Teaching life skills: Resources and tools

Michigan 4-H youth are learning life skills. Let’s explore some resources and tools that are available to help parents and volunteers make teaching life skills easier.

January 9, 2018 - Author: Michelle Neff, Michigan State University Extension

Life skills are important to learn so that youth grow to be successful adults. The sooner we can start building life skills in youth, the more successful youth should become. The Michigan 4-H Youth Development Program helps youth develop life skills by providing youth the opportunity to explore different projects with caring adults.

Michigan 4-H developed some tools adapted from Iowa State University’s Targeting Life Skill Model that helps leaders and parents easily identify and incorporate life skills in their 4-H experiences. Some of these 4-H life skill resources are listed below.

Life skill fact sheets

  • 4-H Life Skill Sheets – These 15, single-page sheets help better understand basic components of how working in various project areas can help youth develop key life skills.
  • 4-H Health Life Skills Sheets – These nine sheets address the life skills that fall under the health category of the Targeting Life Skill Model. Each sheet addresses a life skill with questions to help youth grow in that area.

Life skill pocket cards

  • 4-H Life Skills Pocket Cards – These 15, pocket-sized cards help 4-H and other youth group leaders better understand basic components of how working in various project areas can help young people develop key life skills such as goal setting, responsible citizenship, conflict resolution and leadership. Each includes age-appropriate discussion questions that can be used with youngsters between ages 5 and 19. 
  • 4-H Health Life Skill Pocket Cards – A durable, 3-inch by 5-inch pocket-sized version of the 4-H Health Life Skills Sheets that can be easily transported and used anywhere.
  • 4-H Heart Life Skill Pocket Cards – A durable, 3-inch by 5-inch pocket-size card used to address the life skills in the Heart category of the Targeting Life Skill Wheel.
  • 4-H Hands Life Skills Pocket Cards – A durable, 3-inch by 5-inch pocket-size card used to address the life skills in the Hand category of the Targeting Life Skill Wheel.
  • 4-H Head Life Skills Pocket Cards – A durable, 3-inch by 5-inch pocket-size card used to address the life skills in the Head category of the Targeting Life Skill Wheel.

Kits and other resources can be found on the Michigan State University Extension Bookstore.

Staff around Michigan are also trained to help volunteers incorporate this material into their youth programing. If you are interested in learning more about life skill development, please contact your MSU Extension county office.

Tags: 4-h, life skills, msu extension, volunteering & mentoring


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