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Helping kids set goals teaches them responsibility, helps them learn and grow, and pushes them to try new and possibly scary things. There are four categories I look to when setting goals with my kids. Learn about these 4 categories and score a free printable goals for kids worksheet to help your kids get started with goals.

A little girl doing yoga in a dress

Helping kids set goals is a great way to help them grow, teach them responsibility and development, and encourage them to try new (and possibly scary) things. At the start of the school year, I like to help my kids come up with a few different goals for the upcoming school year.

In our house, we like to choose categories for goals. This helps kids expand their horizons, think through different areas of their life, and grow in various ways. Here are the 4 categories we use:

Skill Goal for Kids

The first goal is skill based–something they want to learn how to do. This can be any number of things like:

  • Ride a two-wheeler
  • Tie shoes
  • Learn our phone number
  • Learn to crack eggs
  • Figure out how to strap themselves in the car seat
  • Do their own hair
  • Fold clothes
  • Potty training

For this one, I usually try to guide them toward something I think is age appropriate and will help them in their life, but I also let them choose it themselves. If they choose it, they’re more motivated to accomplish it!

Active Goal for Kids

Next, we choose an active goal. This can be something sports based, something for a physical extracurricular they’re involved in, or anything that involves movement.

Some examples are:

  • How to do a cartwheel
  • The correct form for push-ups
  • How to dribble a soccer ball
  • Do 20 jumping jacks each day
  • How to ride a bike without training wheels
  • How to shoot a basketball
  • Forward roll
  • Walk a mile each week

I want to teach my kids to lead an active lifestyle and this is a fun way to teach that concept.

Hobby Goal for Kids

This goal is 100% for fun. What’s something they’ve always wanted to do? What’s something that scares, but excites them? What do they want to explore more? Do they have a talent or extracurricular they’re involved in? I help them set a goal around one of these areas.

Ideas include:

  • Learn photography
  • Start a club
  • Do a service project
  • Learn to draw
  • Create and sell something to earn money for an event or outing
  • Learn how to play a song on the piano
  • Build a tough Lego set
  • Learn to crochet
  • Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  • Write their own book
  • Choreograph their own dance
  • Film a video
  • Make their own comic book

The sky’s the limit with this one! Let your kid’s imagination wander!

Learning Goal for Kids

The last goal is a school specific goal or something academic based. It can be something they want to learn, something they want to try, or something they want to accomplish.

For example:

  • Learn double-digit multiplication
  • Read one book each week
  • Try writing in cursive one night a week
  • Their phone number & address
  • A new language
  • Multiplication
  • How to read
  • Learning more about a subject they’re curious about or interested in, like dinosaurs, natural disasters, history, etc.

This one is the definitely one I let them choose for themselves! If I force it on them, they typically rebel and try everything they can to NOT do the goal. I make suggestions, of course, but ultimately I let them be the guide. I want to teach my kids to love learning, and allowing them to explore areas of interest will help foster that love.

Helping Kids Set Goals

Remember that you can guide your child’s thought process with these goals, but ultimately you need to let them choose their goals themselves. If they don’t choose them, they’re never going to work toward it. They need that intrinsic motivation to succeed. You may hate the goal they choose, but as long as it’s not dangerous or doesn’t go against your family values, take a deep breath and let them take ownership of their life and experiences.

I created some free printables to help your kids set their goals for the year. I created one with our categories, in both color and black and white, as well as a blank version in both color and black and white.

You can download the color with categories version here or by clicking on the image below:


A goal setting sheet for kids

You can download the black and white with categories version here or by clicking on the image below:

A black and white goal setting sheet for kids

You can download the blank color version here or by clicking on the image below:

A plain, colorful goal setting sheet

You can download the blank black and white version here or by clicking on the image below:

A plain goal setting sheet for kids

What’s a goal your kids have this year?

If you liked this post, check out the other posts in the Back to School series:

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