12 Survival Games That Teach Your Kids How to Prepare for Emergencies
Kids learn through games and things that are fun for them. Sitting down and lecturing them on being prepared for real-life emergency situations won’t have the desired impact. They’ll likely tune you out, but if you take the skills you want them to learn and make it into a game, they’ll learn to be prepared and likely will remember it in a dangerous situation.
1. Paintball for Older Kids
Close quarter combat
Hiding, running and attacking
The rules largely depend on the paintball arena you choose. They’ll have a list of rules you must follow. While a real-life scenario won’t have these rules, it’s good practice for an emergency. You’ll need some supplies like a face mask and helmet, which isn’t like an emergency either, but you’ll want them to be safe while learning.
2. The Game of Lights Out
Navigating in the dark
Not to be frightened
When there’s a storm that brings down the power, it can be terrifying for young children unless you’ve practiced being in the dark. You can make it a fun experience by turning out the lights at night and trying to go through your normal routines. Once they see how difficult it is to proceed normally, you can grab some flashlights and make it a game. Have the children try to get ready for bed without electricity. Sit on the floor and tell stories. You might not want to tell scary ones until you’ve played this game a few times. They’ll be scared at first.
3. No Electricity
Living without technology
Adapting and making adjustments
Take an entire day to live without electricity. You’ll see how difficult it is for you and your family. Cook dinner on the grill outside, use the fireplace for warmth or sit outside near a fire. It’ll be a bit like camping in your own home. It’ll give you an idea of how you’d all do without electricity. At first, it might be hard, but after some time, the kids will learn to adapt. This is especially true if they start coming up with creative solutions to not having electricity.
4. Day in the Park
Survival without your home and supplies
Take your bug out bag and head to the local park. Talk to the kids about having a picnic outside, and see if you all can survive with what you’ve brought with you. Figure out how to find water. Learn to use your water filtration system. This is a great time to test the items you’ve put in your bag. You may find that you don’t have things you’d desperately need. To entertain the kids, they can hike in the park and find bugs, leaves, plants and other items like a wilderness hunt.
5. Hiking in the Wilderness
GPS skills for hiking
Setting up camp
Head into the woods with your bag. It’ll be a more advanced adventure than playing Day in the Park. You’ll want to see how far into the wilderness you can go. Learn how to set up a miniature campsite then head back to civilization. Along the way, you can see how many plants the children can identify. You can also play a quiet game. See how long the children can walk with stealth through the woods. If you’re using a compass or GPS device, make sure the children know how to use it.
6. Backyard Camping
Setting up camp
Existing without items in your home
Only bring outside what you need to exist through the night. Use tents, sleeping bags and cook over the fire. Each time you and the children sleep outside, see how much they can restrict themselves from heading into the house for items they need. Filter water from the outside hose and eat the rations from the bug out bag.
7. Road Trip Panic
Race against the clock to see how many items you can pack in 20 minutes. Imagine there’s a natural disaster on the horizon. You have a limited amount of time to grab items you need. This can be incredibly fun for the children. Once all the items are gathered, spend the day on the road for a real road trip. See how realistic their grab items were. Have them evaluate what they should have done differently as well as what they did correct. When you do this every few months, they’ll have been trained in what to take in a real emergency.
8. Hide and Seek
Safe spots to hide in the event of danger
Start with small kids and indoor hiding places. Kids love to hide and feel like they’ve outwitted the hunter. Make sure your kids know the best hiding places in the home before starting the game. You can pretend not to find them when they’re hiding in these places. It teaches them where to hide in your home in case of an intruder. This can extend outside as kids get older too.
9. Find Your Home
How to navigate
Learn to find home if they get lost
You’ll always want your children to know their basic information like name, address and phone number of their parents. If they ever get lost, you want them to be able to find their way home too. As you head back from the store, have them tell you the way home. You can also show them how to use a GPS-enabled device. Children are great at technology, and learning how to navigate will help to keep them safe in an emergency.
10. Doctor and First Aid
Basic first aid
Confidence in caring for an injured person
Kids love to pretend to play doctor. Instead of having them take a baby doll’s temperature, teach them how to apply bandages and administer first aid. Basic first aid can be a great learning tool for small children when they have the correct information on how to be a doctor or nurse. You can be the patient or the nurse assisting the doctor in taking care of patients.
11. Scavenger Hunt
Familiarizing kids with an area
Learn how to find certain items
You can either place items to be found or list items that are found in a certain area and allow kids to go find those items. They’ll learn how to familiarize themselves with searching as well as the area. It could be your yard, the neighborhood or a local park.
Geocaching is a fun activity for kids and adults. Caches are hidden in locations by other players, and you have to find them using clues and GPS locations. In an emergency, the ability to use GPS to find a location can be very valuable.
These games are great fun for kids while teaching them valuable skills they’ll need in the event of an emergency.