As parents, one of the most important goals we have is to make sure that our children are safe and grow into responsible, happy adults. Part of that means making sure they are able to take care of themselves.
To help make sure your kids are prepared and ready to safely handle any possible situation, even in an emergency or crisis, there are 10 survival skills to teach your kids today.
Gather and Garden
The Cleveland Clinic outlines the benefits of showing your kids how to garden right now for healthy eating along with tips for starting a garden. With a little bit of knowledge on what, when, and how to plant, kids can grow everything from tomatoes to sage to strawberries.
While talking about plants, a quick lesson on how to gather wild plants and fruits can keep kids safe and well fed, too.
Fish is full of nutrients that help your body and brain. In areas with nearby bodies of water, being able to fish also means that kids would have a good chance of having an available food supply.
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In a study conducted by the American Sportfishing Association, researchers found that 55 percent of people who fish started at the age of 15 or younger. Starting kids fishing when they are young is a skill they will keep.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom program highlights the importance of teaching children about the history of agriculture, beginning with an understanding of how animals are used for everything from food to clothing.
Kids can learn where food comes from to start, just in case they need to know how to get an egg or milk on their own.
Once they know what animals provide, we can also show them how to make things. For food, this could be as simple as turning cream into butter. More advanced lessons might include showing them how to tan leather.
An SOS 4 Kids video demonstrates some key techniques for children to use in order to defend themselves in different situations. You can use this to help teach some basic lifesaving techniques to your children.
The bonus of teaching kids self-defense for survival in a crisis situation is that it can be helpful right now. With a few moves, a child could be prepared to save themselves from stranger danger or another scary scenario.
Children who are aware of their surroundings are better equipped to handle or avoid situations that possibly put them in danger. When we are able to show our kids what things to watch out for in different scenarios, they can be prepared to react.
For survival, we should teach them how to be safe from other people and animals. Listening, for example, is one skill to emphasize, along with looking around and staying alert at all times.
Start a Fire
Fire keeps us warm and cooks our food, and children will be able to do both after learning how to start a fire, following all of the guidelines to make sure that kids know how to avoid burning themselves and other dangers.
Find or Create Safe Drinking Water
The Wilderness Awareness School tells us just how dangerous water from many natural resources can be. There are so many bacteria and micro-organisms that can make us sick.
Try any of the number of both modern and primitive methods for water treatment to make sure our kids have safe drinking water. The simple methods are easy to understand, and kids will have fun gathering the water from rivers, streams, and more to practice.
From Pinterest to thousands of blogs, there are easy-to-make patterns for teaching kids how to sew. Sewing is a beneficial skill for not only making clothes but also for mending them.
Kids who know how to use a needle and thread will also be able to mend everything from tents to tarps.
Read a Map and Use a Compass
In its tips for showing children how to read maps, PBS tells us that “Maps support spatial thinking by helping children visualize where objects, places, cities, and countries are in relation to one another.
Quite literally, maps help them figure out their place in the world.” This can be especially true for children who are lost or are trying to find their way.
It might be difficult for many of us, particularly kids, to think of a world where our cell phones or GPS systems couldn’t get us somewhere, but a dead battery or being out of cell tower area are two reasons that knowing how to navigate with a map and compass are still must-have skills.
Basic First Aid
Even a small cut can turn deadly if not treated appropriately and right away. If we aren’t there to take care of those minor injuries, our kids need to know what to do to take care of their own scrapes.
The American Red Cross offers a number of programs that help kids learn about preparing for a crisis or disaster situation. Even helping kids fix a boo-boo on a doll can get them ready to bandage themselves up if needed.
What Skills Will You Begin Teaching Your Kids?
Learning survival skills at a young age helps children prepare not only for a crisis, but it also sets a foundation of knowledge for them to carry through as they continue to grow up.
We can help our children to learn everything from fire safety to using simple tools to finding food and water in any situation.
Showing kids now how to do things for themselves can also be fun. You can begin with activities that show your kids how to care for themselves and also help them to be self-confident and responsible. Start today for your own peace of mind and their safety.