What Your Child Should Do on Their Own by Middle School

Children need to know various skills at different stages in their lives, in order to later become functional adults. If your child is about to start middle school, here are some of the things they should be able to do on their own. And, it is super okay if they haven’t learned these things yet. It’s never too late to start!


Wash and dry dishes- While loading and unloading a dishwasher may be an easy feat, children should know how to wash and dry dishes the old-fashioned way. This will show kids exactly how dishes get cleaned.

Do laundry– Children who are middle school aged should know how to do laundry from start to finish. This includes sorting dirty laundry, washing, drying and folding clothes. This is a great way for kids to learn personal responsibility.

Prepare simple foods– While children at this age aren’t going to be able to cook a gourmet meal, they should know how to prepare simple things like a ham and cheese sandwich or an English muffin in the toaster.

Handwrite and send a letter– In today’s world of computers, many kids have no idea how to write and send a letter, or even what a letter is really. By middle school age, kids should know the five parts of a letter (date, greeting, body, closing and signature), how to address an envelope, how to place a stamp on the envelope, how to put the letter in the envelope and how to place the letter in the mailbox to mail. They can send a letter to a relative or friend who lives in a different state.

Know basic first aid– You really can’t expect a child of this age to be able to splint a fractured leg, but they should know some basic first aid skills. For instance, they should know where the first aid kit is in the home, how to apply pressure to a wound to control bleeding, how to place a blanket over someone who is in shock and how to place some ice over an injury that is swollen or inflamed.

So, there you go mama and papas…let’s teach these kiddos the ways of the world!

Get Some More


  1. What a great post! I agree these are most defiantly things that some kids should know how to do. Kids aren’t given enough responsibility these days.

  2. Good tips! Middle school is definitely a time of individuality before high school. Knowing this will help prepare them even more for the next journey.

  3. My oldest is almost ten and he knows a few of these things and helps me with cooking but hasn’t prepared food himself unless it’s quick like a sandwich or microwave item.

  4. My sister and I were cooking regularly by middle school. Each of us had a night to make dinner. We’d tell mom what we were thinking of making, she’d help us organize and bought all the ingredients, and we cooked. Whoever cooked didn’t have to clean, so we were always together. Learned a lot about meal planning, budgeting and organization in the kitchen!

  5. Okay I love this! I am always pushing my kids to be more independent but sometimes I just don’t know what else to have them do.

  6. Yes! My son is younger but I told him that this summer was about learning life skills. So many kids go off to live on their own and don’t know basic life skills.

  7. As our kids get older, we should give them more responsibility. After all, we want them to be able to take care of themselves some day and doing everything for them won’t make that happen.

  8. What a great list! Teaching independence is essential for our kids to thrive in the real world. Our four kids have always loved preparing delicious meals because I had them in the kitchen with me teaching them age appropriate food prep skills.

    Our boys are in college now and they make the best Chicken Pad Thai (from scratch) I’ve ever tasted! Our girls are teenagers and love to cook too. It’s such a blessing to know they’re capable and enjoy it too.

  9. I think this is a good list of things to know by middle school. Kids are starting to grow up and gain independence. So it’s good that they also start to learn some basic home and life skills.

  10. These are great responsibilities to teach the kids at a young age. Especially household chores and to help out with certain things.

  11. My children are still in grade school but I’m already teaching them some of these. It’s so hard for them. I hope they’ll be able to do it on their own when they reach middle school.

  12. Life skills, these are important to me especially since I might not be around someday and my kids won’t know how to survive on their own. I make sure I teach them by age. It’s not just about being independent or getting help with the chores. These are things that they need in life.

  13. Yes, and YES! I am definitely big on kids learning things at an early age. My kids are actually working on separating colors for the laundry, 8 and 6, and you better believe that by middle school, they will be doing the laundry. I was doing it during middle school, and they absolutely can do so as well. great post.

    Thrifting Diva

  14. These are great tips! I always wonder if what my kids are doing is “age appropriate” – mine are 5 and 7 and while they can’t do old-fashioned dishes yet (as much b/c it’s hard to reach the sink) or first-aid beyond applying a band-aid, they have a great head start on the other skills! (phew!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.