Module 2 Introduction

We all strive to help our children become independent. We can start early by building personal life skills that will lead to them being more responsible and independent. Life skills are the skills we use to manage our daily activities. These skills include things like dressing themselves, eating and using the bathroom without help, and washing their hands. These skills go hand in hand with your child’s general development. They are vital for success in kindergarten and later in life. As parents, we can help our children develop these skills by incorporating them into their daily routines.

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Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, learners will be able to:

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A Life Skills Checklist

Life skills provide children with important skills they need to complete everyday tasks independently. As parents, we can take an active role in helping our children begin to develop these skills before they start kindergarten.

We have included a personal life-skills checklist to provide you with suggestions. It gives you an idea of some developmentally appropriate skills for your child. Some may be skills your child already possesses. There may be others you want to help your child learn, too. We suggest focusing on a few skills at a time. When your child masters those skills, you can introduce and practice a few more.

We have also provided a handout to help you develop a plan for introducing these skills. You can print these out or feel free to revisit this course to access them.

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Activities for Personal Life Skills

Below are the activities you can do with your child to support their personal life skills development. Click on the title to reveal the activity content.

How many times have you struggled with getting your child up, dressed, fed, and out the door to school or daycare in the morning? What about getting ready for bed? Wouldn’t it be easier if your child could do some of these chores on their own?

One way to help is by developing a routine. Believe it or not…Kids Love A Routine! Routines give them the sense that their world is stable, build self-confidence, and make them feel comfortable. When your child knows what is coming next, they are more willing to do it and more inclined to do it on their own.

One way to help your child develop a routine is by creating a routine board or checklist. Start by thinking of a time of day: before school, after school, or bedtime. Now pick 4 or 5 tasks that your child could learn to do during that time. For example, let’s say you choose before school. Teach your child that “to be ready” to leave for school, they have to do everything on their routine board.

You can make a routine board using a piece of poster board. Draw two columns on the poster board. Mark the column on the left “To Do” and “Done” on the right. Then place the five tasks that you chose under the “To Do” column. You can secure them with tape or Velcro.

When your child completes a task, they will move it to the “Done” column. They will be able to look on the board to see what has to be done. When they move all of the cards over to the “Done” column, they will know that they are “ready for school.”

We have provided some pictures that you can use to label the tasks that need to be done. However, you can also draw the pictures or cut them out from a magazine. There is an example provided but feel free to make your own. You can start by picking one time of the day and if you like, you can eventually develop a routine for other times of the day.

Remember, it will take practice to master these skills. So, practice, practice, practice!

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  1. Print out the schedule cards below
  2. Poster board
  3. Velcro dots or strips you can cut
  4. Colored markers
  5. Safety Scissors

boy washing his hands

It is vitally important that children learn to wash their hands properly. Washing them properly includes the length of time they scrub and dry them. Also, explain to your child why this is important. Tell them that handwashing helps prevent them from getting sick and making other people sick.

We suggest that you explicitly teach your child how to wash their hands step-by-step . Remember to demonstrate and model, also. We have provided a poster that you may use to teach and practice the steps. It can be helpful to have a visual reminder of the steps in order.You can even hang the poster in your bathroom to help your child remember the steps to proper handwashing.

It takes time for a child to get into the habit of handwashing correctly. It will take some longer than others, so offer help when needed. Also, remind them to wash as often as needed.

Children will wash their hands if dirt is visible, like mud or finger paint but may need to be reminded to wash away germs that they cannot see.

We have included a poster to help you remind your child of times to wash their hands.

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Ella's Hand Washing Adventure

Ella's Hand Washing Adventure is a free app and doesn't ask children to purchase anything or post anything, anywhere. Available for iPhone and Android. It aims to teach children ages 2-6 years old why, how and when they should wash their hands to prevent the spread of infections in the kindergarten or at home.

Handwashing Song

Songs, like the handwashing song in the video below, can help children learn and remember new skills.


Kindergarten is an exciting time, and your child will learn and grow a lot. So, preparing your child for it early will give them a leg up.

When kids are getting ready for kindergarten, many parents will worry about reading and math, but other skills are just as important. Being prepared for kindergarten means being socially and physically ready as well.

We have discussed a lot during this module. Your child may not master all of these skills because kids develop skills at different rates. It's also not unusual for kids to be strong in some areas and weak in other areas. If you're concerned your child isn't ready for kindergarten, talk with your child's preschool and work with them to develop a plan to help you address your concerns. You may also want to speak with your child's health care provider.

Remember, with small children, skills develop through practice and repetition.

If your child is not where an older sibling was at this age or a child of one of your friends is right now, THAT IS OK because children develop at different rates. Just continue to Practice! Practice! Practice!

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