No rest for the wicked*: Tasks for kids over the holiday break
Sometimes I find myself taking on more responsibility around the house than I really should, especially with kids who are 10 and 12 years old. Now that most kids around the country will soon be on holiday break, or Christmas break, if your school is politically incorrect, there’s no reason for they can’t jump in and help with your preparedness efforts. After all, within just 2 or 3 days, they’ll be whining, “I’m bored!” Here are a few tasks that will keep them busy and build a sense of teamwork and shared responsibility in your home.
- Put them in charge of organizing your pantry and food storage areas. If you have boxes of #10 cans from one of the many food storage companies out there, such as Shelf Reliance, they can easily write a list on the outside of the box telling what’s inside.
- Assign them the duty of rotating groups of food by bringing the back cans to the front.
- Along the same lines, hand them black Sharpies and tell them to circle the expiration dates on food and other supplies.
- Older kids can find new recipes that use only foods in your pantry and prepare them for meals.
- Kids of all ages can go through their closets, drawers, and pile of shoes and look for items that are too small or that they don’t like. Decluttering is a huge step in being better prepared, and why should you do all the work?
- Have each kid prepare their own Bug Out Bag. They can use this list and get your approval before actually packing the duffel bag, backpack, or other satchel.
- If you live near sporting goods stores such as R.E.I., Cabela’s, or a Bass Pro Shop, older kids can go to their websites or call the store directly and find out what classes might be scheduled during the holiday break. Typically, these types of stores offer classes in Dutch oven cooking, orienteering, fly fishing, wilderness survival, and a lot more.
- If your kid is tech-savvy, have him or her transfer favorite tunes from CDs to an MP3 player or iPod. Then, store the player in a Farraday cage.
- Assign them the task of putting together a vehicle emergency kit.
- Every day is a good day to begin learning a new skill. Boys and girls can learn to knit, sew, embroider, and so much more. Look for training videos online, acquire the necessary supplies, and then tell them to get busy. You, as the parent or grandparent, don’t need to know everything. Instead, think about skills as a pool that everyone contributes to.
Assign several of these tasks and then sit back, relax, and eat a few bonbons.
*I heard my mom use this phrase, “No rest for the wicked,” throughout my childhood, but it wasn’t until just this week that I bothered to research its origin. Turns out it’s a quote from the Bible as well as the title of songs, short stories, books, albums, and even a webcomic.
© 2011, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.