20 Life Skills Children Should Learn


Learning life skills will equip kids for life. Not just a job, but for everyday living. In high school, home ech was optional and kids who chose these classes were looked down upon. I remember hearing a parent say that class was a waste of time and useless now days!

Call me old fashion but I strongly believe basic life skills are not taught or encouraged enough these days. Things like how to find good wholesome ingredients and then cook with them. How to clean a home, hospitality, sewing, budgeting and so much more.

Growing up I was deemed very educated and likely to succeed, as I did well academically. I got married, decided to be a housewife and stay at home with my kids. I was not equipped with many basic life skills and had to struggle to learn what I know now.

Here is a list of 20 life skills I believe all kids should learn to help them be equipped for life’s challenges.

20 life skills children should learn that can help them for the rest of their lives. These skills can help for life's many challenges.

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1. Basic First Aid

Kids are more than capable of learning basic first aid! This can really come in handy anytime in life but is not emphasised enough. Kids will watch and learn easily from us basic first aid skills like washing a cut and then putting a band aid on it for example. Here are some ways you can teach your kids basic first aid that will help set them up for their adult lives.

  1. What’s in a first aid kit and what the items are for.
  2. When and how to call an ambulance.
  3. What to do for a minor burn.
  4. How to stop or reduce blood loss.
  5. How to check if someone is choking and what to do if they are.
  6. How to treat a sting or bite.
  7. What to do in case of a snake bite.

Some ways you can teach kids these skills is through role play, watching videos aimed at children talking through those points or enrolling your child in a children’s first aid course.

2. How To Grow Food

This has to be one of the most important skills to learn. We all need food to live without food we die it’s that simple. Reality is you can grow food anywhere, no matter where you live! Even little apartments can have a few small pots on a windowsill and grow herbs, leafy greens or have some tomatoes hanging from a pot.

Learning how to grow food from seeds helps children understand how food is grown. It helps connect them to food and can help them make healthier better choices later on in life. Growing your own food is rewarding and can be something you might have to do for survival one day. You never know when you might need to have this skill on hand.

Even if you don’t have a lot of land just start with a small pot and grow a sunflower, herbs or salad greens. There are some really cute kits out there for kids to get them growing and eating what they grow.

3. Learn To Cook

Not only do we need food to survive but learning how to turn ingredients into a meal is pretty important. Being able to cook means they are not relying on package foods or takeaway. This is expensive and not very healthy. Being able to cook will save money on grocery bills, is better on their health and is important if they decided to have their own families one day. A few simple things most children can start with is

  1. Chopping vegetables with child safe knives, or soft vegetables and fruit with a butter knife.
  2. Learn to crack an egg and stir ingredients.
  3. Learn how to read and follow a recipe.
  4. Get familiar with the stove top and that it gets hot.
  5. Learn how the oven works and the different temperatures.
  6. Start making smoothies with assistance or frying an egg with assistance.

It doesn’t have to be hard but get them started on the right path so they can continue to learn and grow in this skill. If you are looking for a kids safe knife set we have THIS 11 PIECE one and it’s really nice!

4. Money Management

This is such an important skill to learn that sadly most of us where just not taught! Money and being able to manage it wisely can determine whether or not the rent or mortgage will get paid! It’s wise to start young learning about money. Here are some ideas!

  1. Learn what money is and different ways it can be earned.
  2. Learn all the different ways to save and invest money. Sometimes games like monopoly can be good for this or even having allowances and saving up for a specific item. It’s important kids learn the value of money and how much work it takes to buy what they want.
  3. Start learning the difference between wants and needs.

I’m sure there are many other ways to learn about money but those are a few ideas to get you started.

This game Called Money Bags is a great way to start learning about money if you want to have a look!

Pay Day is another money game where you earn money, can buy things, or have to pay bills. Lots of real life learning in this game! Link above.

5. How To Clean A Home

My mother while well-meaning never really showed me how to clean a home. She always just did it herself. But this made it really difficult for me as an adult to learn. I am still learning to this day! I know even with my kids I can easily have the attitude that it’s faster if I do myself, but we are doing our children a disservice.

Getting them to do chores and housework is not only helpful to you but will help equip them for their adult lives. They eventually will have to learn how to take care of their own homes so what not better time to practice. If you want to learn more about age appropriate chores for kids I made a whole post on it here!

6. Wash Laundry

There are certain rules when washing laundry that we might not be aware of. I’m honestly still learning how to do laundry effectively when it comes to taking stains out or what can go in the dryer. If you are never taught this seemingly basic task isn’t actually that easy. A few key things to learn is.

  1. Seperate color clothes from dark clothes.
  2. Don’t overpack the washing machine.
  3. Washing machines need a clean out once in a while or gunk will build up!
  4. Dry your clothes inside out on the line if you want to preserve colour on your clothes. Or let them dry right side up towards the sun to help fade stains.

There are so many more little tips when it comes to laundry that can really help later on. We all need clean clothes and preferable clothes that doesn’t shrink or turn a different colour!

7. How To Clean A Car And Basic Maintenance

This is another one that is handy to know. Pretty much every person will own a car but how many people know how to clean their cars properly? Washing the tires, cleaning the windows so you can see at night. Using proper cleaning supplies for different upholstery in the car. Learning to check your oil or how much water for the windshield wipers. Yes, there is a lot to owning a car and learning this simple skill of basic maintenance and cleaning can help keep them keep their car clean and running.

8. How To Read A Map

I struggle with this as an adult, and I have to say being able to read a map would be so helpful! Teaching kids not to rely on the gps is pretty important. The gps might not always take you the fastest route, hasn’t updated properly or you might not have signal for it to work!

Being able to read a map is so helpful and handy to know so you can always find your way. Believe me this is a skill we should all learn, no one enjoys being lost.

9. Basic Sewing And Mending

This is such a useful skill to have. Honestly how many buttons have popped out of pants or shirts! Learning some basic sewing skills can really come in handy! Maybe you want to put a button back on, or hem long pants, stitch up a toy or little whole in clothing. At the end of the day this is a super useful skill to have and pretty easy to. You can easily learn simple sewing skills online which is how I am currently learning.

10. Use Basic Tools

Let’s be totally honest anyone who has children will be at some point using a screwdriver to open a toy and change batteries! Learning how to hammer a nail is a practical skill to learn. Most women or men will be hanging something on a wall or maybe want to build something from scratch. Being able to use basic tools like a power drill, hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape and pliers are all useful and have their purpose.

Let’s raise children who can become independent adults and don’t have to rely on someone else for minor projects.

11. Write And Send A Letter

While emails and texts seem to be the norm there is something special about receiving a handwritten letter. Taking the time to write to someone means you care. Writing a letter properly addressing who the letter is for, the middle and an ending stating who the letter is from is the traditional way of writing a letter. Learning how to add the address to an envelope and adding a stamp are all skills children should learn. Even as an adult you will still most likely be sending letters for one reason or another.

A great way to start is having a pen pal or even writing to family. It’s not only fun and but a lot of learning is involved in this one simple task!

12. How To Read And Write In Cursive

A lot of people don’t see the point of writing in cursive, but did you know historic documents were written in cursive? If you can’t read it, then you can never read any of those documents. Most old letters were written in cursive as well. When signing initials, it’s usually cursive. There are a few other benefits to learning cursive.

  1. It improves fine motor skills in the hand.
  2. Cursive is faster to write than writing in print and is less strenous on the hands.
  3. Apparently, it can help improve memory because you use different parts of the brain when reading and writing cursive compared to print.

13. Make Polite Conversation

The power of speech is a skill worth learning. All great leaders must be able to speak well. Being able to make eye contact, have the right body language and make polite conversation can get someone a long way in life. Being able to speak well and show an interest in other people is a blessing to both the person speaking and the person listening. In a world where we are so connected by technology, we are also extremely disconnected. Let’s not lose this precious skill of speech and talking to one another.

  1. Ask the kids to come up with a question to ask their friends or a guest about themselves.
  2. Teach kids how to listen and show geniune interest in another person through body language.
  3. Let kids join in on adult conversations from time to time.

14. Phone Etiquette

Learning how to answer the phone properly and how to make a phone call is important. Even though texting and emailing has become very popular learning how to use a phone is still important. Being able to speak clearly so the other person understands you is necessary when trying to make appointments or get problems sorted.

You never know who is calling so answering the phone properly with a hello, (insert name speaking) or something similar can determine whether or not they get the job interview or job. Being professional and speaking properly on the phone is always a good skill to have.

15. Hospitality

Being hospitable is work. It takes time to learn the basic ways of making someone else feel comfortable in your home. Learning to feel comfortable having other people around, making polite conversation and thinking of someone else’s needs is a skill that should be learned. It’s such a blessing for me when I go to someone’s home and they have prepared a simple snack, offer water or a beverage and a listening ear.

Learning this skill will not only bless children but will end up blessing everyone they invite into their homes one day.

  1. Teach kids how to pour a drink or make a simple beverage like tea and coffee.
  2. Have kids learn how to prepare a simple platter or make a simple treat like cookies to share.
  3. Learn how to ask genuine questions about the other person. Make the focus more on the person coming into your home than on yourself.

16. How To Make A Fire

I won’t lie to you I can’t do this! I really want to learn though. My husband lights fire all the time whether it’s to get rid of excess cardboard, branches or stick lying around, if we are camping, or to light the fireplace. Knowing how to light a fire is a useful skill to learn. There is a bit to making a good fire, from gathering the materials to either using a lighter or flint.

While they might not need it for survival (you never know though) it’s still a good skill to learn and have and I believe very practical.

17. Caring For Animals

Caring for an animal teaches so many important things. It teaches responsibility and compassion. Most people seem to have a pet and it’s good to know what is involved. Pets or farm animals in general take commitment and work. They need shelter, food, water and a safe environment. This skill teaches a lot of responsibility, patience and if they are doing farm animals it teaches good work ethic. Kids learn about where their food comes from and why you need to take care of them properly. No matter what animal you have it’s a good skill to learn.

18. How To Look Up Information

This is an extremely important skill to learn. There is too much information out and about and it can be hard deciphering what information is true or false. Learning how to look up information and being able to decide whether something is true or not.

Depending on what you are looking up there are libraries or the internet one can turn to. I always like to read a few different posts on a subject with different viewpoints. This helps so you can make a more accurate judgement. Seeing who is publishing the source, if there is bias in it etc are skills many people have lost and don’t know how to separate truth from lies. At the end of the day being able to research and knowing how to find good information will always be a good skill to have!

  1. Show kids how to find and get books from the library.
  2. Try different search engines online not just google when looking up things and see what comes up.
  3. Look at different viewpoints and decide what sits best with you.

19. Ways To Preserve Food

More than likely, they will have an abundance of something or leftovers they might not feel like eating. Learning to preserve food is a great skill to have to save money and waste lest food. If I make a large batch of something but know I don’t want to eat it the next day being able to freeze that food is helpful for another nights meal.

I learned how to preserve food online. The internet is a wealth of knowledge for learning. Some of the simpler things to learn would be

  1. How to freeze food properly. Including how to blanch vegetables before freezing for better storage.
  2. How to dry or dehydrate food. This is great with excess herbs or fruit!
  3. Water bath canning is simpler and can be fun to make jams with!

You never know if you might need this skill so why not learn it!

20. Iron Clothes

Ironing might not be a huge thing anymore but it’s still a nice skill to learn. For example, if you are going to a wedding or somewhere fancy, having a nice, ironed shirt or pants looks really nice. If you want to sew ironing comes in handy for making nice clean edges.

While I only just started ironing myself, this is a skill my children are learning, and kids should learn. Iron clothes look nice and professional, and this is a simple skill to learn.


I hope you found this article helpful and full of good information. I am sure there are many other good skills children can learn. Having a lot of skill sets will only help you more in life when things happen. The more skills you have the more likely you can face a challenge and know what to do. Let me know in the comments if you liked this article and if there is another skill you think is super important! Have a lovely day!

5 thoughts on “20 Life Skills Children Should Learn”

  1. I love this list. It’s true that not many of these things are taught these days & that’s a shame, but I especially love that you’ve included some skills related to food security because that’s huge for my family. Great article!

    1. Aww thank you. I think they are important and honestly I’m learning many of these alongside my kids. That’s awesome you guys are already doing things like food preservation!

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