The Preschool Life Skills (PLS) program is a supplemental curriculum made up of a set of lessons to teach critical early life and social skills to preschoolers. These skills were selected because they are frequently taught following the onset of problem behavior; additionally, early elementary teachers have identified these skills as being pertinent to early school success. The program begins as a class-wide approach and then may be individualized for learners of different abilities (Hanley et al., 2007).

Guided Navigation of the Site

Start here for a guided tour of the PLS website including a description of PLS, how to access the tools, and how to apply them to your classroom!

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Colorful drawn flowers line the side of an image listing the 13 preschool life skills under four headings. Instruction Following includes responding to name, following simple instructions, and following multi-step instructions. Functional communication skills includes requesting help, requesting adult or peer attention, requesting materials from adults and requesting materials from peers. Tolerance skills include tolerating delays from adults and tolerating delays from peers. Friendship skills include saying "thank you" acknowledging or complementing others, offering or sharing and comforting others.

What are the 13 Preschool Life Skills?

13 lessons to teach preschoolers important skills for early school success

Why Use

the PLS Program?

The PLS program may be used as a way to prevent challenging behaviors from occurring by explicitly teaching children foundational skills and allowing them many opportunities to practice.

In the original study in 2007, Hanley and colleagues worked with a group of preschoolers on the attainment of the Preschool Life Skills. There was a 400% increase in the 13 specific skills and a 74% decrease in problem behavior.

The Preschool Life Skills are effective with typically developing children as well as children with developmental disabilities (Robison et al., 2019).

How Do I Use the PLS to Teach Skills?

View full instructions on using the PLS Program here.

  1. Introduce and teach each skill at circle time, small group, or individually and model the skills. Use the Lesson Plans for guidance.

  2. Provide many opportunities throughout the day for practicing the new skill. Use the PLS Teaching Opportunities for Each Lesson for ways to practice each skill.

  3. Commit at least two days to teach each skill and at least four days for intentionally practicing each skill.

  4. Reteach any skills that children are not consistently performing independently based on the data.

  5. Maintain fidelity of implementation by using the Fidelity Checklist.


View a Presentation about PLS

Copy of Preschool Life Skills Presentation.mp4

Use these Guided Notes to support your learning.

Download the Presentation here.