Preparedness and kids are two things that are often not put together. Many parents I’ve met feel that either their kids are too young to learn survival skills, aren’t interested in anything that doesn’t need to be charged, or won’t take learning survival skills serious because they believe nothing will every happen.
It is vitally important as parents to teach our children survival skills. We don’t need to scare them with all the dramatic what ifs, but we can educate them on some situations from history that required people use survival skills to help them understand the need and importance of learning them.
1. Grow A Garden
All kids love to play in the dirt and growing a garden is a great way for even the youngest little guys to learn about how to plant, feed, grow, and harvest fresh food to eat and seeds to grow—a skill that in invaluable in a disaster scenario or in everyday life.
2. Go on a Plant Foraging or Berry Picking Picnic
Learning about plant identification is a great way for children not only to identify foods that are good to eat, but also avoid ones that are harmful or poisonous. When you children learn how to find food in a variety of places they gain a skill that can help them stay nourished and healthy when they need it most.
3. Make a Backyard Fire or Campfire
Teaching your kids to start a fire is as important as teaching them fire safety. When you child is old and responsible enough begin showing them how to start a fire, as well as different methods to make a spark in case you do not have a match or a lighter. Make sure you also impart the importance of keeping safe around the fire, as well as how to completely extinguish a fire. You can also take the opportunity to teach other skills such as setting up a flare or sending smoke signals.
4. Cook Over an Open Flame
Whether it’s camping in the woods or in a backyard fire pit make sure you share the knowledge of how to safely cook food over an open fire. Start with the basics of roasting hot dogs or cooking up the day’s catch over direct flame. Don’t forget though, you can also teach your kids about dutch oven cooking, digging an oven, aluminum foil packet cooking or a variety of other methods that could come in handy for them down the road.
5. Make a Shelter
Leave a kid alone long enough in any living room and if you’re not careful your couch will soon be turned into a fort. This is a universal among most kids, they love making their own shelters. Knowing how to create cover and shelter is an important survival skill and one and you can easily turn this into a game the kids will love. With the littlest ones I start by just teaching them how to pitch a tent, an important skill all kids should eventually know. You can also make tents with tarps or other materials you may have at your disposal. As kids get older you can teach them the importance of creating natural shelter if they need to, as well as creating an elevated sleeping area to keep them safe in wilderness survival situations.
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When it comes to teaching kids something that they may not be interested in, you need to get creative. Use the above tips along to get your kids interested and involved in prepping. Once they get started they’ll pick up on it, and before you know it they might be asking you what else they can learn.