Reading a Compass

Survival Skills to Teach Young Children

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One of the best things you can do for your children is to teach them survival skills. In today’s world, it is more important than ever for kids to know how to fend for themselves in case of an emergency. By teaching your kids some key survival skills, you’ll give them the confidence and ability to face many challenges that come their way.

Why Teach Survival Skills To Young Children?

There are a number of reasons why you should take the time to teach survival skills to your children. For one, it instills a sense of self-reliance and confidence. Knowing that they have the skills to take care of themselves in case of an emergency will give them the peace of mind to face all kinds of situations.

Another reason to teach survival skills to kids is that it can help them in an actual emergency situation. If your child ever finds themselves in a dangerous situation, having the knowledge and ability to survive can mean the difference between life and death. As parents, knowing what skills to teach the kids based on an age-appropriate approach can give us a more comfortable attitude when we have to leave them on their own.

Survival Skills to Teach Young Children

Survival Skills to Teach Kids

Knowledge is something that takes time to develop, so no matter what age your child is, it’s time to start teaching them some core survival skills. So what are some essential survival skills that you should teach your children? Here are a few of our favorites:

Teach Kids To Use a Map and Compass

One of the first things you should do is teach your kids how to read a map and use a compass. If they ever find themselves lost, these skills will help them orient themselves and find their way back home. Most of us have grown accustomed to asking “Siri” to get us from point A to point B. Kids don’t all have cell phones, and if they do, they don’t work everywhere. I’m surprised how many young people, even young adults, who don’t know their north-south-east and west directions. It’s a little sad.

Reading a Map

Show Them How To Find Fresh Water

In an emergency situation, water is going to be the most crucial to survival.  Teach your kids how to find fresh water sources, and how to purify water if necessary. Finding Other Water Sources in an Emergency could save your child’s life.

Help Them Make a Fire

Fire is another key element of survival. Not only will it keep them warm and dry, but it can also be used to cook food and purify water. Show your kids how to build a fire from scratch, using different methods like the bow drill or the hand drill. Be sure to stock different types of fire starters like the Fire steel and scraper, and show your kids how to use them.

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Some people don’t know the first thing about starting a fire even if they have matches or a lighter. There is a trick to finding kindling that burns easy and fast, and then working up to larger branches and logs. You really have to work your way up to make the fire turn out right.

Starting a Fire Outside

Teach Your Kids How to Build a Shelter

In an emergency, having a shelter can prove crucial. Not only will it protect them from the elements, but it can also provide a sense of safety and security. Help your kids build a basic shelter using materials like sticks, leaves, and branches. You can also teach them how to make a more advanced shelter using a tarp or space blanket. If you need ideas, here are 7 Ways to Build a Survival Shelter.

Show Your Kids How To Grow a Garden

One of the best ways to help your children become self-sufficient is to teach them to grow their own food. Not only will this provide them with a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, but it will also teach your kids how to be more independent. Start small by having them plant a few herbs or vegetables in pots, and then expand from there.

Because they may not always be able to go to the store and buy plants, you will also want to teach them how to grow fruits and vegetables from seeds. With the right guidance, your kids will be well on their way to a self-sufficient garden the whole family can benefit from.

It’s so gratifying to start from a seed and see the plants mature and provide sustenance at harvest time. Gardening can truly be a fun and educational activity for the whole family.

Teaching Gardening

Instruct Them on How to Identify Edible Plants

In an emergency, one of the best things you can do is find edible plants to eat. However, not everyone knows how to identify edible plants. Teach your kids how to identify common edible plants in your area, and what parts of the plant are safe to eat. You may be surprised to find that even common weeds like dandelions are edible.

They also need to learn plants to stay away from, not only because they aren’t edible, but because they could prove to be very harmful, like poison ivy. They should also learn some basic first aid treatments to help them and others if a harmful plant is made contact with them.

Teach Kids How to Fish and Hunt

If you want to teach your kids how to be truly self-sufficient, then you need to show them how to fish and hunt. These skills will not only provide them with a source of food, but will also teach them patience and discipline.

Start by teaching your kids how to set up a fishing line, and then move on to more advanced techniques like fly fishing. You can also teach them how to hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels, and fowl like ducks. If you have the opportunity, take your kids on a camping trip and let them put their new skills to the test. They also should learn about conservation and why you need a license as a means to protect wildlife.

Survival Skills to Teach Young Children

Educate Them On How To Cook Outside

If your kids are going to be self-sufficient, then they need to know how to cook their food. Teach them how to build a campfire, and then show them how to cook different types of food over the fire. You can also teach them how to bake bread or make brownies in a solar oven.

Read More of My Articles  7 Basic Survival Skills You Need To Know

With a little bit of instruction, your kids will be able to cook a meal outdoors like a pro.

Cooking Outside

Show Your Kids How To Treat Common Injuries 

In an emergency, your kids may suffer from common injuries like cuts, scrapes, and burns. Show them how to treat these injuries using supplies from your first-aid kit. You should also teach them how to recognize more serious injuries and when to seek medical help.

Equip Your Child With Basic Self-Defense Techniques

In an emergency, your child may need to defend themselves from animals or other people. Teach them some basic self-defense techniques that they can use to protect themselves. You should also teach them when it is appropriate to use these techniques, and when it is better to run away. The decision to fight or flight has been part of the human makeup since the dawn of time. We all need to understand the consequences of both.

Teach Situational Awareness

One of the most important skills you can teach your child is situational awareness. This means being aware of their surroundings at all times, and knowing what to look for in a dangerous situation.

Teach your kids to be aware of who is around them, and what they may be planning to do. You should also teach them how to respond if someone tries to grab them or if they feel like they are in danger.

These are just a few of the skills you can teach your kids to help them become more self-sufficient. With the right training and guidance, your kids will be able to handle most emergencies that come their way.

Teach Kids To Teach Inside The House

It’s critical we teach our kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch inside the house. This is one skill that will truly save their lives.

Teach Your Kids How To Call 911

  • Make sure your child can say his/her first and last name and provide your home address
  • Before you show them how to dial, explainn to them the different situations they would need to call 911
  • Show them how to dial 911 on your home phone or your mobile phone

More Survival Skills To Teach Young Children

Final Word

In the event of an emergency, your kids must know as much as possible about how to survive on their own. By teaching them the skills listed above, you can help them be more self-sufficient and better prepared for as many situations as you feel are needed. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Girl Toddler with Compass rAdobeStock_364819706 by tgordievskaya, Children with Map AdobeStock_289932176 by Lightfield Studios, Teen in Camp AdobeStock_258777897 by Tatyana Gladskih, Father with Children In Garden AdobeStock_370614434 by Halfpoint, Father fishing with Toddler AdobeStock_258927106 by Halfpoint, Small Child Cooking Hot Dogs AdobeStock_461525568 by IIvan Kmit

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  1. The biggest part of this is spending quality time doing things with them. If your working on a project with skills then include them. Yes it’s a pain at times but they will learn so much. It takes me twice the amount of time and fuel to move loads with the tractor with my 4 yr old grandson but he understands how things work mechanically, how to use hearing protection and where is safe to be around equipment.
    My son “helped me fix my truck” one time with a screwdriver in the radiator but now he’s my grown man go to when I need help or even don’t know how to do things because he’s far surpassed his old man in skills.
    The same applies to all other skills and things in life like hunting, camping, shooting etc.

    In the Army when I returned from the Balkans the rest of the base picked up and left for the Balkans. I found myself as den leader of Cub Scout Tigers. One of my most memorable classes was putting first aid kits together and having them patch up boo boos, made on my skin with red marker, with bandaids. After I was done the parental feedback was incredible and I knew I’d done right by them.

    Invest in the future because what we leave behind is important

    1. Matt, you nailed it perfectly. The time we spend passing our knowledge and values on to our children is critically important.

      Linda, I’d add teaching them to cook inside as well. Also, the importance of calling 911.

    2. Hi Matt, great comment! They really do learn by doing more than watching. The 4-year-old on the tractor is a perfect example of how we teach the younger generation. I LOVE that one! Teaching him all the things that go with driving the tractor. Good story! I love the Cub Scout story, I can almost picture the red magic marker on your arm! Love it! Linda

    3. Matt, You are one of the blessing God has sent us in order to survive what ever is coming. My sons learned working along with their father, and now I can see my youngest teaching his three boys. Our kids learned canning and freezing foods. Now I am hoping to pass on everything you and Linda are teaching me.

      1. Well I appreciate it. Been a lot of things ain’t too sure your using the right word lol
        I try though

  2. For directions I simply look up. If the sun is out, and I know approximately what time it is, I don’t need a compass. The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. At night there are constellations.

  3. Linda, thanks for another wonderful article! These are skills I want to teach my four little ones, but ones that I also need to brush up on/learn myself! Since we homeschool we can easily add some of these into our day. Thanks for being such a blessing in these crazy times!

    1. Hi Carrie, we all learn from each other! Thank you for your kind words, my friend. Crazy times for sure! Make some playdough with your kiddos! We still need to have fun! Linda

  4. Super–in fact, raise them like many of our generation were raised, right?

    Here’s yet another book (guess I should have been a librarian). “Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children.” He’s written quite a few such field guides, all of them well worth having in any prepper’s library!

  5. Another good article for young parents. Wish I had them when my kids were little. My kids know how to garden but they don’t know a lot of other things for survival and it is sad. They need to know things that they were not expected to know them when they were little. Another article I will share with people who have small children by giving the link.

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you for your kind words. I love hearing they know how to garden, so many do not. Pat yourself on the back for teaching them the love of gardening. Linda

  6. If the kids learn nothing else from the various activities and teaching experiences – make sure they learn your first survival teaching words >>> “Listen Carefully” – “Everything I tell you is important” – “Follow my instructions carefully” – “Don’t do anything or think about anything else until you do what I tell you to do”

  7. I love this article Linda! Great advice from Matt also. Husband is a farm boy and a country boy. Has LOTS of skills and taught our son and daughter how to do many things. Our son was an Eagle Scout at 14, the youngest Eagle in his troop.. he’s surpassed his dad on a lot of things and I always say that husband and son are the two people I want to be with if something bad happens. Daughter is also skilled at fishing, hunting, building fires, etc. Now we are teaching the grandkids and they think it’s a great adventure. We try to make it fun for them and they are quick learners.

    1. Hi Paula, oh I love hearing this! That’s amazing about your son getting his Eagle at 14! SQUEAL! That is so awesome! Life is good when we can tach our kids and they teach their kids. Bonus, we can teach the grandkids! Love it! Linda

  8. My mom didn’t learn to drive till she was in her late 40’s early 50s and when her and I went somewhere for
    the first time without my dad she didn’t know how to use the heater but I had sat in the back seat for years watching him so I knew how to use it. Simple little things like that or any skill is great to learn. My great nephew is 14 and he
    can cook but also drive a tractor or anything, I think he has his own horse at his dad’s place so I’m sure he knows
    how to care for him. He mows the yard and has for years. He could probably take care of his self pretty well if
    he had to. My niece is in her 40s and she wants to learn to can, so I will be happy to teach her. Never to old to
    learn. Might teach her how to use a kraut cutter too.

    1. Hi June, wow, what a blessing you were able to teach your mom how to use the heater in the car. I love hearing you can teach your niece how to can food! Your great-nephew will do well in his life by having the skills he has learned! Love this, Linda

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