot dogs and scrambled eggs
  • Brown hamburger meat
  • Dust all household furniture
  • Count and give monetary change
  • Compare quality and prices (unit pricing)
  • Oil bicycle

Age 10 Life Skills

  • Replace light bulbs and understand wattage
  • Distinguish between good and spoiled food
  • Bake a cake from a mix
  • Cook frozen and canned vegetables
  • Make pancakes from scratch
  • Understand the importance of ingredient and nutrient labeling
  • Plan a balanced meal
  • Know how to select and prepare fruits and vegetables
  • Bake cookies from scratch
  • Repair bicycle tire and learn basic adjustments
  • Know basic emergency first-aid procedures
  • Understand uses of medicine and seriousness of overuse
  • Wipe down kitchen cupboards
  • Be able to do family laundry completely
  • Mow lawn
  • Know how to handle a pocket knife
  • Sew simple crafts on a sewing machine (pillows, bean bags, etc.)

Age 11 Life Skills

  • Replace fuse; know where circuit breakers are
  • Clean and straighten garage
  • Bake muffins and biscuits
  • Make a green salad and dressing
  • Do simple mending and sew on buttons
  • Wash the car
  • Learn basic electrical repairs
  • Know a variety of knots
  • Understand basics of camera use
  • Be a helper in a church ministry (ie., nursery, Sunday School)

Ages 12 to 15 Life Skills

  • Take a babysitting course through the local hospital
  • Make deposits and withdrawals at the bank
  • Volunteer at the library or food bank
  • Perform basic first aid and CPR
  • Time Management (should be able to manage an entire day of activities/assignments)
  • Check and fill all car fluids
  • Type with proficiency
  • Money Management:  Budgeting basics, Charitable Giving, Spending Plan, Saving for a car, Saving Money, Emergency Fund
  • Have a work experience (paid or unpaid) with responsibilities and set hours.

Ages 16 to 18 Life Skills

  • Plan well-balanced meals, including shopping and cooking
  • Pass a driver’s test
  • Write checks and balance a checkbook
  • Fill out a job application
  • Make one complete meal (nothing gourmet, just make sure they can feed themselves)
  • Money Management:  Budget / Cash Flow, Debit cards vs. Credit Cards, Fraud Protection, Teaching Investing
  • Prepare a resume

You’ll also want to visit Timothy Smith’s Consequence Planner from The Danger of Raising Good Kids.  Ages and Stages Printable too!  Click here.

Book Resources

*Cleaning House by K. Wyma

*Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World by C. Field

*The Danger of Raising Good Kids by Tim Smith

Kristen  Busy Kids Happy Mom 
Kristen’s background is in elementary education, crafts and raising boys!  Busy kids are those engaged in fun, practical, and purposeful activities in their daily life.