Life Skills Bucket List for Teens and Tweens


I recently saw a post on a Facebook group I belong to called 40  BAGS IN 40 DAYS (official) – 2019. The members of the group have a goal to trash/donate/sell 40 bags of clutter in the 40 days of Lent. They often post tips to encourage each other, photos of areas they have cleared up, and sometimes they post about various other life-help topics. I was intrigued by one of the recent posts: “I challenged my kids (12 & 13) to come up with some summer goals so we don’t spend the summer on electronics. Our dinner conversation last night turned in to a discussion of LIFE SKILLS. What things have you taught your kids that they can take with them in life?”

The responses flowed in by the hundreds! Too many to scroll through! So I have decided to categorize many of them and add some of my own to the mix. Now, teens and tweens should be warned—this is not the adult life bucket list of “climb the Eiffel Tower” or “Publish a book.” And it is not the preschool summer bucket list of “Explore a new playground” or “Look for shapes in the clouds.” This is an “Adulting 101” bucket list—skills adults feel all soon-to-be adults should have. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, and different families have different goals, but it is a start. And if you have more to add, I’d love to hear them in the comments! Here we go!



How to grocery shop on a budget

How to hard boil an egg

How to make basic meals, like spaghetti, soup, fried eggs, grilled cheese

How to make a pot of coffee

How to peel a potato

How to read an ingredient label for allergies

How to read a nutrition label



How to read a bus/subway map

How to use a GPS

How to pump gas

How to put air in tires

How to check a car’s oil level

How to maintain a bicycle

How to read and follow a paper road map

How to change a car’s spark plugs

How to change a tire

How to check fluids in a car

How to wash a car

How to jump a battery

How to read a car manual

How to plan a day trip 

How to parallel park

How to jumpstart a car

How to use a navigational compass


How to deposit a check

How to write a check

How to calculate change when you buy something

How to calculate tip

How to calculate foreign money conversions

How to calculate/compare cost per ounce

How to comparison shop


Home/Lawn Care

How to do laundry

How to deep clean a bathroom

How to vacuum

How to mow the lawn

How to paint a wall

How to use a drill

How to use a leveler

How to use a stud finder

How to use a batter tester

How to mow the lawn

How to plant seeds

How to change bed sheets

How to fold fitted sheets

How to use a plunger

How to paint a wall

How to deep clean a bathroom

How to use a fire extinguisher

How to set a table

How to split wood

Personal/Clothing Care

 How to sew on a button

How to thread a needle

How to put in new shoelaces

How to fold a shirt

How to iron a button-down shirt

How to use a sewing machine

How to tie a tie (on yourself and on others)

How to polish your shoes


How to properly introduce yourself and shake someone’s hand

How to write a thank you note

How to fold a paper in thirds to fit it into an envelope

How to make an appointment over the phone

How to leave a message over the phone

How to address an envelope

How to follow an instruction manual


How to play chess

How to hold a baby

How to feed/burp a baby

How to start a fire

How to do CPR and basic first aid

How to set up a tent

How to crochet/knit

How to do self defense

 How to use a circle-drawing compass