Wilderness Survival Children's Activities and Lesson Plans

Written by sarah dewitt ince
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Wilderness Survival Children's Activities and Lesson Plans
Learning about safety is as important as learning to appreciate the outdoors. (colorado wilderness image by frank sparacio from Fotolia.com)

It's never too early for children to learn how to survive in the wilderness. Survival is dependent on the knowledge and skills a person has regardless of age. Children can get lost camping or hiking if they wander off too far. Always advise children to stay near adults and hold hands when hiking. Create lesson plans that teach kids how to survive in case of the inevitable.

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Survival Packs

Teach the children how to create a survival pack. Teach them about the most essential items inside including water, food, first aid kit, water filter system, rope and flares, as well as other important materials such as a tent and compass. Ask the kids to draw a collage of everything that is found in a kit. You can ask the parents to buy survival items so that you can put together real-life survival kits for each child. Ask each child to take the items out of her pack and explain what they are for.

How to Make a Shelter

Teach the children how to make a basic shelter for warmth. Show them how to use branches and vines to tie together sticks similar to a tepee. This is a simple yet effective way to make a shelter. They also can tie on additional sticks to block out the wind and trap heat. You can teach them in the woods or show them with a drawing of a shelter. Ask the kids to memorise what is needed to make a shelter and have each repeat the steps aloud to the class.

How to Make a Fire

Teach kids how to make a fire with materials such as matches, sticks and leaves. Express to the children the importance of only using this skill if it's needed to survive. Making fires just for fun is dangerous. You can explain how to make the fire and ask each child to draw a picture or write a report. However, you can also give them hands-on experience by taking them on a field trip in the wilderness. First show the children how to make a fire with matches and a few sticks and leaves. Dig a small hole and surround the edges with rocks. Place sticks and leaves inside the hole and show the children how to light a match and start the fire. However, you can also explain to them that if they do not have matches, there are other ways to make a fire such as rubbing two sticks together or holding a magnifying glass above the sticks and the leaves so the sun can kindle the fire.

Explain to kids that the fire is to keep them warm while they wait for help. Explain the hazards and dangerous of fires in a non-survival situation. Children really need to know the distinctions between the two. Teaching children how to make a fire is controversial, but a fire can save their life because the flames help people to find them in the night and the fire will keep them warm.

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