Basic Life Skills for Kids By Age

by Major League Mommy
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As children age and mature, it is vital that they attain basic skills for life. Acquiring these fundamental abilities is not only good for them to know, but could also aid them in emergency situations.

The great news is, that developing these capabilities can be a fun experience for young children. Take a look at a few of the recommended skills for kids to learn, depending on their ages.

kid learning how to swim photo credit: Ratchapoom Anupongpan from Getty Images via
Photo Credit: Ratchapoom Anupongpan from Getty Images via

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At 6 Years Old – Swimming

In addition to teaching kids basic life skills such as problem-solving, personal hygiene, identifying monetary denominations, and cleaning up after themselves, it is also important that they know how to swim by 6 years of age.

Understanding how to be comfortable in the water and swim is valuable knowledge for children to have. If kids are ever in a situation where they find themselves unexpectedly in the water, having a sense of familiarity and knowledge of how to stay afloat could help and even save them. This is a skill that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.

And the best part is, that learning how to swim can be really fun for kids since it’s another opportunity to socialize and make friends. When a child is around 6 years old, if they haven’t already started swimming lessons, this is a great time to start.

At 7 Years Old – Gardening

Basic life skills that 7-year-olds should know include basic cooking and food prep such as making a sandwich and using cooking utensils. They should also be learning about money management, how to do their own laundry, and other important tasks such as gardening.

The ability to garden and learn about plants can be very beneficial for children. This can help them understand which plants can be safely consumed and which aren’t edible — even which plants can be applied medicinally. This knowledge could really help them or someone else. Gardening will teach them how to cultivate and grow their food if they ever find themselves in a place where they need this knowledge base.

In addition to all these advantages, being outside in the sun and dirt is great for children and their development. Learning how to be self-sufficient can also help children gain self-esteem and confidence.

At 8 Years Old – Read a Recipe

At this age, children should learn how to grow their money, how to properly fold their clothes, learn sewing basics, and they should also start learning to read and follow a recipe.

Cooking, even on the most basic level, will serve kids through their teens and adulthood. If they are ever in a situation where they find themselves needing food, they are able to fix it themselves, which can help them gain self-confidence. And a really great skill for them to acquire early on is the ability to read and follow a recipe.

Being able to follow a recipe allows them to explore new meals and get practice with various cooking methods. When they grow up and eventually leave the house, they will have already developed this crucial skill. Plus, this helps them learn basic math skills such as measurements.

At 9 Years Old – Fishing

In addition to teaching kids about investment basics and using simple household tools such as a screwdriver, you will also want to consider teaching them how to fish.

When you educate a child on how to fish, it’s more than just the generic knowledge of how to do it. There are many more pivotal attributes that are learned through the art of catching a fish that kids need to know, like perseverance, patience, and mindfulness.

The sooner they gain this knowledge, the better. Acquiring the capabilities listed above will take a child far throughout their years. It is for this reason that fishing is a basic life skill.

At 10 Years Old – Fire Building

Lighters, matches, heaters, and furnaces have provided warmth to homes and started fires for many years. It is because of this modern-day technology that the technique of fire building sometimes gets lost and is never taught to children.

Although this tends to be the case, it doesn’t make this basic skill any less important. Fire building is vital because it helps educate kids on how to manage heat and flames properly. This skill can also provide a foundation for future knowledge about science with basic elements and components.

While this is a critical skill, it’s always best that it is done under adult supervision and in a proper area like a fire pit or fireplace.

At 11 Years Old – Map Reading and Navigation

At this age, children should not only understand basic home maintenance and what to do in case of an emergency, but they should also learn about navigation.

With a customary GPS on cell phones, map reading has become less typical. However, navigation is crucial to learn using both a standard physical map and a GPS system. It’s also essential for children to learn the difference between North, South, East, and West in case they’re ever lost.

When it comes to reading a map, this skill can be a lifesaver in the case a child does not have a working cell phone or access to the internet. Navigation and directions may be confusing for kids at first, but they catch on quickly. You can make learning this skill into a fun game by creating treasure maps for your child to follow.

At 12 Years Old – Camping

At 12 years old, children should be acquiring leadership skills, further developing interpersonal skills, and it would certainly be useful to learn how to camp.

Within the basic life skills of camping, there are many other significant abilities to learn. As long as they have the right equipment, such as food, a tent, proper clothing, and smell proof bags to name a few, camping can be a very educational experience. In addition to everything kids are taught, camping can turn out to be a very enjoyable and memorable time for them.

At 13 Years Old – Knife Safety and Skills

Knife safety is an imperative life skill to learn, and also a good idea to have adult supervision during the teaching of this skill. Since knives have a variety of uses, especially in the kitchen, there are many advantages to being efficient with them. Knife proficiency increases safety and effectiveness. It also decreases the likelihood of injury.

Encourage Their Curiosity

It’s beneficial for children to have developed these life skills listed above by a certain age, but if they show interest earlier, don’t try to stifle that curiosity. The abilities mentioned will potentially help themselves or others in emergency situations. It will also allow these kids to become more productive and effective teenagers and adults.

There are SO many other life skills that children should be learning at each age. This is just a starting point. Feel free to share some other life skills you think kids should learn at various ages.

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