10 Life Skills to Teach Your Child by Age 10

1. Doing the Laundry
Basic of the basics, all teens should know how to do this simple task. You could begin teaching your child as young as age 6. Walk them through the steps; measuring, loading, settings and starting the machine. If you have to, choose cute names to teach them the process and once that’s done they’ll be able to do it on their own!

 2. Planting a Seedling
The value of nature in our world is priceless. Preschool children plant seeds in class and transfer them to the garden. Teach them the delicacy of nature by planting a tree in your own home; gently watering the tree each week with a watering can. By the time their tree has sprouted its first leaves, they would have learned a valuable lesson.

3. Wrapping a Gift
Giving should be part and parcel of your child’s learning. Wrapping those gifts should be one of the more exciting parts of the process. They can learn to cut, stick and wrap all at the same time with caution being the main lesson. Finding the right size box, and even deciding on the right type of wrapping paper are all ways to make gift giving fun.

4. Hammering a Nail
Home-improvement at its most basic. Give them a child-friendly hammer found at your local store. Find a soft wooden piece and hold it with clamps or simple place on the ground. Pick nails with a wide head and show him/her how to start. From there they can do it on their own. Place a piece of cardboard between the wood and the nail to protect them and their fingers! Once they’ve mastered the method let them try on their own without the cardboard. Welcome your new DIY Superstar!

5. Writing a Letter
Young children can dictate a letter to a family member, add drawings and you have created in the mix! Drop it into a family members mailbox and teach them the value of communication. The older they are the more they can learn; add an address to the letter, a date, and a greeting! Pen Pals still exist! So teach them about it.

6. Preparing a Simple Meal
Making a meal is incredibly valuable. Stay calm, let them make mistakes. Work with small groups if your child has friends and see how they progress; from sandwiches to smoothies. By the time they are nine or ten, they will be making grilled cheese sandwiches. Always, always supervise and focus on safety and practice. You may just find the next great MasterChef Junior.

7. Navigating
Reading a map is a fundamental discovery for any child. These days we use GPS and phones to locate a destination. However, this activity will teach your child to navigate. Even if it is just on your phone ask them to direct you to a place you travel to often. Perhaps even hunt to treasure to make it more exciting. Have them lead the way in museums, parks and find easy-to-read maps. Get from A to B the simplest way and use fun elements to keep the navigation fun and interactive.

8. Treating a Wound
Health is central to a child’s learning. Teach them not to go wild and crazy when someone is injured or bleeds. Give them time to understand and teach them what to do. Distract them by all means and make them feel comfortable. When you’re not around they need to know that they will be fine; applying pressure, rinsing off cuts with water and applying bandages and antibiotic creams.

9. Cleaning the Bathroom
Hygiene means requiring your little one to know that simple tasks like washing their hands after going to the bathroom is necessary. Keep clothes and sponges ready for wiping off surfaces. Clean the lid of the seat of the toilet, make sure they wash after thoroughly and always use non-toxic cleaners where you can. You can teach them other basics, keeping in mind that you must work through the various steps until they have the hang of it.

10. Comparison Shopping
We are living in a consumer society. Teaching children to be wise and taking steps to avoid common mistakes at the store is important. Comment on prices aloud and talk about choices, comparing one vs. the other. In some cases, you can let your child pay. Give them an allowance and give them responsibility for their purchase. No sweet is a great rule!

Being a savvy shopper is a smart way to go. Give them options based on what they like and from there they will make better decisions. Using their cash flow from their allowance to understand if they can afford an item or not. If you have a couple children challenge them to find the least expensive brand of a specific item; paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste perhaps. All of this will teach them invaluable lessons they will use for a long time to come throughout their lives, not only when they shop.