When most people think about prepping, they think about adults and their needs. However, don’t forget about the little ones! Kids need to be prepared as well — after all, they are our future. Teaching them the necessary survival skills at an early age will help them thrive in any situation, and even help as a family member to do their part in pulling off the family preparation plan. So what are some of the most important survival skills for kids? Check out our list below!
What are Survival Skills?
Most people think of survival skills as something you only need in a “survival situation.” But the truth is, we use survival skills every day. From finding food and shelter to making fires and building shelters, survival skills are essential for everyday life.
Of course, some survival skills are more essential than others. For example, being able to build a fire is essential for survival in cold weather. However, in a hot climate, being able to find food and water are more important.
The best way to learn survival skills is to take a Survival Skills class. In these classes, you will learn how to build fires, find food and water, build shelters, and more critical skills like learning how to identify edible plants and how to purify water. Taking a Survival Skills Class is the best way to make sure you are prepared for any situation. As a starting point, every child should have their own flashlight. Solar Flashlights or Battery Flashlights
9 Survival Skills For Kids
Part of surviving any situation is making sure that everyone in your family has the skills they need. Whether they are camping or facing a real emergency, you want your kids to learn necessary survival skills.
While babies and toddlers won’t be much help in an emergency, you can begin training your little preppers as early as 4 or 5. Here are 9 survival skills for your kids to learn as a way to help get them started!
Kids in general aren’t really aware of their surroundings. However, as a parent, you can start teaching this skill early! Start by pointing out landmarks close to home and creating family meeting places.
Then, point out landmarks on the way to school, when visiting an amusement park, and when hiking in the wilderness. By pointing out landmarks, your child will subconsciously become more aware of their surroundings.
Knowing their surroundings will help them in many situations, whether they are lost in the wilderness or in an urban area.
An important part of awareness is learning directions. That should include learning how to read and follow a map, and also how to use a compass. Having a phone can make getting from point A to point B pretty easy. We won’t always have our phones, and we’ll find they don’t always work, particularly in the wild. Plan to take a map when outdoors, and also have a compass in your gear.
How to Keep Warm Without a Fire
Kids probably aren’t going to have the supplies to make a fire if they are found in a survival situation without an adult. However, there are ways to stay warm without needing to build a fire.
Teach them how to keep warm by making a “scarecrow suit.” A scarecrow suit is a suit made from clothing and leaves that helps insulate the body. To make a scarecrow suit, simply stuff leaves into a coat or jacket. Then, put the coat on top of other clothing layers.
Another way to keep warm is by huddling together with other people. Body heat is one of the best ways to stay warm in a survival situation.
Another critical them for them to understand is how important it is to stay dry, if possible. When we are outdoors, and particularly if it is cold, getting wet and not having a way to dry out can be life-threatening. That’s another reason for the kids to learn how to make a shelter.
How to Find Water
Regardless of age, the general rule is that you can only survive about 3-days without water. That could be even shorter if it’s hot. In order to survive, kids should know the best way to find clean drinking water. Here are some tips to teach them:
- Rainwater collected in leaves, rock depressions, or other containers is usually the safest bet.
- Water naturally runs downhill, so look downhill from where you are for water to gather there.
- Tell them to look for clean, small pools of clean water, and animal tracks to know where local wildlife is sourcing their water.
Kids need to understand that water found in the wild isn’t safe like most household water sources. They should learn how to make water safer to drink, like boiling it, using a water filter, putting a small amount of non-scented bleach in the water, or using halazone pills that are designed to kill bacteria.
How to Find Food
If your child is ever in a survival situation, they will need to know how to find food besides the water we’ve discussed. One way to find food is by looking for edible plants.
There are many edible plants in the wild. However, some are more toxic than others. Teach your child how to identify edible plants by taking a Survival Skills class or reading a book on finding food in the wilderness or foraging.
Another way to find food is by hunting or trapping small animals. Trapping can be done with a simple snare trap or by using a net. Hunting is a good option if you feel the child is old enough to handle things. Bows and arrows or small arms use can be taught at a fairly young age. Be sure to check local regulations. Taking necessary classes can be a fun and informative family activity.
Keep Calm & Stay Put
One of the most important survival skills for kids is to stay calm in a crisis. If they are lost, the best thing they can do is possibly stay in one place, or at least close to where those looking for them expect to find them.
If they wander a long distance, it will be much harder for you or rescuers to find them. Teach your child to use their whistle if they get lost, and have them use a mirror to reflect the sun during the day or a light source at night to draw attention. The safest option may very well be to stay in one place until someone comes to find them.
In a survival situation, the best thing your child can do is to stay calm and wait for help.
Make or Find Shelter
Keeping out of the rain, snow or other elements is important for survival. A shelter isn’t about being comfortable, it’s about staying alive.
Since they probably won’t have supplies at their disposal, teach your kids how to use their natural surroundings.
They can use sticks to make lean-tos and tree branches as a temporary shelter from the rain and sun. You can also teach them how to make a snow tent.
In a pinch, a garbage bag can be used as a rain poncho or to collect water.
Signal for Help
If your child is ever in a survival situation, it’s important that they know how to signal for help. As mentioned above, teach them to use light reflecting off of a mirror or shiny object to signal for help during the day.
At night, they can use a flashlight or fire to signal for help. You can also teach them how to make a smoke signal.
In remote areas, it’s best to stay put and wait for rescue. If your child must move, tell them to leave a trail of markers so you can find them.
Does your child know what to do if they encounter a mountain lion, a bear, or a pack of coyotes? In a survival situation, it’s important that they know how to deal with wildlife encounters.
Teach them to make noise and look big if they encounter a bear. If they encounter a pack of coyotes, they should climb a tree or find a large object to put between them and the coyotes.
The best way to avoid a wildlife encounter is to make noise and stay aware of their surroundings.
How to Fish
Fishing is a great way to get food in a survival situation. But, it’s not as easy as it looks.
There are many different ways to fish, and the best method will depend on the type of fish you’re trying to catch. You can use a spear, a net, or a line and hook. In fact, this is one of the many reasons You Should Take Your Kids Fishing.
More Survival Skills for Kids
- 15 Life Skills Your Kids Need
- Away from Home Emergency Plan For Kids
- How to Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids
- How to Get Kids Involved in Prepping for a Disaster
Is there a good age to start training your kids needed survival skills?
As parents, we know that our children learn at different ages, speed, and maturity levels. There isn’t any one age that workds for everyone child, so be willing to try different things and see how your child grasps concepts. Sometimes they learn best when it’s made a game, and they have fun during the learning process.
The key is to be patient, not expect too much too soon, and help them to understand why things are done and not just how. The why part helps them to internalize the skill and better remember it when needed.
Survival skills for kids are important. But, they’re also a lot of fun to learn.
Enroll your child in a Survival Skills class or buy them a book on the subject. With a little bit of knowledge, they’ll be prepared for anything.
What survival skills have you taught your kids? Share them in the comments below! May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Child Fishing AdobeStock_509081993 by alexkich