Life Skills

Contributor: Stefani Allegretti. Lesson ID: 13112

What if you never brushed your teeth or washed your hands or ate vegetables or drank milk or used money? How would you function? (How would you smell?) Brush up on these basic life skills quick!


Health and Wellness, Practical Life Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Where would we be if we didn't know how to brush our teeth?
  • Or if we weren't aware of the importance of washing our hands and our clothes?

These are all basic skills that are important and useful for functioning in everyday life. In this lesson, you're going to learn about basic life skills related to hygiene, nutrition, and using money.

  • What exactly are life skills?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a life skill is one "that is useful or important in everyone's life." There are many different types of life skills. For example, certain life skills might help you in a social or emotional situation. Other types of life skills help you function on a daily basis. In this lesson, we will focus on routine life skills that help you function every day, such as hygiene, using money, and nutrition.

  • Do you remember learning basic life skills as part of a daily routine when you were young?

You learned how to brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your face, get dressed in the morning. These are basic life skills required to function in our world and are specifically related to your personal hygiene. Oxford's Lexico defines hygiene as the "conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness."

hygiene word cloud

Practicing good hygiene is a life skill because it's useful and important to everyone's life. Let's review a few important practices related to hygiene with which you are probably already familiar:

  • Washing your hands often is important because it helps to prevent the spread of germs and illness.
  • Brushing your teeth keeps your gums and teeth healthy, which helps to prevent disease.
  • Showering or bathing keeps germs off of the body.
  • Washing your clothes keeps germs off of clothing and ultimately off of you!

These good hygienic practices have a lot to do with preventing the spread of germs, something we have been taught for years. However, you might not know as much about hygiene and germs as you think!

Check out Misconceptions about Germs and Hygiene (Episode 12) from Mental Floss:


Another life skill that is important to our daily lives is using money. Money is used to purchase items or services, and there are different forms of currency. By now, you understand how cash works. However, understanding the different forms of plastic money can be tricky. Read Difference Between Debit Cards & Credit Cards (Kids) by Jared Butowsky at Money Munchkids.


There are basically two ways you use money. You can spend it, or you can save it. If you spend it, it will be on a need or a want. A need is something that is essential to your survival, such as food or water; while a want is something you desire that isn't necessary for survival. Easy enough.

  • But how do you decide which needs and wants to spend your money on?

Check out HOW TO Budget Money As A Teen from Tori Broaddus for a simple solution:


The final life skill we're going to explore is related to food and nutrition. The food you eat can impact your life in a negative or a positive way. The choices you make every day about what to put into your body can impact you for the rest of your life. So, eating a balanced, healthy diet is more important than ever.


Review this infographic from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can see that a healthy meal includes five basic food groups:

  • grains
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • protein
  • dairy

In order to stay healthy, it's important to eat a balanced diet every day that includes these food groups. Take a moment to read Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It will provide you with some useful tips about nutrition and health.

Wow! Great job in the Get It! section. Hopefully, you learned how basic life skills are useful in everyday life. Now, on to the Got It? section.

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