When prepping for survival situations, you have to make sure your children are equally prepared. Continue reading below to read more about how to build a children’s survival kit.
Self-reliance and survival skills are often idealized as things of the past.
Many modern-day parents focus so much on the need to protect their kids that they fail to teach them how to survive and be self-reliant.
This lack of preparation, knowledge, and skillset can have devastating results for children who face emergency situations without their parents there to protect them. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary for the modern-day mindset to evolve.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to ensure your children are prepared for emergencies and other SHTF scenarios.
One such way is to build a survival kit with them. This is a positive activity that includes information on preparation, self-preservation, and survival. Additionally, it’s a means of reassuring your children their safety is your top priority.
When it comes to building a children’s survival kit and progressing their survival skills, experts recommend focusing on shelter, warmth, means of signaling, and first aid. Though it’s important to include the basics, no survival kit will contain every necessary item for every possible situation.
Because of this, it’s important to build your child’s survival kit with their age and abilities in mind – you can always update and add to it later! After all, the most important part of your child’s survival kit will be the knowledge and skills you teach them.
Knowledge Is Power
Both parents and children rely heavily on technology.
This is especially true when it comes to understanding cardinal directions and using a compass and map.
Most people utilize the GPS features on their phones to get from one point to another, even when walking. This is fine… until a phone is no longer accessible or usable.
In such a situation, knowledge of direction and maps is essential. In fact, kids are capable of learning how to use a compass and map at a very young age, which is why such tools are excellent items to include in children’s survival kits.
To be more specific, a compass and map will help identify key points and landmarks such as their home, friends or family’s homes, and/or meeting places.
Additionally, it’s also worth teaching kids identifying information. After all, not too long ago, we had to commit phone numbers to memory rather than pull up contacts on our mobile phones.
As soon as children are able to communicate, they should know their full name, parents’ names, full address, and important phone numbers. As they grow, this information should be reinforced and expanded upon.
Item Ideas for Children’s Survival Kits
There are many ideas for building a survival kit for your child.
For this reason, it’s important to keep in mind what items most suit their age and skill level, as well as how much they’re able to carry. Overdoing or overloading a kid’s survival kit is counterproductive.
In fact, a survival kit should be portable enough for your child to carry at the bottom of their backpack. Here are some practical items to consider adding:
Small, portable first aid kit
Whistle (as a means of signaling)
Map of the local area
Emergency blanket or space blanket
Emergency poncho (or trash bag to improvise)
Ferro rod and striker (to start a fire without matches)
Small roll of Gorilla brand duct tape
Small, non-perishable foods (such as Clif Bars, granola bars, dried fruits or fruit leather)
Collapsible water container and filter (such as Sawyer Mini Water Filter)
Laminated card for identifying information (child’s name, parents’ names, address, phone number)
Teach Them, Too
Of course, it’s not enough to just build a survival kit for your child and hand it to them. You must also teach them how to use each item properly. Safety and responsibility for themselves and others should be a top priority.
Plus, teaching your kids how to use their survival kits can be an excellent family activity!
Occasionally, parents get carried away trying to teach their children all of the skills essential for survival. This can cause frustration for families and result in children feeling overwhelmed or scared.
To avoid this, stick with age-appropriate skills and lessons.
Kids respond much better to tasks they’re capable of doing well. As such, parents should start with the easiest survival skills and allow their children a feeling of mastery over them.
For instance, young children can be taught to blow a whistle when you’re out of their sight. Plus, by praising their skills and allowing them to develop, your kids will enjoy the feeling of being self-reliant.
Talking to kids about survival skills, what to do in an emergency, or how to cope if separated from parents or other responsible adults can be frightening no matter the age of the child. For this reason, it’s vital for parents to be reassuring and positive when creating survival lessons and kits.
Children should understand their parents have confidence in their skills to be prepared and self-reliant. This will instill pride in their abilities. Parents should also reinforce survival kits for situations that might happen, not situations that will happen.
Ultimately, you need to reassure your kids that your priority is to take care of them and keep them as safe as possible.
Parents can also emphasize learning survival skills or preparing a survival kit is not based on fear, but rather on self-sufficiency and protection. The more informed and self-reliant your child is, the greater chance they have of overcoming panic and surviving an emergency situation.
Parents should also be open to answering questions with age-appropriate responses in addition to teaching them how to use their survival kits. Reassure them their safety is important because of how much you love them!
Have you built a children’s survival kit already? Anything else you added that’s not on our list? Feel free to share in the comments section!