10 Life Skills for Kids to Learn

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What are some of the very basic life skills for kids to learn? They are so important and most of them are inspired from vintage lifestyles.

These days many people are seeking a more simple lifestyle. That’s why we see a rise in movements like minimalism and homesteading.

But what if we returned to tradition a little bit and taught our children these basic vintage life skills?

10 life skills for kids to learn

Children need to be taught basic life skills in order to survive in the world. I want to nurture my children and provide them with as many life skills and lessons as I am capable of in order for them to be strong, independent adults.

I find so much wisdom in those older survivalist eras. You know, those times when things were tough and people had to lean on self-sufficiency. Because truth be told, we don’t know what the future holds. And it’s always best to be prepared for whatever God throws our way.

Here is my list for the basic vintage life skills we need to teach to our children. This is just a starting point and should be expanded upon as children grow in age and skill.

#1 Work Ethic

This is the first on my list for a reason. Children need to be taught the value of working hard at a young age. It’s hard to teach them this skill as they grow older. But it is so incredibly important and it will help them in their future careers.

Personally, I have my children on a chore schedule because it helps them with structure. They are learning work ethic skills because they are involved in the basic chores around the homestead.

Things like helping water the garden, collecting chicken eggs, housekeeping, baking, and cooking. And the sooner, I can share some of the responsibility and work myself out of some of these jobs, the better!

Related: Motivating children to do their chores.

children working on chores and cleaning windows

#2 The Value of Money

I have always thought that it’s important to teach children how to appreciate money and how much things cost. I’m the oldest of six children and while growing up, we didn’t have a whole lot of money.

And you know what, despite all of those hardships, my family was pretty close knit. Which is more rewarding than anything.

We learned to appreciate things, take care of our belongings, and learn the value of money. When you’re young, you don’t always understand the lesson that you’re being taught.

And not having instant gratification was hard. But as an adult, I understand and value it all so much more.

This is what I want for my children.

#3 Homemaking Skills

And here I’m not talking about housekeeping. That is different and we’ll cover some of those things in just a bit. In this modern world, I feel that homemaking is becoming a lost art.

What I mean here is nurturing home life. It’s putting your heart into your work. And making your family feel loved, comforted, and cared for. Homemaking is cultivating strong family ties, celebrating each other, and making the house a home.

It’s putting your family first before all of the work and distractions of this world.

#4 Cooking

Oh, good ole fashioned home cooked meals – another dying art. So much old tradition is centered around family meals. And those amazing, cooked from scratch meals. I have a lot of memories from my youth of family spending the entire morning in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal for all to enjoy.

And then gathering around the family table, filled with laughter, love, and lot’s of food. You really can taste the love that is put into a well prepared meal for the family.

Cooking meals from scratch is one of the most important life skills for kids to learn… for so many reasons.

little boy helping cut out cookie shapes

#5 Baking

Since we are talking about the basic kitchen skills, let’s throw baking on this list. Baking is truly an art. To do so well, requires some skill and training. And always tastes better when it comes from the heart.

My children love to help me bake! It’s probably because I let them play with flour and destroy the kitchen. I mean, who doesn’t love to lick the wooden spoon after mixing up brownies or cake batter? Am I right?

And my oldest (who is currently 3), has a regular request of helping mama make homemade pasta noodles.

Seriously, folks. Start them young. Creating nourishing meals is such an important skill to have!

#6 Cleaning

Ugh, the dreaded cleaning chores of my youth. My mother was pretty much on top of the cleaning routine in our home. We learned the importance of cleanliness at a young age, but it was often dreaded when I was a kid.

But now as an adult, I really appreciate those lessons. And this also ties into the importance of a strong work ethic.

Having a tidy home, has helped me stay organized and stay on top of things. Now, I’m going to admit that it’s not perfect. We are far from that. I mean, come on now. I have four children, ages 7 and under. But, I at least value the importance of cleanliness and having good solid routines.

And as they are growing in age and skill, our routines are getting better!

#7 Gardening

I can’t think of a better lesson in self-sufficiency for our little ones. This is something that I didn’t learn from my parents, but really wish I did.

As an adult, I have learned the important role of how the food we eat, contributes towards our overall health. Growing our own food has become a mission of ours.

And this is a lesson that I want our children to learn from their youth.

On the plus side, it doesn’t always feel like work and tell me what kid doesn’t love to play in the dirt?

Now more than ever is this such an important life skills for kids!

Check out this post from my friend Christina about gardening with kids.

#8 Food Preservation

And while we are on the topic of self-sufficiency, let’s talk about food preservation. I believe this is a very important life skill that is often forgotten.

My thoughts are that just like creating a savings for a rainy day, it’s important to save those garden bounties for when food yields are low. It’s always better to be prepared for something to happen rather than left unprepared.

#9 Sewing

Back in the day, when I was young and growing up, my mother used to make all of my dresses. She was a very talented seamstress and I learned the basics of sewing from a young age.

I am definitely not a pro by any means. But it’s so important for children to learn this basic skill. Even if it’s just the basics like repairing clothing or sewing on a button!

#10 Creative Play

Last on this list, but definitely not least. Incredibly crucial for children to “get bored” and get involved in some creative play time. This is really important for their brain development

Think about the children on the prairie or back before our world became filled with so many electronics. Children need to be children, to get outdoors and get messy in the mud. They need to foster creativity and have fun!

They need a life a little bit unplugged.

Children will learn to appreciate all of these lost life skills. Maybe not at all times, or even right away. But in the end, you’ll set your children up for great success and they won’t need to seek one of those basic adult life skills classes.

And all of your time spent on teaching them these life skills will be totally worth it.

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  1. Mary! I love this post!!! I am actually surprised at not seeing a bazillion comments…
    This embodies all the goals and dreams to teach our children to be prepared to be independent. Some of these skills need some work (i.e. expand our gardening and preserving and sewing beyond a simple blanket, etc.) but this is our goal. My children are 7, 6, 3 and half and a 1 year old. We are transitioning from suburban Florida where we had a small garden and flock of chickens to Maryland…looking for some property to do more homesteading…maybe a dairy animal, too. I agree with how it is hard to have them participate in a chore schedule and have also had success in letting them help with whatever I am doing or getting them involved. They are still at that wonderful age where it is a privilege and “fun” to help Mom and Dad!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Melissa! I hope you find a great piece of land in Maryland. How exciting. Best wishes for you and your family! šŸ™‚