Survival Friday: Teaching the Kiddos to Prepare

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 27, 2019

Although I am much to old to have young children of my own, I do appreciate the freshness of young minds and try to do as much as I can to foster their education when it comes to preparedness.  As a result, I am thankful that there are so many dedicated Moms and Dads out there willing to share their knowledge when it comes to teaching our younger generation about preparedness.

Today on Survival Friday I would like to share with you a very special article written by Jane, the Mom with a Prep.  As a mom herself, Jane has first-hand knowledge when it comes to making preparedness fun and interesting for her two young kiddos.

Teaching the Kiddos to Prepare

This article is not only for all of you Moms out there, but for all Moms at heart, regardless of age and regardless of gender.  Teaching the kiddos to prepare is important so read along as I share 10 pretend games to help children acquire preparedness skills.

10 Great Pretend Games to Help Your Children Develop Preparedness Skills

Children learn through all sorts of ways, but one of the best reinforcers of knowledge is to put your new found skills to work in a real situation. However, not many of us have the means or the desire to set off a localized EMP or create a mini disaster for the benefit of teaching our kids field first aid or how to resist a mob or field strip an Uzi (and I hope you are reading that with the tongue-in-cheek voice that I’m typing it!).

Kids learn when they play. They learn to make decisions, they begin to put the knowledge they are accumulating to work, and they learn through practice. What better way to do all of this together than playing some “Let’s Pretend” games with the kids. You’re able to create scenarios that will help you teach them, will help them learn and have fun, all in a safe environment without the panic. Do it enough, and it becomes engrained for those times when you might need to put those skills to the test.

Uh-oh! The Lights went Out – Having the power go out during a storm tends to freak small children out, making it harder on them to be able to play this drill easily. So what about doing it one night when there’s no storm and no cause for them to be concerned. Turn the lights out one evening before dinner, and make sure everyone knows your power outage drill, cook supper on the grill, in the fireplace, or whatever other alternative methods you have (or do you have that planned out, yet?) Try not to open your fridge or freezer just as you would if this was a real-life situation like a storm outage. Play flashlight games in the backyard, read by firelight, sleep in sleeping bags in the living room.

Hey kids, let’s go on a picnic – This is a great time to put your Go-bag or 72-hour kit to the test. Grab your bags, head to the local park or field on foot or with a bike, and have a picnic and stay awhile. Do you have enough water to make it through a day or at least have a filter system to make use of available water found (and yes, even at the park, practice filtering the water from the fountains). Did you have enough food to make it through one meal (now multiply that by 9 to get you through 3 days – do you have enough?).

Let’s go for a big walk – Much like the picnic idea, grab your pack and go for a hike. Travel over as many roads, trails, fields, yards as you can. Set up a mini-camp to take a rest, and then head out again. You can play the quiet game along some of the way, too.

Backyard Camp Out – Much like the Lights Out! game, a backyard camp out let’s you practice setting up tents, cooking over fires, using the potty outside, sleeping under the stars, and other skills in the relative safety of home. Each time  you do it, put more and more restrictions on relying on the comforts of home. Filter water from your water hose, use the food from your go bags.

We’re going on a road trip – You have 15 min to pack up everything you’ll need for being gone in an emergency. This can help you see where your preparations are weak and help train the kids to be ready at the drop of a hat in case something did happen. Then, reward the kids with a real trip away from home, even if it’s just for the day.

Hide and Seek – Hide and seek is an awesome game for kids because they love the chase and the thrill of being hunted and being able to out smart their hunter. Have Mom or Dad teach the kids where the *REALLY* safe places are to hide in the house, and then have the other parent ‘hunt’ (remember…make it seem hard for you even though you know where the safe spots are). This can help reinforce where to hide if there is an intruder.

Backyard Olympics – Everyone loves a little healthy competition so set up a skills game series in your backyard. Make them survival and camping skills that your children can enjoy accomplishing allowing them to practice while still having fun doing it! They can work as teams or individuals.

Scavenger Hunt – This game can teach and reinforce foraging skills. Create cards with edible plant life in  your landscape or neighborhood, or items that can be used to start fires (finding all the different kinds of natural kindling is great).

Where’s Home? – We play this game with our kids all the time. While driving, we request the children to tell us how to get home. They learn navigational skills in a fun and useful way.

Playing Doctor – I loved it when our kids were young enough that playing doctor with their stuffed and animals and each other was the thing to pass away an hour or two. We’d break out bandages and slings and learn basic first aid that they could then practice as they played.

About MomwithaPrep:  I’m really just a Mom who is trying to help prepare her family for whatever emergency hits our proverbial fan. I’m married to the biggest geek in the world and am raising + homeschooling two fine young men (if I do say so myself!). I focus on family preparedness, including tons on preparing your children. You can join me on our journey at Mom with a Prep or follow me on Facebook and join in on my obsession at Pinterest.

The Final Word

One of the best compliments every paid to me was from a reader.  In an email, this particular reader told me that reading Backdoor Survival was like receiving a chatty letter from his favorite aunt.  As is stands, for years I have been known as the family Auntie Mame (and if you do not know who Auntie Mame is, look here!).

The bottom line is that our kids are important so let us help them learn to prepare in a fun and positive manner.  Please share some other ways we can help the the kiddos learn preparedness skills?.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Pinterest.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bug Out Bag

Bargain Bin: For the benefit of the Backdoor Survival newbies, here are some foundation items for your bug-out-bag. Sure, you still need to add food, water personal care items and a whole lot more. But these basics will get you started.

Rothco Medium Transport Pack: What I really like about this pack is the narrow profile.  As you can see in the picture, it is only as wide as my body.  Sure, it sticks out a bit in back but at least I do not bump in to things.  There are lots of compartments and pouches and it by far, the most comfortable pack I have ever worn.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

Kershaw Volt II Pocket Knife:  This is an alternative to the OSO Sweet but equally nice and similarly priced.

Flash Drive: I cannot over emphasize the importance of having important documents on a flash drive.  Sure, the power may be out temporarily but for the nominal price and virtually no weight, it is silly not to carry all of your documents and survival reference guides on a flash drive.

Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight:  extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the Streamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person!  Or, if you prefer, a paracord lanyard or keychain.

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you.

Emergency Essential Corn Bread 013Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

I really love the Provident Pantry Corn Muffin Mix which I cooked up as corn bread in my cast iron skillet.  Oh my gosh – it was better than anything boxed that I have ever purchased and as good as home made.  The best part is that all I had to add was water!

Same with the Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.

These are just two of the food storage items that you can purchase at Emergency Essentials.  And if you need some recipes?  Go to the Food Storage Recipes page of Emergency Essentials for lots of creative (and free) ideas for using the good you have on hand.

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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (, and can purchased from Amazon.



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4 Responses to “Survival Friday: Teaching the Kiddos to Prepare”

  1. Our family are big hikers, bikers, campers. It was easy enough to expand our summer hikes into fun learning experiences. This summer we assembled light weight ER bags with each grandchild. Then we hiked and practiced “survival” training: how to build a safe fire, a shelter, signal for help, mark the trail, use a compass and the sun for bearings, identify edible plants, fishing/cleaning/cooking/eating our catches. Each child got their very own fire starting kit and got to use it to make fire.
    I like the idea of “playing doctor”….will try this fun game soon.

  2. Children are so receptive to learning if done the right way and preparedness is so very important to teach early. Like riding a bike they never forget!

  3. I just started following this site and I have to comment on this post even if it is a littler older. I started breaking my kids in to prepping by telling them a zombie apocalypse was coming. They were old enough to know better but young enough to play along. Our regular, sometimes totally unplanned, camping trips help with their quickness in getting out the door. I just tell them if everyone can be ready to go and in the car in less than five minutes we will spend a few days in the woods. My 7 year old is done in less than 3 and has taken to grabbing the diaper bag and our smallest tent on his way out. They have also taught me a few things. I now have games and toys stocked with my food and water. My middle daughter keeps track of the toiletries because I tend to focus on food and water too much. My 9 year old is afraid of the dark, until the power goes out. Then she heads for the closest flashlight calmly while telling my melodramatic teen girls to be quiet before they scare the baby. Yeah, I’ve taught them a lot, but they have taught me plenty too.

    • Michele – Oh I love it. Kids are smarter than a lot of folks give them credit for. And you are a good Mom, too, for teaching them in a sane and fun manner.

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