Time to Start Teaching Your 5-8 Year Old Kids the Basics of Survival

Outdoors! A kids paradise of imagination and adventure. Combine education and fun into a useful survival activity for your child to create games and lessons that will show survival skills. One of the most inexpensive and fun activities is setting up a camp. Grab a tent and pitch it somewhere, you don’t even need to go far, as your backyard will be more than adequate for this experience. Being in the backyard, you can turn it into a survival training ground.

If you have a safe zone, or some significant point of reference like a shed, this can be known as the “safe haven.” The idea will be to create an obstacle course that can be traversed with the objective to reach the “safe haven.” This is a great way to get your kids into this mindset of getting to safety and the benefit is that it can be done within the relative comfort of your own home. After backyard training you can move to your local park and expand on the training there, once again allowing your child to benefit from the outdoor setting.

Hiking presents another opportunity for your children to get used to the idea of being outside and in unfamiliar territory. A hike can involve as many different inclines or terrain and be in any weather conditions. The variation that is provided will allow your child to experience new and exciting points of interest. It’s a good experience to have them navigate challenging routes, for example a slightly steep hill as opposed to flat ground.

As children grow and learn there will be a time and a place to learn certain skills or practices for their age. You wouldn’t show your 5 year old how to handle a knife, however a 13 or 14 year old could be ready for such a step, again it will depend on judgment.

Younger children, ages 5-8 are starting to develop their own sense of identity. The discovery and the wonder of the outdoors are high on their list and as a guide it’s a great time to start setting in place some of the survival skills they will begin developing. Being aware of their surroundings is something you can work on and it can be done almost everywhere. Get them to understand what is happening around them. Implement a game that will have them take note of their surroundings, the exit doors or what did you really see in your surroundings? Not only “see” what’s around them, but also be able to stay silent, out of sight and feel protected. Teaching kids to safely climb a tree has it’s advantages and a tree has multiple uses. A tree supplies a vantage point for a better viewing of the surroundings. It will help them escape preditors and can help in hunting prey. Implementing these basic ideas from the early age will instill the future of their survival and will grow as they grow.

Teach your children that food/water is critical for surviving and to know what is okay to eat and what isn’t will be key skills they have adapted too. Teach them to look at visual clues of food, is it discolored, does it smell bad? Teach them to spot allergic reactions with people, family around them.

Basic first aid should be introduced at this age. Teach them to properly clean a cut and to be clean and have clean hands whenever possible. Applying a band aid or compress will be the foundation and building blocks to much larger ideas as they become older-the next step of survival in the wilderness.

If there is an area in your house for the emergency food storage, it’s a good idea to let your kids know where, why and how and when to use. Give them as much knowledge as they are able to understand and use.

Teach them what to do when they become lost, not only scary for them but for you! Teach them to head to a predetermined safety point or finding someone to help them. Also to add to that, teach them who to approach and who to stay away from. Teaching them to know who the good guys are is very importance with this training.

To conclude on this first topic of hints:

  • Discuss survival and keeping safe is an activity the entire family can participate in.
  • Outdoor activities will let you discuss basic topics as food sources, water gathering and the appropriate clothing to carry.
  • Make the lessons fun and the retention will there.

Make sure the lessons are according to the age of your kids and that the development will be at their pace.

Thanks for reading this. I’d love to hear what your ideas are and what you have done to better prepare to master survival in the outdoors and how you practice and why, so please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.


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