Essential Skills That Kids Should Have by The Age 5

Essential Skills That Kids Should Have

Not every child will grow up to work in the corporate industry or the health sector. However, they will all grow into an adult one day.

Your child will need to learn the appropriate skills needed for resilience and navigating life as an adult.

From as early as five years, they need to know how to take care of their overall mental, physical, and emotional health.

As a result, teaching essential skills to your little ones goes hand in hand with their growth and development.

They promote healthy minds, which allows your kid to live to their optimal and better interact with their surroundings.

Skills You Need to Teach Your Younger Kids

Are you curious about which skills are essential for your child to feel empowered and aid with healthy self-esteem?

From as young as two years, your child can learn essential life skills like clearing plates after a meal and brushing teeth with assistance.

Children between ages four and five are suitable to learn safety skills like how to make an emergency call.

Here are nine essential skills for kids that you can start teaching your little ones from today.

1. Communication Skills

Excellent communication skills teach your child to develop healthier relationships, handle conflicts better and reduce their outbursts.

The ability to listen and effectively pass a message clearly in a written or spoken format is one of the vital skills your child should have.

They learn to listen to their peers’ points of view, clearly express their opinions, and read non-verbal cues.

As you teach your little ones how to communicate, encourage the use of respectful language.

Let your child know that foul language is wrong and is hurtful to another person’s feelings.

2. Table Etiquette

Teaching your child how to use utensils and table etiquette pay off years in their adult years, probably at a work lunch or dinner job interview.

It’s not too early to let them navigate the dining room table or set the table.

Habits such as no chewing with their mouth open, talking with food in the mouth, or interrupting during dinner are essential skills.

Your toddlers can practice cutting food with a butter knife and even how to properly use utensils.

3. Decision-Making Skills

Making good decisions is a vital skill for young children to know there are consequences for good and bad choices.

Begin with simple decisions like chocolate versus strawberry ice cream, black or pink socks, bike riding, or playing cars.

If possible, help them weigh their options and them through the various steps of decision-making till they make a final decision.

4. Health and Hygiene

Children are never too young to know about health and hygiene.

Explain why healthy habits like taking a bath, brushing their teeth, underwear change, or washing hands are crucial for them.

As your children start learning health and hygiene skills, use a chart to tick off each task as they complete it.

Over time, when your kids learn these skills, you can stop using the chart.

Then, your kids can mentally go through each on their own without your reminders.

5. Overall Good Manners

To teach your toddlers good manners, you can start by modeling it yourself as they are more likely to learn that way.

Due to their age, focus on the crucial phrases needed in a civil dialogue like “Please.”, “Thank you.”, “May I …”, and “Excuse me.”

6. Cleaning

Teaching your child how to keep the house clean is a skill your little one will need later in college or when they have a home of their own.

Start with age-appropriate cleaning tasks like learning how to clean their room, make their bed, and clean up after themselves.

Toddlers can learn a lot by assisting you with laundries, such as arranging clothes by color and understanding textures.

As they grow, your child can eventually start putting the clothes in the washer and transferring it to the dryer.

Essential Skills That Kids Should Have

7. Ordering at Restaurants

As a parent, you tend to place your child’s order at restaurants to make the process easier for the waiter.

However, letting children order meals for themselves is essential as it improves their confidence.

Many restaurants have picture menus, so your toddler can learn this skill by either circling, ticking, or coloring what they want to order.

While your kids have fun with the menu, emphasizing the need to practice good manners when they order.

8. Getting Ready

Children can start practicing getting dressed on their own.

Start with allowing them to select the clothes they will wear the next day before they sleep.

Use visuals to help them learn faster. It can range from pictures of their clothes, toothbrush, and even hairbrush as reminders.

The pictures act as daily flashcards until they master the skill and know-how to get ready without your parental assistance.

9. Taking on Challenges

One of the essential skills your child needs to develop early is resilience, taking on challenging tasks, and keeping trying after a failure.

Children learn this skill when you create the right environment and a safe structure that pushes them.

Encourage your child to try climbing a tree or riding a bike with your supervision.

From four years, you can offer new challenges like learning to tie their shoelaces.

Best Ways to Introduce Essential Skills to Kids

The home provides the perfect environment to teach your little ones essential skills valuable to them throughout their lives.

Since your child spends most of their days at home, you can achieve this by:

  • Encouraging them to think outside the box when playing games
  • Using fun and interactive activities that encourage kids to talk, listen to each other, and compromise
  • Using wooden toys and bedtime stories to teach skills such as creativity
  • Including them with chores like cooking and cleaning up after themselves
  • Being a role model for your child by demonstrating these skills


Life skills are valuable lessons and will help your little one succeed in their adult years.

Please do not wait until your toddlers are teenagers to teach them these essential skills.

To encourage the rate at which your child learns these skills, limit their screen time and promote reading, playing, and outdoor exploration.

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