Age Appropriate Life Skills

Sample Set of Life Skills Kids Must Acquire:  (all skill levels are dependent upon your child's maturity level, individual ability and safety measures)

ages 2-3

  • help put toys away
  • dress him/herself (with some help from you)
  • put his/her clothes in the hamper when he/she undresses
  • clear his/her plate after meals
  • assist in setting the table
  • brush his teeth and wash his face with assistance

ages 4-5

  • know his/her full name, address, and phone number
  • know how to make an emergency call
  • perform simple cleaning chores such as dusting in easy to reach places and clearing the table after meals
  • feed pets
  • identify monetary denominations and understand the very basic concept of how many is used
  • brush his/her teeth, comb his/her hair, and wash his/her face without assistance
  • help with basic laundry chores, such as putting his/her clothes away and bringing his/her dirty clothes to laundry area
  • choose his/her clothes to wear

ages 6-7

  • mix, stir, and do basic cooking needs
  • make a basic meal such as a sandwich
  • help put groceries away
  • wash the dishes
  • straighten up the bathroom after using it
  • make his/her bed
  • became somewhat independent when he/she bathes (with supervision)

ages 8-9

  • fold his/her clothes
  • learn simple sewing (use caution, depending on your child's maturity level and needs)
  • care for outdoor toys
  • take care of personal hygiene without being told to do so
  • use a broom and dustpan properly
  • read a recipe and prepare a simple meal
  • help create a grocery list
  • count and make change
  • take written phone messages
  • help with simple lawn duties such as watering and weeding flower beds
  • take out the trash

ages 10-13

  • may stay home alone (depending on your child's needs)
  • go to the store and be able to make purchases
  • chase his/her own bedsheets
  • use the washing machine and dryer
  • plan and prepare a meal with several ingredients
  • use the oven to broil or bake foods (use caution depending on your child's maturity level, he/she may need supervision)
  • read labels
  • iron his/her clothes (use caution depending on your child's maturity level)
  • learn to use basic hand tools
  • mow the lawn (dependent upon your child's maturity level and needs)
  • look after younger siblings and neighbors

ages 14-18

  • to be able to do more sophisticated cleaning chores such as changing the vacuum bag
  • fill a care with gas, add air to a tire
  • read and understand medicine labels and dosages
  • interview for and get a job
  • prepare and cook meals

Young Adults:

  • make doctor and dentist appointments and other health related appointments
  • have a basic understanding of finances and be able to manage his/her bank account, balance a checkbook, pay bill
  • understand basic contracts such as an apartment or car lease
  • schedule oil changes or car maintenance

ResourcesHow to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims