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Knowing how to survive without basic amenities is a skill everyone – even children – should know.
Children are like sponges, and can quickly pick up things we want them to know (and don’t want to know!). Simply make it fun.
1. Foraging skills
There are thousands of native, edible plants. In a survival scenario, a child may not be able to hunt or fish, but he can learn to identify plants that are edible.
Teaching your child what NOT to eat is just as important. Of course, you can learn these things through books, but it is best if done by hand. Take them out in the woods and find edibles together. Add your finds to dishes and dinners throughout your daily life. Soon, it will become normal!
2. Creating shelter
Our hope is that our children will be with us during any dangerous scenarios. That isn’t always the case. It is important that we teach our children how to create a small shelter with the items they can find in nature.
Most kids would think building a shelter is a great game! Teach them that “roughing it” is enjoyable. Take your kids out in the dark to create a shelter or just to explore nature at night. It is a different world.
3. Making a fire
Warmth is essential for survival in the wild. It is also a great source of safety to protect predators from approaching a campground.
Teaching your child how to start and control a fire will take time. You can start by teaching him or her how to find kindling for bonfires, and then showing them how to structure a fire properly. There are plenty of ways to make this fun, especially if there are marshmallows at the end.
As your child gets older, you can move on to teaching them how to start a fire without matches. It is never too early to teach fire safety around a fire. Instilling a healthy fear and understanding of the dangers it can pose is important, especially if your child will be on his own with fire.
4. Water purification
In an ideal scenario, your child would have purification tablets or a purifying straw in a bug-out bag. Life doesn’t always work how we want it to work, though, and there may be a time when your kid needs to know a different method.
This skill is easy to make fun. It is like a real-life science experiment!
Use a two-liter bottle to create a small filtering system. Children can create their own and drink the water at the end of the process. It may seem like a small skill, but it can come in handy later.
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Gardening is one of the most important skills you can teach your child. If your children can garden, they can survive anywhere.
Teach your children how to start plants from seeds. It takes practice and knowledge. After that, you can work on teaching proper upkeep and preservation techniques. Most kids love to garden. It is a great excuse for getting dirty!
As a family, we work toward teaching our children survival skills on a regular basis. From butchering deer with their father to starting vegetable plants with me, our kids learn skills immediately. To them, it is just a way of life. Our goal is to release them as adults with the skills to survive, no matter what comes their way.
Do you introduce survival skills to your kids? If so, let us know what you teach them in the section below:
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