Cleaning Printable & Life Skills for Kids
Updated: Mar 23
Are You Stepping Up Your Home Cleaning Habits Amidst COVID-19?
Ann Landers wrote that “it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” How can we use this time of social distancing to teach our children some important life skills at home? What skills would you like to learn at home during this time? In terms of life skills, I’m not a great cook, so I am going to learn some new recipes and ask my husband to teach me some new cooking skills. I also have a lot of self-care skills I will be working on and modeling for my children, like practicing yoga and making art.
We are stepping up our cleaning game at home with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as I was reading about the CDC recommendations for preparing yourself and protecting your family, I decided to come up with this visual to help my family remember what surfaces will need a nightly cleaning. I have created a downloadable printable version for you that is available on my Free Resource Library. Just subscribe below (at the bottom of this page) to get the password. I have included 4 printable pages for you, a color version and a black and white version. There is a sheet with words and a sheet with blank spaces to customize for your own family's needs.
Involving your kids in taking care of the daily running of the household is a practical life-skill that many children and teens will benefit from learning. Below are some skills and chores you might want to consider teaching your teens and children during this time together. Obviously a lot of these skills will vary with the age of your kids and their developmental level but I have a teen who will be 17 in a couple of weeks so I thought of him when I brainstormed some of these ideas.
Don’t assume your child will know how to do the chores or skills. At first you will need to show them what to do and likely break the task down step by step into smaller chunks. Then watch them do it, to see if they need assistance.
For example, when I first showed my kids how to sweep, I did it first and then had them try it. My youngest had trouble with figuring out where to grasp his hands on the broom, so I had to show him exactly how to hold his hands on the broom, and then how to move the broom to make more effective motions.
Communication Skills: how to look up a phone number, make a phone call and take a message, how to make an I statement (I feel ___ when you ___ could you please ____), how to apologize, how to stay on the same topic of conversation, how to interrupt politely
Coping Skills: how to recognize your own feelings, how to talk about your feelings, how to use coping skills to calm yourself down
Yardwork: using a lawnmower, trimming bushes, raking, mulching etc.
Gardening Skills: how to plant and knowing what plants grow well in your zone, companion planting, taking care of the garden, etc.
Cooking and Baking Skills: how to cook and bake, read labels, make healthy meal choices, write grocery list
Sewing Skills: sewing a button, hemming pants, patching a hole etc.
Basic First Aid Skills: what to do if someone is sick, staying hydrated, cleaning and caring for a wound, calling 911/poison control, how to use an epi-pen, how to control bleeding, RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevation), vital signs, about medications etc.
Digital Sills: how to research something and find reputable websites to find information, privacy protection, how to deal with cyberbullying or predators, screen time management, digital footprints, how to spot spam, scammers, fake accounts, phishing phone calls, emails etc.
Financial Skills: how to make a budget, write a check and balance a checkbook
Automotive Skills: jump start a car, change a tire, check tire pressure, check oil, etc.
Writing Skills: how to write a letter, a thank you note, a resume and cover letter
Pet Care Skills: walking, feeding, watering and caring for pets
Basic Home Repair Skills: checking and changing smoke and CO2 detectors, how to hang a picture, use a screwdriver, hammer and nails, sanding, painting, spackling, changing lightbulbs and batteries, changing vacuum bags or HEPA filters etc.
Laundering Skills: how to sort and do laundry, remove stains, fold, iron and put away clothes
Household Chores: washing dishes by hand and how to load/unload the dishwasher,
dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning floors and baseboards, setting and clearing the table, taking out the trash and recycling, putting away groceries, washing dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher, washing windows and mirrors, cleaning humidifiers, cleaning bathroom, washing the car, organizing things. Focus on the Family has a list of age-appropriate chores for kids ages 2-18 here.
Here are examples of the printables that are in my Free Resource Library. Just subscribe below to receive the password.
These lists are by no means exhaustive. What other skills would you add to this list? Comment below or write to me on social media!