Life Skills to Teach Your Children by Age 10

A mother and daughter sitting by a basket of laundry in their laundry room

We’ve all seen how quickly young children can learn to use a smartphone or tablet, but how can we help them develop important life skills? Children enjoy being involved, even if it’s in simple daily activities, and can learn faster when they are allowed to actively engage.

You can start teaching your children essential life skills at an early age to build their self-esteem and help them feel more confident in themselves and their abilities. Here are some life skills for kids that you can start teaching your children before the age of 10:

Ages 2–4:

  • Planting Seeds or Seedlings

    Planting can be one of many great life skills activities for kids. Taking care of plants and learning how to plant seedlings is a great activity for children ages 2–4. Kids can have fun in the garden or plant seeds in indoor pots. Learning to take care of plants can help children to learn responsibility and enjoy the excitement of seeing something grow thanks to their efforts.

  • Taking Care of the Family Pet

    Feeding the fish or giving food and water to the family dog or cat can also help children gain responsibility. Although they’re simple tasks you can easily do yourself without much thought, having your kids help out teaches them how to care for others.

  • Wrapping a Gift

    Giving and receiving gifts is fun for kids of all ages, and wrapping a gift can be, too. Practicing fine motor skills like cutting and taping is perfect for young kids before they enter kindergarten because it will give them added confidence in school if they can perform well in beginning-level tasks. Make sure to keep an eye on them while using scissors, and help them to learn basic safety practices as well.

Ages 5–7:

  • Hammering a Nail

    Using soft wood, such as pine or cedar, and nails with a wide head, teach your child to use a hammer that’s appropriate for their size. You may have to start the nail for them and show them how to protect their fingers while hammering. This simple skill develops motor skills and can be a great start to teaching children how to make simple objects with their hands.

  • Writing a Letter

    Developing writing and drawing skills can be captivating and fun for children. Sending short letters, drawings, or cards to loved ones can also be a great way for your children to learn to communicate with others. With older kids, you can show them how to address an envelope and write letters using proper greetings, formatting, etc.

  • Cleaning the Bathroom

    Depending on their age, kids can learn how to wipe toothpaste out of the sink after they brush their teeth, clean the toilet with a sanitizing wipe, or sweep the floor. These activities can also function as chores to provide them with a way to earn an allowance. These simple tasks will show them how to clean up after themselves and keep areas of the house tidy.

Ages 8–10:

  • Doing Laundry

    Learning to separate colors from whites, start the washing machine, or fold clothes is a great way for kids to learn how to take care of themselves. Doing laundry can be fun if you do it together, and it can help your kids become more independent over time.

  • Preparing Simple Meals

    Meal preparation can provide your children important life skills that could benefit them as they grow up. Starting off with simple meals like grilled cheese or a tossed salad can help your children feel more comfortable in the kitchen. From there, you can teach them how to create a menu, plan groceries for the week, and cook more-advanced meals.

  • Comparison Shopping

    Life skills games for kids can help your child better understand real-life scenarios he or she may experience later in adult life. For example, it may be beneficial for your child to start learning the value of money at a young age. Practice with your kids to find the best prices in the supermarket or find alternate products of higher quality online or in other stores. Giving children an allowance can also help them appreciate the value of money and learn how to spend their money wisely.

There are many ways you can start teaching your children the skills and habits that will serve them well their entire lives. These simple life skills for kids can be fun and engaging, while also helping your kids build confidence and improve their self-esteem. It’s never too early or too late to involve your children in simple tasks and teach them basic skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

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