Summer is coming! The kids will be out of school very soon and need ideas to keep them out of trouble and off your nerves. Teaching kids prepping should be at the top of your list of things for them to do. We put a lot of emphasis on adults knowing how to prep, but we really should be teaching the next generation how to prep too.
Remember: our goal in raising kids is that they are self-sufficient when they leave home. So while we should expect phone calls on how to do things, we want them to know the basics and care for themselves.
I am gearing this list towards first-grade age kids and older. You obviously know your kids better than I do. Therefore, you can judge whether they are ready and responsible enough to learn these prepping skills. However, always teach your kids about how to be responsible while doing these activities.
10 Prepping Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer!:
1. Camping. Even you can only camp out in your yard or at the county park five miles from your house, teach your kids to camp. You should be teaching them that the outside isn't scary at night. You can be teaching them how to cook without electricity. You can teach them to explore, forage, identify markings/plants/tracks, and pay attention to their surroundings. You should not allow any devices to come except for a cell phone which is only used for emergencies.
2. Building and making a fire. You can teach them to how to gather kindling, sticks, and logs to build a fire. Next, you can teach them how to light the fire without using a lighter or a match (although those methods are not bad to know either). Next, you can teach them about fire safety. Finally, you can teach them about maintaining the fire.
3. Build a solar oven. There are several plans online to do this. I think it is a neat idea and totally doable. If you have kids in 4-H and need a fair project or need a science fair project for the next school year, this is a great idea. After building it, you can experiment with cooking different things in it like brownies or chicken.
4. How to cook on a grill, camp stove, and other non-electric methods. While I always teach my kids to cook using the stovetop first, I like to start teaching them alternative methods when they are older. Teaching them to grill is a good skill to learn to feed themselves if the power is out. If you have a rocket stove or something similar, they should learn that too.
5. Gardening. Kids are naturally curious so gardening is a great activity to do with them. You can teach them how to plant different vegetables, recognize the plant when it is growing, how to weed, and how to care for the plants when they are growing. You can also teach them how and when to harvest the fruits and vegetables. You may want to give them their own garden plot, but I don't do this. Instead, I have my kids work alongside me in the garden and explain to them that it is everyone's responsibility to provide food for our home.
6. Hiking. Like camping, you can teach them to explore, forage, identify markings/plants/tracks, and pay attention to their surroundings. You are also working on physical fitness for you and them. You are also teaching them endurance and stamina when you might have to walk a long distance or work for longer than normal hours.
7. First aid. We are very fortunate that first aid is taught in most of our high schools in Iowa, but I think it should be taught when younger. I think kids should know how to treat a cut, a burn, and a skin reaction (itching, sunburns, bug bites, and allergic reactions) while still in elementary school. I think they should know the basics of CPR. They should know how to treat someone who is choking. They should know how to call 911 - not just the number, but knowing their address or location, being calm while calling, and how to state what is happening to the victim. You can role-play many first aid situations and make it a fun game while emphasizing the seriousness of what they are learning.
8. Fishing. Teaching your kids to fish is a lifetime skill. They can learn fish identification, edible or good to eat and catch them with hooks and lures. Not sure how to fish yourself? Find someone willing to teach you and your kids. There is usually plenty of fishermen who are willing to show someone else how to fish. Also, be aware of your state laws. In Iowa, residents and nonresidents over 16 years of age need to purchase a fishing license. If you are fishing trout, you will need to purchase or pay a trout fee.
9. Archery and gun shooting. Shooting and target practice is a great way to build skills and learn responsible gun and bow handling. Kids are young as 7 can learn to shoot. I would purchase a bow and arrow set in their age and size range for comfortable handling and less learning frustration. Also, get a lot of arrows. You are bound to lose a few.
A BB gun is a great way to start a kid shooting. With a BB gun, they can learn to sight in and target practice with a gun and ammo that is way cheaper than .22 ammo would be. Then, when they show they can responsibly handle a gun, you can move them up to a .20 or .22 gauge rifle or shotgun. This is the process we have decided on at our home, but you can decide differently for your kid.
10. Reading. I am a very, very strong believer in reading. I think it gives you a solid foundation for every area of your life. Just because school is out doesn't mean they should not be reading. If your kids are younger or willing to listen, please read to them also. Find some good fiction and non-fiction books on survival and preparedness to read.
Some of my favorites are:
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Ultimate Survival Guide for Kids by Rob Colson
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
- 52 Prepper's Projects for Parents and Kids by David Nash
I know there is a lot more to do with your kids in the summer to expand their preparedness and survival skills. So let me know in the comments what you like to do with your kids in the summer to help with their skills!
Thanks for reading,