20 life skills activities to help your child succeed

20 life skills activities to help your child succeed

We all want our children to succeed in life, so they need to be equipped with a range of life skills to make this possible. Here are the activities that will help them to become happy and independent adults.

What are life skills?

Life skills are the abilities that enable us to deal with adult life effectively. Interestingly, 87% of Britons believe school failed to adequately prepare them for life as an adult, saying they weren’t taught the life skills they needed before leaving full-time education. These include skills such as financial literacy and mental health awareness, as well as the practical and emotional skills that help us all to get on in life.




What are the core categories of life skills children should learn?

WHO have listed ten core life skills, including self-awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving and coping with emotions. Alongside this, it's important to teach kids about financial literacy

“Managing money effectively demands a sophisticated set of skills ranging from basic mathematical skills to budgeting, an understanding of how interest works, and emotional regulation to avoid splurging. Recent CBI Economics analysis commissioned by GoHenry and Wilson Wright underlines that financial literacy raises early-career earnings prospects by up to 28%, and that students with high financial literacy are more likely to start a business.”

Louise Hill co-founder and COO of GoHenry.

It’s why helping our children to master these life skills will have a direct impact on how they feel about themselves, how they fare in the workplace, and how they build relationships in their lives. It’s the key to their success so here’s how to foster it.

20 activities to teach life skills to kids

  1. Saving pocket money. Putting money aside for a goal teaches life skills from budgeting and money management to delaying gratification and separating your child’s wants from their needs.

  2. Donating food to a food bank. This teaches children empathy, compassion, and gratitude for what they have.

  3. Cooking. Aside from being able to look after themselves, cooking teaches kids skills such as time management and how to be organised. 

  4. Money. Teaching your kids about money is one of the most important life skills. It ensures they can make informed financial decisions, set goals, track expenses, and spend responsibly for life.

  5. Household chores teach kids to be responsible for their environment and their actions. They also help to teach kids to be accountable for themselves.

  6. Laundry. Chores such as laundry and putting clothes away can help kids develop practical self-care life skills that they can use in their daily lives.

  7. Shopping and budgeting. As kids get older, allowing them to do a grocery shop on their own helps them develop a sense of self-reliance and skills such as budgeting and decision making.

  8. Time management. By completing homework within a specific timeframe, kids learn about planning and managing their time effectively.

  9. Listening. Play games that encourage children to listen and respond. Choose games such as Simon Says and Guess Who to help children practise their attention and listening skills.

  10. Decision making. Give your child choices. By actively making your child choose, you will make them good at decision-making and at weighing up the pros and cons of choices,

  11. Self care. Make them take up a sport. Exercise is key to self-care skills and helps kids build other life skills, such as teamwork and resilience.

  12. Empathy. Role-playing will help kids practise putting themselves in other people’s shoes to become more self-aware of their thoughts and emotions.

  13. Critical thinking. Play more thought-provoking games. Playing games that encourage children to think critically and solve problems, such as puzzles, word games, and board games, help build their problem-solving skills.

  14. Creative play. LEGO, playdough, and arts and crafts at any age all help build creative thinking skills. These, in turn, help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  15. Organisation. Get kids to declutter and tidy their rooms. This teaches organisational life skills as they work out what to keep and what to ditch.

  16. Teamwork. Play games that work in pairs. Games like Pictionary, Scattergories and Twister all teach kids to work as a team – an essential life skill for work. 

  17. Emotional regulation. Have regular chats about feelings. Talking about emotions is an excellent way to teach your child emotional regulation to cope with life's ups and downs.

  18. Communication. Encourage them to try drama classes. There's nothing like drama sessions to help with self-confidence and communication, both essential life skills. 

  19. Leadership. Volunteering can help with leadership, an important life skill that strengthens your child’s communication and negotiation skills.

  20. Resilience. Encourage persistence and a growth mindset with games. Persistence helps them build resilience skills.

How do chores teach life skills?

A study from the University of Minnesota has found that there are huge benefits to giving your child chores. Marty Rossmann, Emeritus Associate Professor of Family Education, found that involving children in household tasks gave them a sense of responsibility, competence, and self-reliance. Life skills that stay with them throughout their lives.


What helps to encourage them to keep going is to create a reward system that reinforces the things you want them to learn or do. Focus on giving them appropriate rewards for the tasks they do, nothing too big for a simple chore, and agree on the rewards ahead of time. 


Related: How do chores teach life skills?

How can GoHenry help?

GoHenry is the perfect tool to teach your child various life skills, from financial literacy to responsibility, delaying gratification and more. 


The GoHenry app also makes it simple to set tasks for your children that can help your older children feel motivated to complete their chores. Once you confirm their task is complete, any additional pocket money for the task gets sent to their GoHenry prepaid debit card for kids, making it easy to reward your kids.





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Written by Anita Naik Published Mar 7, 2023 ● 4 min read