Prepping skills that teach kids self-sufficiency

Prepping is a multi-faceted way of living. Not many people are aware that survivalists incorporate prepping into many aspects of their life, like mental health and even parenting. In fact, you can teach your children some of the skills listed below to encourage self-sufficiency, which is a crucial quality for your kids to have when SHTF. (h/t to

When teaching kids these prepping skills, try to make it fun for them so they pay attention. This way, they can enjoy themselves while they’re also learning how to be self-sufficient as they grow up.

Animal farming

Animals are a crucial part of your life, and children need to learn that humans can always rely on different creatures, especially when SHTF. In a post-collapse world, you can use animals for transport or as a food supply.

Ask your kid if they want to sign up for horseback riding lessons (where can learn how to groom horses and muck the stalls), or if they want to learn how to raise animals like chicks, ducks, or rabbits.


With canning, you can teach kids about an affordable and healthy alternative to store-bought foods. Tell them about the basics of canning like how to make jams, pickles, or pasta sauces.


Teach kids how to cook from scratch. This won’t just teach them how to keep themselves fed if they know how to make soups or fresh salads, it will also teach them how to follow a healthy diet so they can grow big and strong.

Fire starting

Fire is only dangerous if you don’t know how to contain it. When it comes to fire safety, the first thing you need to teach kids is how to be cautious when handling fire.

Build a fire pit in your backyard and teach your kid about different fire starting methods. It’s easy to start a fire with a lighter or matches, but kids also need to know how to put out fires properly to avoid accidents. (Related: Fun bushcraft projects to practice with your kids to increase their survival skills.)


A relaxing activity, fishing can also teach kids patience. Go on a fishing trip with your kid, then teach them about sustainable fishing: release small fish and keep the big fish for cooking. Tell them how to string a rod and how to clean and cook a fish on their own.


A child that knows how to forage can survive on their own if they get separated from the group when SHTF. While this is something you never want to happen, it’s better to teach them a skill like foraging so they’re always prepared.

Explore your backyard, the forest, or a local park. Using a field guide, show your children which plants are edible and which ones are poisonous so they can safely forage if they need to.


Even young kids can learn how to plant seeds or cultivate their own indoor or outdoor garden. Start them off with a small herb garden in the kitchen, then move on to a vegetable patch in your backyard once they get the hang of gardening.

Teach kids how to keep pests away from the plants, and let them decide how they’re going to cook or store the produce once it’s time to harvest them.

How to do laundry

Teach kids how to do their own laundry, how to do a load of whites and colors, and how to use a washing machine. You can also teach them how to remove different kinds of stains.

How to use a compass and map

Children need to know how to navigate using a compass and map so they can find their way back home even if they lose access to Google Maps. You can turn lessons into a game by racing to a specified location on your map using only a compass. You can also hide treasure for the kids to find.

Self-defense tactics

The world is a dangerous place, and a disaster can make things worse. Teach kids self-defense so they can protect themselves.

Enroll your kids in a local self-defense class, or teach them some classic tactics at home. They might even discover a new hobby. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which can be used to overpower bigger and stronger opponents, or Muay Thai, which can be used to quickly fend off attackers with a combination of kicks and punches, are both suitable for children regardless of their height.


Teach kids that regardless of their gender, they must learn how to sew. When SHTF, everyone needs to know how to mend their clothes or repair survival gear.

Start with sewing basics like seam ripping and simple stitching. As their skills improve, teach them how to use a sewing machine and how to repurpose old clothing, like socks, into household supplies, like rags.


Swimming isn’t just a fun summer activity. Kids need to know how to swim so they can improve their chances of survival near large bodies of water. You can teach kids how to tread water or how to float if you live near a lake, river, or public pool.

These self-sufficiency lessons can teach kids how to analyze problems and find solutions. This will then develop their critical thinking skills, which can help them grow as independent adults.

By teaching kids how to independent, you can sleep soundly at night knowing that their self-sufficiency can help them survive when SHTF.

You can read more articles with tips on how to teach your kids survival skills and self-sufficiency at

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