Prepping activities with young children?

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Prepping activities with young children?

Post by roOism » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:07 pm

So my wife and I came to the realization the other night that we spend way to much time in front of the TV playing games or watching movies, and not nearly enough time being productive in any manner. We have an ok emergency prep setup going, but it could use improvement in just about all facets.

So in talking last couple days we decided to have a weekly family night dedicated to working on some sort of prep as a family.

We have a two year old who we'd like to involve as much as we can. Obviously she won't be loading mags just yet, but we want her to learn and enjoy these type of activities as she grows.

We bought a bunch of fruit last weekend to dehydrate, and had her running the crank on the apple peeler/slicer, and she thought it was a blast (and had to taste-test as she went of course).

So those of you who have children, what type of prep-related activities do you involve them in?
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by Close_enough » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:19 pm

Run fire drills and other scenarios as play activities. It's fun to climb out Mommies and Daddies bedroom window. Do a camp out in the back yard. Throw the circuit breakers for the lights (or unscrew all the light bulbs) and have a camp out in the living room. Break out some of the canned goods (if you preserve). Have them discharge expired fire extinguishers and pretend to be firefighters (how fast can you get dressed?). Find out where the local FD is setting up a booth (usually at a fair) and go down there. There's usually a tunnel to crawl through (stay under the smoke) and other activities.

If they watch videos, now would be a good time to introduce them to kids fire safety, traffic safety, etc. cartoons.

At that age, they're really more livestock then an active participant. So, getting them use to various activities will keep them from freaking out and being uncooperative when Mommy and Daddy start acting weird and packing the house up in a hurry.

I was a bit older (3rd grade) when we first moved into a two story house. As soon as we were mostly unpacked, my parents showed me the emergency ladder and unhooked the window screen in my bedroom. They had me hang the ladder from the window, climb down, and climb back up. A couple of years later when they were replacing some worn screens, they had me rip my way through one so I knew how it felt to do it. Screen wire is a lot more abrasive then you'd think putting your fist through it.

EDIT: I'm the household prepper. Family participation tends to be minimal.

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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by woodsghost » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:50 pm

I can't say I"m an "expert." At this point I don't have kids, I have simply worked with them professionally and on a volunteer basis for 16 years and helped raise some cousins.

I really don't see a need for "this is now a prepping activity, lets go prep together..." type of approach with children. I think simply saying "hey, this is what mom and dad are doing, wanna help?" is going to get you the most mileage. More of a "let's do fun things together!" approach. If your preps are not too obvious and your language is not too extreme, then there is not as great a need for "opsec" either. If your children don't think of you as "being prepared" for anything more than common occurrences, there won't be much of an issue with training them to keep quiet about things, and that helps them develop more as children. Keeping secrets can be pretty hard on them. Feeling weird or unusual can also be tough.

And for the sake of everything good, don't have some sort of "now this is our food, and if Billy or Sally, or their parents come to take it, we might have to shoot them...." kind of conversation.

Frankly, I think the best way to go is to take them along on your own adventures (abroad and in the home) and make it fun.

I think the best opsec comes from their not knowing you are more prepared than your neighbors.
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by SouthernZombie » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:44 pm

I have a three year old and after taking her camping once she absolutely loves it. Now she happily does anything related to camping. So she loves to pack her backpack, ride with me to get firewood, eat with Titanium sporks, test out tents and sleeping bags, eat any kind of "camping" food.

Camping activities translate well to preparedness and bugging out. If you can make your kids enjoy the outdoors and they learn how to light a fire, fish, and eat dehydrated food or things that store well long-term I think that's a big win in terms of prepping.
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by TacAir » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:52 pm

When our kiddos were little - we would host "Emergency' dinners.

Lights would be turned off - Aladdin Lamps lit, food cooked over the alcohol stove and water for clean up came from the 5 gal jug stored in the kitchen for just this. If the youngest needed to be involved, they would hold their flashlights (from their shoes and other emergency stash) - so everyone played.

One winter the power went out (a pole pig blew up) and the kiddos thought it was just a early Emergency dinner....

The point was that the kids would see that an 'emergency' was not that big a deal because we had our gear on hand. The biggest gift you can give children is knowledge - because with knowledge, you need not fear.
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:09 pm

Take your children camping.

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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by LyraJean » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:36 pm

Have them pack their own GHB. Have help them pick out a season appropriate outfit, a travel game and a stuffed animal, help them make a boo-boo box to put in their GHB. Have them put everything into the backpack themselves.
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by carlzombie » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:28 pm

Every outdoor activity is good for children... They are learning having new experiences. By the way, if your child is two I would suggest a bike balance training.

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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by bacpacjac » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:55 am

I'm a prepper, and my kids are definitely being brought up to be too, but we keep it light and easy, and let them be kids along the way. As an example of a personal example of a Parenting Prep Win:

My daughter is currently enthralled with a movie called "Against the Wild". She requests it daily. Here's the trailer: describes it like this:

"Two siblings and their devoted dog become lost in the wilderness and must learn how to combine their skills, trust their instincts and navigate a terrain as beautiful as it is untamed. "

The 10th (?!) time we watched it, I hit pause as the kids in the movie were packing their BOBs/GHBs?PSKs to go find help. I asked my daughter (four years old) and her best friend (three years old) what they would pack in their backpacks to spend two or three days in the forest. They answered:

-a water bottle and juice
-snacks, like cookies
-more snacks
-a blanket
-bandaids and a doctor kit
-a jacket
-a sweater
-hot chocolate
-hatt and mitts
-a stuffie
-a ball
-a raincoat
-my whistle
-a toy
-my flashlight
-more snacks

Not a bad list, me thinks. ;)

I wholeheartedly second the suggestion to get them outside as often as possible. No digital distractions or dependencies, just old fashioned play with a few teachable moments along the way. The girls and I hike together every week, and they love it. They both have "Adventure Packs", so after this discussion, we went through their packs and made sure they have everything they need. They were very proud to realize that they did, except snacks, which they devoured on our walk earlier that day.

Safety first, though, right? So then I asked them if they should go look for help if something went wrong like in the movie, and they said "No. Hug a tree and wait for you!" :D

My advice is to just keep it fun for them. They learn more sometimes when they don't realize that they are. ;)
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by gundogs » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:39 pm

We introduced our grandkids to gardening.
As they got older they helped with canning.
They also learned to take care of chickens
and how to fish

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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:45 pm

Participating with what you and the wife are doing. Camping. Walking with you. Carrying a simple Hello Kitty pack with Cheerios, a sippy cup, small stuffed animal and a fleece or rain coat on the paved path for a mile and gradully increasing the distance.

As they get older, Scouting, its good for adults too. Venturing is good for girls 14 and up.

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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:57 pm

majorhavoc wrote:Take your children camping.
Agreed. Make it fun, take them camping. I always liked building campfires, knot tying, canoeing, and carving on camping trips. Experiencing the outdoors is more of a lesson than a rigid plan.
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Re: Prepping activities with young children?

Post by duodecima » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:13 am

LyraJean wrote:Have them pack their own GHB. Have help them pick out a season appropriate outfit, a travel game and a stuffed animal, help them make a boo-boo box to put in their GHB. Have them put everything into the backpack themselves.
Make 'em pack their own bags/suitcases. The thought process isn't a ton different - we're going to Grandma's for 3 days, what do you need? When their little you give them the list, a little bigger you help them think thru the list. Bonus - I haven't checked my daughter's bag since she was 10, she packs herself.

Lather, rinse, repeat with camping. You're teaching the process of thinking it thru, which is broadly applicable.
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