One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to arm yourself with knowledge and that goes for every member of your family. Kids are incredibly apt to soaking up new information and teaching your children survival skills can not only be useful in a variety of scenarios, but it can also provide you with fun activities that give you a chance to bond as a family.
Making sure your children are prepared mentally in a disaster scenario will go a long way toward your entire family’s survival. Most children can not only hold their own weight, but they can also contribute to your family’s overall survival if they are properly educated. Teaching survival skills, however, doesn’t have to be scary… there are in fact many ways to teach basic survival skills and have a blast while doing it. Here are my favorite ways to teach important survival skills as a family— with an element of fun tied in.
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.
6. Play Hide & Seek
Teaching children the art of camouflage could be the number one factor in saving their life down the road. Sometimes hiding is the best form of self-defense, so make sure your kids know how to hide and stay quiet if they need to. When you are out in nature, you can take hide and seek to the next level and play around with the skills of camouflage. It’s an important skills to teach your kids how to hide using their natural surroundings.
7. Fashion Some Home Made Weapons
This is an especially easy activity to get the boy children excited about. Teaching a kid how to make and use basic weapons, such as sling shots or spears, could come in handy in hunting or self-defense situations down the road. Not to mention the kids just love this one.
8. Go Fishing & Hunting
These basic survival skills are taught to most kids without even thinking about their prepping potential. Make sure you take their learning one step further, so that your kids can learn not only how to hunt or fish, but also how to prepare an animal to eat if the need arises.
9. Take a Self Defense Course
Learning defense is something everyone in the family can do to help them prepare for any situation. Karate and other martial arts are popular, but even just sharing some basic self-defense techniques with your kids can help protect them in the long run.
10. Climb Some Trees
Let your kids climb, in certain survival situations an ability to head above ground could safe their life.
11. Play Explorer
Teach kids about map reading, compasses and basic navigational skills. You can easily teach your kids about directions and how to find your way even without maps and compasses. Spend some time watching the sun rise and the sun set. Teach kids about how to use the night sky to find your way.
12. Sew Your Own Clothes
Sewing is a great hobby, as well as a skill that can be invaluable in a variety of potential situations. Teaching kids young how to mend, make their own clothes, bags and toys, is an easy and fun activity that can arm them with an important life skill.
As parents, it is our job to arm our kids with the knowledge they will need to survive in this world. It only makes sense that smart, prepared parents would also make sure their kids have the tools and skills they need to survive in any disaster or world changing scenario. The better prepared your kids are the better chance your whole family has to make it safely through whatever could happen in this crazy world.