Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kids Prep Minute: Give Them the Gear and Let Them Use It

We have used occasions like birthdays, Christmas, etc. to give our children gifts of flashlights, headlamps, books about survival skills, pocket knives, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear.  Yes, they also get toys like other kids, but usually we're able to slip in some preparedness gear as well.

Then, practice using the preparedness gear with your kids.  Their gear and yours. Don't lock it up somewhere "safe" and never use it.  I'll be honest with you here, sweet husband is way better at this than I am.  He welcomes and encourages help from the kids even when it slows him down.  He has been known to put a child in charge of lighting the campfire with his flint and steel (with dad's help and encouragement of course) while I would have just lit a match and got the dang fire going.  Son did get the fire going eventually though and what an accomplishment for a then 9 year old! 

Our kids get to rotate through their own emergency kits, help light fires, use tools, and help with the planting, growing, harvesting, and preserving of the garden each year. They get to help me make meals and help dad fix wiring and pipes.  They get to use their pocket knives, shoot the guns, and hammer nails into boards.  I haven't started them on the sewing machine yet, but it won't be long.  No, it is usually not faster or easier to let the kids help.  And no, I don't always let them help.  But I try.  They are part of my team.  By having the gear and letting them use it, we are giving them the tools and the skills they need to be a little more self reliant and more prepared which, in the end, will help us all.


Anonymous said...

I never thought to give my daughter emergency supplies. Thats something I should start thinking about.

TM Frugal Gourmet said...

When my kids turn 8 they get their first Swiss Army Knife.. When they turn 12 they get a leatherman. They also get flints, tents, sleeping bags, the pad to sleep on, and sometimes I even give them .... clothes.. LOL But honestly, I love having them help. Now I just have to take my brood of 7 kids fishing for the first time (my oldest is 18!)!

marci357 said...

I agree that if kids are brought up from an early age learning this stuff, they will accept it as natural. As teachers to our kids and grandkids, we need to set the role model, practice patience, and know that they will remember the lessons and hopefully pass them along to their kids and grandkids, or, God forbid, use them in a survival mode if we are gone.

One granddaughter is 9 - after expressing aninterest in sewing over the past couple years,learning hand sewing, and then taking a 4H summer school class that really motivated her, I found an older in-great-shape cabinet singer sewing machine for $15 at a church rummage sale. She got it for Christmas this year - and after a couple hands on sessions learning all about the care and maintenance, and the threading and bobbin winding etc, (at Grammi's house) we took the machine home to her house where she regularly uses it, expressing her creativity.

Now maybe some of my 40 years of fabric stashed will be used up :)

And they've been fishing since they could walk :) And butchering meat. And are now helping with canning as well as cooking.

AL said...

Marci, I wish I had a Grammi like that. Good for you for encouraging and teaching your grandkids!

marci357 said...

Thanks, Al. I think that those people who have been blessed enough to learn some survival skills are almost obligated to pass them along. Especially to our families. After all, we are only 100 years or so out of the wilderness (less in some areas), and we could all have to revert back to survival skills in an instant. Someone besides us old folks needs to carry forth that knowledge for future generations.