While academics are crucial, there are several life skills that children need to learn to become independent and responsible adults.
Preschoolers are at a ripe age to start learning basic life skills since they are highly curious and eager to explore their surroundings. Teaching these skills to preschoolers will instill good habits and values in them that will last a lifetime.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most important life skills for preschoolers and offer practical tips and ideas to help you teach them effectively!
Self-care skills for preschoolers
Self-care is the awareness to keep oneself healthy and safe. From childhood, kids are taught the steps they need to take during hard times and how to prevent themselves from any harm. Like other life skills, this is an essential skill for survival.
Elaborating more on the pivotal self-care skills a child needs to have, we get to learn that:
- They should be able to call for help (shout their parents’ name), when in danger.
- They should be able to ask for food.
- They should be able to report any sickness to their parents.
- They should be able to maintain basic personal hygiene.
- They should be able to understand what’s good and bad to a certain extent.
Knowledge of right and wrong and what one should do to ensure their own well-being are crucial parts of self-care. Therefore, it is super important for a kid to understand and implement them.
Fine motor skills for preschoolers
According to Understood, dyspraxia can occur in people who do not learn fine motor skills properly during their infancy.
These are the actions that lay the foundation of vigorous activities in our adulthood. Fine motor skills include all such movements which involve the muscles of our hand.
During childhood, children need to learn the complete functionality of each body organ so that problems can be avoided in the future. Fine motor skills are often ignored considering them to be innate but they are as important as teaching a child to speak, eat, and walk.
The small but important activities that help a child in grasping these skills are:
- Writing with a pencil
- Lifting a book
- Holding objects
- Playing with a toy
- Throwing a ball
- Eating with a spoon
- Tying shoelaces
- Counting on fingertips
- Brushing teeth
- Using a toilet
Social Skills For Preschoolers
Social skills help us to be a part of the society. As parents and caregivers, we all want our little ones to grow up to be happy and well-adjusted individuals who can make friends easily and communicate effectively. It’s no secret that social skills are key to achieving this.
Preschoolers are at a crucial age where they are just starting to learn how to interact with others and build relationships. As they develop these skills, they will gain the confidence and ability to navigate the social world around them.
Social skills are all about behaving in a public environment where we have others who do not live with us. Knowing how to talk, react and involve are the crucial aspects of becoming a good social being.
When at home, a child is free to behave in any manner among their family members. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members are there to support them and improve their behavior.
However, society tends to judge the background of a child from their behavior, hence it becomes extremely important to ensure that a child has the basic social skills that fit the requirements of society.
Also Read: Worst Age To Change Schools
Critical Thinking for Preschoolers
Critical thinking is more of an ability than a skill. All of us have brains that enable us to distinguish between different things. Critical thinking is the ability to decide what’s good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, etc.
Preschoolers are necessarily taught this important skill so that they can make important decisions for themselves. In our life, critical thinking is involved at all stages, be it choosing the clothes we buy, the food we eat, the people we live with, and so on. Hence. It’s very important that a child has good critical thinking power.
The activities that can help a child in developing strong critical thinking are:
- Solving MCQs
- Recognizing pictures
- Playing games like snake & ladder
- Listening to stories of good & evil
- Participating in group activities
Executive Function Skills for preschoolers
According to TheEducationHub, these skills enable a child to concentrate on things, remember instructions from their guardians and accordingly control themselves in various situations.
Executive function skills are a blend of 3 important cognitive processes that are cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control.
While switching between tasks, cognitive flexibility helps a child in adapting the differences in the tasks. Working memory allows us to recall the instructions given to us in the past and perform tasks in the manner we were told to.
Inhibitory control ensures that we control ourselves while taking certain steps and do not react unusually. It ensures discipline, generosity, and the assurance that the child will behave properly in unknown circumstances.
Also Read: Discipline In Montessori
Cooking Skills for preschoolers
Cooking is an essential life skill to be taught to kids. However, many reports do not include it in the most valuable life skills for a child to learn but none can deny that it helps.
The fun tasks a child should learn to take care of their stomach are:
- Identifying eatables
- Identifying food that is fit to eat
- Identifying what tastes what i.e sugar- sweet, salt- salty, lemon- sour, etc
- Identifying the correct ingredients of a dish and their amount
- Peeling off fruits, chocolates, chips, etc.
- Applying butter or jam to bread, pouring sauce on the sandwich, etc
- Making soft drinks like lemonade
Time Management for preschoolers
In a practical sense, time is the only thing that can’t be bought with money. Therefore, it is essential that we teach our children the value of time management skills. The everyday activities that can help our children learn this really important skill are:
- Making sure the child sleeps and wakes up on time
- There’s a pre-planned schedule for all routine activities (lunch, dinner, playing, studying, etc)
- Slight punishment for not following the schedule
- Making kids watch cartoons, shows, speeches, etc on time management
- Taking regular academic tests
As adults, we all know how important time is and we often wish that we could manage our time better. Hence, it is essential that we teach our children this skill from their early childhood years so that their professional development can benefit from it.
Gross Motor Skills for preschoolers
Unlike fine motor skills, gross motor skills emphasize the movement of the complete body. A preschooler learns these skills from regular physical activities like walking, playing, dancing, etc These skills help in building the body shape of a child and their overall health.
How well a child can balance themself, how fast they can walk, and how strong they can kick, are all factors dependent on the knowledge of gross motor skills. The skills involve the implementation of fine motor skills. The activities that help a preschooler in learning this essential skill are:
- Carrying objects
- Catching a flying ball
These skills, once learned, have the ability to develop on their own with age. As the child grows, their body becomes strong and they are able to perform such chores very easily.
Also Read: Daycare vs Preschool
1. How can you teach life skills?
Life skills are cognitive activities that enable a child to grow. Teaching them is not a specialized task requiring extra capabilities. However, the parents need to be careful that their child is properly learning these skills so that they do not face any challenges in the future.
Making a child learn how to read, write, speak, recognize things, make friends, etc are all activities that infuse life skills of communication, critical thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness.
2. What are life skills activities for kids?
Every activity that we perform in our daily life is an implementation of the life skills we learned during our infancy. Therefore, all the actions a kid does should be monitored carefully. To enlist the primary ones, we have:
The way of speaking and playing shows how well a child interprets and reacts to things. Playing shows the ability of a kid to blend with others and face tricky situations. The way of walking and writing shows how a child is able to move their limbs and control their organs. Eating shows the child’s interest and how they adapt to different food.
3. What life skills should a 3-year-old have?
A preschooler of about 3 years of age does not know much about the world. So if they ever face a problem, they should be able to report it immediately to their parents (self-care skill).
They should know about basic personal hygiene like going to the toilet and brushing their teeth. The other important abilities include good eating habits and the ability to recognize familiar faces. These are the necessary life skills for a 3-year-old that will help him grow superior in the future.
4. Why teaching life skills is essential at an early stage?
Life skills form the structure of a human’s personality. How one talks, interprets, reacts, eats, plays, and controls themselves, are all essential lessons learned through life skills. These activities are mandatory for survival hence, the sooner they are taught to an individual, the more time they get to better themselves.
Also, we need to consider that a human is most accepting of new things during childhood so it’s the most appropriate time to make him learn these cognitive skills.