Once a Toddler ages up (whether through time or whether because you manually gave the order), they will jump into child age.
The first screen we are presented with when Anna reaches the child age is this one...
We are to give Anna a Childhood Aspiration and one Trait. Her list of traits is not complete; some, like Romantic, wouldn't make sense, but most of the list is available.
Childhood aspirations are simplified versions of several normal Aspirations. All four are focused on building the children's skills, and can give the child a huge headstart on adult life if we plan ahead. For Anna National, we will have her focus on being a professional painter once she hits adulthood. As such, we'll give her the Artistic Prodigy aspiration.
Now that she's a child, the bassinet is no longer used. Christine uses Build Mode to place it into the family inventory, then outfits one of the two spare bedrooms with a child bed and an activity table. The activity table is usable only by children and will develop one of their skills. Christine also places an easel in Anna's room, but this is pointless; children cannot use most adult objects that increase skills. Maybe Christine does this just to inspire her?
Children who are born during the week get a full day before they have to show up to school, so Anna takes the day to draw some pictures and work on her skills.
Children use a different set of Skills than adults. Child skills are all temporary and will vanish when they age up, but their skills will give them a headstart on the normal skills. If Anna develops her artistic skills this early, she'll be able to blaze through the first few levels of Painting in very little time once she becomes a Teenager.
Children have only four skills: Creativity, Mental, Motor, and Social. They all have a maximum level of 10, but it's unlikely that you will be able to max all four before they grow up. However, specializing in one or two is advised, especially because adults can help them out. While Anna sketches on her activity table, Christine uses the “Encourage” social command on her, immediately giving her a huge boost and allowing Anna to quickly roll through her levels of Creativity.
Still, during childhood, remember that skills are less important than aspirations. If a child manages to finish her childhood aspiration, she will permanently gain an incredibly powerful Trait that cannot be activated any other way. For Anna, it would mean earning a trait that would significantly boost the gain rates of all adult creative skills, which would give her a huge boost to her future professional artistry career!
Unfortunately, children cannot spend their entire day learning skills or playing with friends. There is school to attend each day in the morning, and for all intents and purposes, it's their job. Anna even has a performance meter in her Career Panel.
Like with adult jobs, Anna's performance meter climbs if she goes to school, and it goes up further if she goes to school in the right mood and/or with her homework done. She can do homework while home by interacting with the yellow book in her personal inventory, and her parents can help her.
Or... she doesn't have to. Although school is important for kids who are aiming for mental skills later, getting on the honor roll is not necessarily a high priority. If Anna ignores her homework but still shows up to school in good moods, she'll often maintain a C average, possibly even a B average. It's partly about your priorities as the player. As with reality, your Sim kids will get out of school what they put into it: getting those high grades means a significant amount of micromanaging, which may be challenging with a large family. Christine still keeps a close eye on the meter though; she doesn't want it falling too far, which would cause Anna to start losing grades!
When Anna goes to school, she can slightly affect her performance with job strategies similar to her parents'. While at school, her little portrait gets an icon of two people. Click that, and we can change whether she slacks off, works hard, makes friends, or even skip.
Unlike in previous iterations of the franchise, telling Anna to make friends doesn't actually increase her relationships: it only affects her Social need, so that strategy would only be enacted if she goes to school feeling especially lonely. Kids never come back from school with friends, and any “friends” they make are not actually reflected as new contacts. In fact, even if we tell Anna to make friends on her first day of school, and even if her Social meter ends up being maxed out by the time she comes home, the only two people she'll know are her parents.
If Anna wants to be social, whether just for the sake of being social or if she wants to work on her Social Child Skill, she can go to the park or even just talk to strangers who walk by. The Sims 4 does not require babysitters or any other adult to be present on the lot, so she can stay home alone or travel freely if she wishes to make some friends.
The Sims 4 Children Guide
School, Child Skills, Aspirations, and Raising Kids
by Pam Marsden
Children in The Sims 4 - Multitasking is key to running a Family
In this article, I will explain how to successfully raise a child in Sims 4. There is much more to raising a child than in Sims 3 and I personally find them to be much more enjoyable. Their interactions are cute and this helps to make up for the absence of toddlers in the game. They will keep you busy, though, so be ready!
Once a toddler ages up to child, the player will be able to choose a Childhood Aspiration and one Trait. There are 4 Aspirations to choose from: Artistic Prodigy, Rambunctious Scamp, Social Butterfly, and Whiz Kid. Of course, it's a good idea to choose a trait that goes well with the Aspiration. For example, Art Lover is a good trait to pair with Artistic Prodigy. A Sim will be a Child for 7 days on the Short lifespan, 14 days on Normal lifespan, and 52 days on Long lifespan.
School and Homework
Children will start Grade School on the first weekday after aging up to Child. Class is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. While at school, the child will have the options for Normal, Leave School Early, Make Friends, Study Hard, and Slack Off. Just like in The Sims 3, the Make Friends option will add other children to the child's relationship panel, while also repleneshing the social need.
There will be tasks for each level working toward getting an A. The child will start with a C. To reach a grade of B, the tasks are to reach level 2 in 1 of the 4 available skills (Creativity, Mental, Motor, and Social), and Attend School while Focused. The easiest way to get into the ideal mood of Focused is to ponder moves on a Chess table just before going to School. This will give a moodlet that lasts for four hours, which is enough to accomplish the task. Completing Homework is the daily task, which functions a bit like a Career. It will help the bar move faster. Once the tasks have been completed and the meter bar goes all the way green to the right, the child will get an increase in grade.
To reach a grade of A, the child must Get 1 Skill to Level 4. Once the kid has an 'A', it's fairly easy to maintain. It's possible for grades to fall if the minimum amount of work is not done, which is to go to school every day and complete homework.
A parent can help with homework by clicking on the child once he/she has started working on it. Unassisted homework takes a little over 1 1/2 hours to complete. Having the parent help with homework cuts the time in half. The homework will be in the child's personal inventory at the time of aging up, so you can get a head start on school if you wish. Extra Credit Work becomes available after completing the regular homework if the child has at least a B grade. Just click on the homework again and it will show up. A parent may also help with Extra Credit. If homework has been missed, Makeup Homework shows up instead of Extra Credit.
Sim Children benefit from having higher Skill levels when it comes to Homework. Each Skill that they get to level 10 will increase the rate homework is done by 70%. When all Skills are maxed, Sim children will finish homework 8x faster! Thanks to DarkWalker from our Sims Community for sharing this info!
If you cancel the Go to School action at 8:00 a.m., the child will stay home. The principal will call around 10:00 a.m. and again at 3:00 p.m. every day that the child misses school. His/her grades will gradually drop first to a D and then to an F by the time grade school is finished. I didn't get any negative moodlets until my child dropped to an F and then he had an Embarrassed moodlet. It was only for a couple of days, though, because he was ready to age up to teen. There were no other negative reactions at all. When he aged to teen, I was still able to choose his Aspiration and next trait. He started high school with a C, just like everyone else. The benefit for keeping him home was that he completed his Child Aspiration of Artistic Prodigy and gained a lot of Satisfaction Points as a result.
As already mentioned, children have 4 skills during their childhood years. These skills are Social, Mental, Creativity, and Motor. If a child is able to reach level 10 of any of the skills, related adult skills will be unlocked for children to get a head start or a special moodlet will be given.
Here are the Adult skills that are unlocked (allowing you to gain XP) by maxing the associated Child Skill:
If you complate an Aspiration, you will get a 20% boost to learning all Adult Skills in the appropriate category when they age up. This means they can then learn the missing skills they can't yet level, like Comedy and Painting, faster.
For the Social skill, a child needs to have conversations with other Sims. Other ways to increase the Social skill are to play with the dollhouse and talk to the large stuffed animals. Reaching level 10 will unlock the Charisma and Mischief adult skills. The child will be able to gain skill points in these areas before aging to teen.
This child is Hitting a Stuffed Animal out of Anger over something that happened at School
The Mental skill is gained by playing chess and using the science table. Children can also use the observatory to stargaze. Level 10 of this skill will unlock the adult skills of Logic, Video Games, and Fishing. Again, points for these skills may be gained by children before they age to teen.
Two Brothers Playing Chess to Learn Mental Skills
Creativity is gained by using the Activity Table and by playing with the dollhouse. As a child increases creativity, more kinds of drawings will be available on the Activity Table. Reaching level 10 in this skill will open the Piano and Violin skills.
Child Learning Creativity Using the Activity Table
The Motor skill can be built by using the monkey bars and jungle gym, and also by practicing typing on the computer. Adults can also have a bit of fun with the jungle gym by pretending to be a monster while children are playing. Reaching level 10 in this skill does not unlock an adult skill. It will, however, give an extra moodlet while playing on the monkey bars.
Learning the Motor Skill on Monkey Bars
I found it very difficult to reach level 10 on any of the Child Skills while playing on the Normal lifespan and dealing with needs at the same time. To make this happen for my twins, I had to use cheats to keep their needs full and even had to make them skip the last day of school in a desperate push to get the last things completed in time. Playing on the Long lifespan setting will give you plenty of time to do everything you want.
Children have their own Aspirations to work on before they tackle their adult Aspirations. The Child Aspirations are Artistic Prodigy, Rambunctious Scamp, Social Butterfly, and Whiz Kid. A child's Aspiration is chosen at the time a baby ages to child, at the same time the first trait is chosen. Some detail follows.
Playing Violin Increases the Creativity Skill
Total Satisfaction Gained: 1,100
Reward Trait: Creatively Gifted Children who achieve this Aspiration will build adult Creative skills faster (Painting, Instruments, Writing, Cooking).
Milestone Objectives: Have an Activity Table, and draw 2 pictures while Inspired. You must then level the Creativity skill to 5, and play with 3 toys. In the end you'll have to play instruments for 5 total hours, draw all 5 picture types on the activity table, and max the Creativity Skill.
Total Satisfaction Gained: 925
Reward Trait: Physically Gifted Learn Adult Physical Skills faster (Fitness).
Milestone Objectives: Play on a Jungle Gym while playful, and hit level 2 Motor Skill. The next stage requires you work on the Motor Skills (level 5) and Practice Typing 3 times. In the end you must master Motor Skills and make it across the monkey bars 3 times, while earning a high score on the Typing Game.
Learning Motor Skill on a Jungle Gym
Total Satisfaction Gained: 975
Reward Trait: Socially Gifted Learn Adult Social Skills faster (Charisma, Mischief, Comedy Skill).
Milestone Objectives: Make a Friend and meet 5 new Sims. Achieve level 5 in the Social Skill while also making a BFF. At last you must be friends with 3 other Children and 2 Adults, while also mastering the Social Skill.
Twin Sisters Becoming BFFs
Total Satisfaction Gained: 1,175
Reward Trait: Mentally Gifted Lets the Whiz Kid learn adult Mental Skills faster (Rocket Science, Logic, Fishing, Video Gaming)
Milestone Objectives: Be read to by an adult for 2 hours and play 3 games of Chess. Next, they will need to reach level 5 Mental Skill and Finish Homework 2 times while Focused. Your Child must ultimately achieve an A in School, craft 3 Emotional Potions and master the Mental Skill.
Mother is Reading to her Child
Managing Large Families
Many players like to have large families. This is entirely possible in Sims 4. The parents simply need to keep Trying for Baby to have as many kids as they want. It does add a lot of complexity to the game and it's much more difficult with a lot of children. The best thing is to stay organized. Keep all of the kids on a schedule with sleep, meals, showers, and school. Be sure to send them to bed with all needs in the green. Otherwise, they will get up in the middle of the night for something and then will be tired for school the next morning because they won't go back to bed on their own. Sometimes it will be better to have showers in the morning so that the kids can get the moodlets they need for school. The same goes for mornings. Make sure the children have all needs met before leaving for school so they'll have a better day. A parent or other adult can make breakfast and dinner, and use the Call to Meal interaction to get everyone to the table. This will keep the entire household on a schedule and they'll be able to take care of school, homework, and tasks with little problem. If you find you're unable to make a new meal for breakfast and dinner, try making several meals at once and storing them in the refrigerator. That way, at least the kids can get leftovers and stay on schedule.
Dining together keeps a Family on schedule and gives them time to visit with each other
I don't recommend a maid for helping around the house at this time. Things were getting backed up in the house with dirty showers, dirty sinks, and trash on the floor. I hired a maid for a single day's service at a price of $40 plus $20 per hour. I didn't even see her in the house, but when she left I was charged $120 and everything was still dirty. I honestly didn't see anything different at all. So, I suggest that the family members help out with chores around the house.
Keeping everyone organized and under control will become even harder if your mother keeps having kids. A family with 2 parents, a teen, and 3 children can be kept on track by feeding everyone with a good and social breakfast, getting showers as needed, then setting each Sim to a task on days when there is no school. The teen can be painting, one child playing a computer game, and twins playing chess together. They are busy and also working on important skills. It gives the parents a chance to garden together or have a nice work out in the home gym.