The Survival Mom » Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:55:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Camp MAMA — Summer Camp Ideas for Moms http://thesurvivalmom.com/camp-mama/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/camp-mama/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 07:40:59 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=7029 Summer vacation is starting! Summer camps can cost hundreds of dollars a week. As great as those experiences can be and as much as kids can learn, the cost adds up fast. After several summers of my kids complaining about having to get up for camp, mine are only signed up for a few day camps […]

The post Camp MAMA — Summer Camp Ideas for Moms by Liz Long appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

summer camp ideas for momsSummer vacation is starting! Summer camps can cost hundreds of dollars a week. As great as those experiences can be and as much as kids can learn, the cost adds up fast. After several summers of my kids complaining about having to get up for camp, mine are only signed up for a few day camps each.

That leaves a lot of time for them to drive me insane and get really bored. So, I put together this list of summer camp ideas for moms that you can schedule right at home.

My idea? Trading kids!

Really. For some afternoons throughout the summer, I’ll leave one boy playing with his friends at their house and have other kids come here for “camp” with my other son. Just make sure you’re doing even swaps. You don’t want another family to feel like you’re using them for free babysitting, and you don’t want to be the free babysitter.

Most parents I know have things stuck in a closet that would make great little themed “camps.” Whenever there is something appropriate (like building forts – a.k.a. shelters – in the woods), you can assemble a bigger group so all the kids can play together for “camp.”

Disaster Challenges

When I first wrote this, I referenced Claire Llewellyn’s three “Survival Challenge” books focused on outdoor survival skills – Survive in the Jungle, Survive at Sea, and Survive on a Desert Island. Sadly, these are almost impossible to find now, but there are tons of other great books to help with outdoor survival skills. Practicing outdoor survival skills can be a ton of fun for kids! They are outside, with friends, grubbing around. What’s not to love?

With a travel theme, a “Mexico” week could include making tortillas and an “Alien Invasion” theme could include an evasive NERF course for learning to evade a hail of bullets along with making alien green goop. (Note: There are a TON of different kind of NERF darts – check with your child to make sure you buy the correct ones.)

A “London” camp could include acting out a play like you’re at Globe’s Theater, building your own bomb shelter (fort!) like many WWII era books and movies include (The Lion, the Witch, and the  Wardrobe /The Chronicles of Narnia and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, for instance), or designing your own royal wedding and wardrobe.

Other Themes

Cooking could include outdoor cooking, no-cook cooking, baking, dehydrating (and rehydrating), and cake decorating. (My boys love baking because they can eat what they bake.) Spy Camp could include treasure hunts, pre-packaged murder mysteries like the dinner party kits, an evasive bike-riding course, and more NERF.

The “Whodunit? Lab” from Discovery Kids (crime lab experiments including fingerprinting) is great for science-oriented kids or kids who love solving mysteries. It is out of production, but I found it on eBay. There are tons of science and spa / soap making kits available.

Even more possibilities are working on Cub Scout belt loops, photography, crafts like weaving and spinning, wood working, art, and gardening. The choices are limited only by your imagination and the skills you know or are interested in learning.

Sharing Something YOU Love with Your Kids

Summer camps are great, and they definitely provide sanity breaks if you’re home full-time with your kids, but doing your own Camp Mama (or Papa or Grandparent) allows you to teach your kids specific skills, cater to their interests, and share something you love with your kids.

I’m a poor swimmer at my best, so sending the kids to swim camp instead of trying to teach them myself is a no-brainer, but the “whodunit? lab” looks wicked cool. We never have time to try it during the school year, so doing that as a camp is equally a no-brainer. And of course, they’ll need plenty of time to just kick back, relax, play some Minecraft (another camp possibility) with their friends, and enjoy their free time during summer vacation. With a little luck, so can Mama!

Edited from original version published June 30, 2011.

summer camp ideas for moms

The post Camp MAMA — Summer Camp Ideas for Moms by Liz Long appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/camp-mama/feed/ 5
Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22486 Our family likes to play the “What if …” game, and it’s something you might want to consider for your family. Playing the “What if …” game lets us talk through different scenarios and do some emergency planning with kids. Hopefully, it will give them tools that we hope they will never have to use. […]

The post Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

emergency planning with kids

Our family likes to play the “What if …” game, and it’s something you might want to consider for your family. Playing the “What if …” game lets us talk through different scenarios and do some emergency planning with kids. Hopefully, it will give them tools that we hope they will never have to use. However, if they do ever face an emergency situation, we’ll hope that it was a situation that we’ve talked about before. It doesn’t take much time or even much research to use the “What if …” game to prepare your children.

My favorite one so far is, “What if there’s a tornado warning but the house catches on fire?”

There’s also been:

What if I’m in the bathroom when there’s an intruder drill at school?

What if everyone has been picked up at school and you’re not there yet?

What if we wake up and we can’t find you?

What is the first thing you do if we have to evacuate the house?

What if … what if …. what if …

Emergency planning with kids

Take a few minutes and think about a few emergency situations that your children could face, and then take advantage of times you have their attention to talk to them about the situations in a non-threatening way.

Bring up a “What if?” at the dinner table when you’re gathered as a family. Talk in the car when you are going somewhere. Ask them what-if questions when you have down time around the house. Don’t make it an all-the-time conversation, but aim for at least once a week.

The rules: Stay calm, let them talk

Try to keep the topic non-threatening by calling it a game. If your children seem to get upset at all, change the topic and wait a while before bringing it back up. Remind them that it is highly unlikely that the scenario would ever happen, but that it’s good to be prepared.

Your job is to guide the conversation, but let your children do most of the talking. Listen to learn what their concerns and ideas are. I honestly would not have thought to think about what to do if they were in the bathroom during a lockdown – that was one of my children’s questions and it was a good one. That idea then prompted a discussion of what they would do in every area of the school since they have only practiced in a few areas.

Why you should play

Playing the “What if …” game gives children practice on thinking through scenarios. It helps them think of solutions to problems. It’s helpful to do this before an emergency happens. Playing the game gives children confidence that they know what to do if emergency situations happen. Playing the game also encourages their imagination. You may not always be with your children, but you can be in their heads by having these conversations with them.

For more ideas, here are some resources:

FEMA

Red Cross

Local police station or firehouse – see if they have any pamphlets or materials for children or can think of any topics you should discuss. They may even be willing to talk to your children, too.

Sesame Street

School district – talk to them about what kinds of emergencies they prepare for and how you will be contacted if there is an emergency. (See Where are my children? 3 questions to ask about your school’s safety plan)

emergency planning with kids

The post Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/feed/ 1
The Homeschooling Starter’s Guide http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-start-homeschooling/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-start-homeschooling/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:20:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22214 There are many benefits for the home schooled child and newcomers often want to know how to start homeschooling and why. First, their class size is only as big as the number of siblings they have being home schooled with them. They get more one on one attention from their teacher. Second, their teacher is […]

The post The Homeschooling Starter’s Guide by Teraesa Farrell appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

how to start homeschooling

There are many benefits for the home schooled child and newcomers often want to know how to start homeschooling and why.

First, their class size is only as big as the number of siblings they have being home schooled with them. They get more one on one attention from their teacher. Second, their teacher is someone who knows how they best learn and has their best interest in mind. Third, homeschooling has the potential to be more fun and engaging than a public school setting. One of the hardest parts of homeschooling, however, may be knowing how to get started.

The Legal Stuff

Home school laws vary from country to country and, in the United States, from state to state. To home school, you need to know what the local law requires of you and your child. Some states require a certain number of college credits from the parent(s) who will be teaching them. Others only require a high school diploma. Most will require that you go to your school district and declare your intent to home school, a curriculum and yearly testing of your child, and some states have virtually no requirements at all.

Time and cost involved

Home schooling is worth it for both you and your child. It does, however, take some effort from both of you. It’s important to know that there are no two families who homeschool in exactly the same way. Some parents set up an actual classroom in the home, many homeschooled kids work at the kitchen table or sprawled out on the couch. Parents who work late hours prefer that their kids do some schooling in the evening or into the night, so they will be there to help, and then there are the early bird homeschoolers who are up at dawn, working furiously on their schoolwork, so they can play all afternoon!

There is no single, best way to homeschool, but depending on your style, circumstances and the ages and abilities of your kids you may want to:

  • have some type of organized schedule for schoolwork, activities, playdates, etc.
  • set aside time to create and go over lesson plans or use ready-made plans that come with many types of curricula and on websites.
  • set measurable goals for your child’s progress.
  • set a school schedule. It can be flexible, but the time for education should be clearly marked out.

Homeschooling will also have a cost, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. You will need basic school supplies and materials for every day class, such as pencils and paper or a dry erase set. You will need art supplies if you plan to teach your children about art. If you plan to take your children on field trips or sign them up for extracurricular lessons, you’ll need to have money set aside for that.

There are plenty of free materials available online, though. Khan Academy offers online, video lessons beginning with kindergarten through high school. Note that Khan Academy is aligned with Common Core, which you may or may not want. Ambleside Online is an excellent free curriculum that only requires you to obtain the books used in reading assignments, and many of those are either free or extremely inexpensive.

Identify Your Child’s Learning Style

No one know how your child learns better than you. As a homeschooling parent/ teacher you will be able to cater to your child’s learning style. If your child has more of hands on learning style, you can teach geometry by digging a hole in your back yard to certain specifications. If they are having trouble with their fractions you can have a cooking class and let them work the measuring cups while explaining their size relation to each other. Keeping your child’s learning style in mind can help you plan a creative curriculum around them, one that suits them best and will provide real, successful learning.

Where To Find Curriculum

Home school curriculum used to very expensive, even when buying your books used. With the joy that is the internet that is no longer true. In fact many curriculum can be found online for free. Some are religious and others are not. Some even have a list of materials you will need to buy as well as downloadable material. Here are a few of my favorites.

All in One Homeschool

Ambleside Online — Used by The Survival Mom.

Guest Hollow

Old Fashioned Education

Free Homeschooling Stuff Online

In addition to the full curriculum you can find online, there are also plenty of extras that you can find and integrate into your lesson plans. For example, you may have chosen a curriculum with a great focus on core classes, but nothing on the subjects of art or music. You can go online and find plenty of craft ideas and coloring pages. YouTube is full of classical musical performances for virtually every composer. You can find many different types of songs to help your child’s memory recall of lessons they may be struggling with. If you want to supplement your homeschooling experience try some of these websites.

Free Homeschool Deals

Spelling City

Successful Homeschooling

Vocabulary games

Home Schooling Groups

There are groups available to help with homeschooling and offer support. Homeschool Legal Defense Association has a directory of the groups in your the United States by state and county. There are groups that offer extra classes, 4H groups, or sports teams. You could also start your own group should you feel so inclined. You could offer to teach a subject you are strong in, such as science or literature, while another parent may teach math.

Field trips and getting outside!

Home schooling doesn’t mean hunkering down at home with your children and a bunch of books (although if that’s what you want, I’m sure you could). It also means that there can be more field trips. Go to national parks for classes in biology. Visit a rock climbing studio for physical education. Visit museums, beaches, art galleries, aquariums and zoos. Many local attractions are either free or very inexpensive. It allows your classes to be creative and gives your child a chance to see the education given to them has real world application.

There is an astonishing number of activities geared to homeschoolers and some museums, science centers, and the like even offer daytime classes, specifically for them.

Online Schooling

You may want your child to have the experience of being home schooled but are uncertain about getting started. You may doubt if you have the time or the knowledge to make curriculum choices or doubt your teaching abilities. That’s okay. There is an option for those that fall into this category but would still like to have their child be educated in their own home. Consider an online public school. Your child will be able to connect to a teacher online and they will plan the curriculum. Your job will be to keep your child on track with their lesson plan and introduce supplement activities or outings as you see fit.

K12 online school — Lisa’s note: I DO NOT recommend this program. When I contacted them via online chat, I was steered toward the “tuition-free” option. I asked where the funding came from and the agent admitted that they are paid for each student enrolled in the public school option, which is Common Core aligned.  Other than the child being at home, there is virtually no advantage to this program.

The agent told me that their private programs are different because they don’t have to follow the curriculum of states. When I asked where I could find the funding information on the K12 site, my online chat was suddenly disconnected.

The downside to online public school is that all curriculum choices will be out of your hands, as will assignments and accountability. Most homeschoolers enjoy shorter school days but online public schools may require a minimum number of “seat” hours per day. As well, it will almost surely be aligned with Common Core — a controversial curriculum, at best.

Helpful resources

The post The Homeschooling Starter’s Guide by Teraesa Farrell appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-start-homeschooling/feed/ 7
Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/#respond Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20930 If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for […]

The post Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness by Teraesa Farrell appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

baby

If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for baby preparedness.

Medical Preparedness

Whether you are snowed in or in the middle of a hurricane evacuation, the last thing you want to do is worry about your baby’s health. The second to last thing you want to do is try to pick up things your child needs during such a time. That’s why medical preparedness is a must when you have a baby.

Immunization

I know, as I write this, the flu shot has only been 23% effective this year, but at the same time, measles has been spiraling out of a well known theme park. While there are some immunizations I would want more information on, there are others that, in my opinion, have proven they are worth getting.

This has become a highly controversial and emotional issue and each family will have to do their own research and make the decision to vaccinate or not.

If you do choose to vaccinate, keep track of which immunizations are given and when. Keep those records, or copies of them, for future reference.

Dosing Information For Infant Medication

You may be stocking up on over the counter medications. You even may have stocked up on infant medications. If you read the back of these bottles or boxes, you may discover that they don’t provide the proper dosage for your young child. For children under two, most OTC medicine simply instruct you to “consult in your pediatrician.” This advice also applies to herbal medicines and remedies.

If your child takes prescription medications (including occasional use items like epi pens and asthma inhalers), check with your insurance to see if they will cover a longer supply than your child normally takes. Some companies cover three months worth of medication at a time.

Analog Medical Equipment

Have at least one non-digital thermometer, in case you run out of batteries. You don’t even have to resort to storing a mercury thermometer anymore. Inexpensive non-mercury oral thermometers and single-use disposable thermometers are widely available.

One note about the single-use (tempa-dot) thermometers based on Amazon comments: Don’t order the single-use mail order when it is hot outside. If they are exposed to temps over 98 degrees in transit, they may essentially be already “used” before you even get them.

You may also want to get a pediatric size blood pressure cuff, a humidifier, and a nasal aspirator, if you don’t already have them. While the humidifier linked here will not create nearly as humid an environment as the regular electric humidifiers you can pick up almost anywhere, it should help keep a smaller area (like the baby’s room) from getting super dry.

Boiling water to create steam is a simple way to quickly create some humidity. Sitting in a bathroom with a steaming hot shower is a fairly standard recommendation when little ones need a very humid environment.

Over the counter medications

Babies need a few over the counter medications on hand that adults don’t. Make sure you have your cream of choice of diaper rash cream, or simply learn to make your own and keep the ingredients on hand. You may also need teething tablets (or, again, make your own) and a remedy for tummy gas, such as probiotics.

Baby Nutrition

Even if you are breastfeeding, you need a contingency plan for your child’s nutrition. You never know if you will be separated from your baby due to weather or travel delays for longer than your pumped supply lasts. You don’t know if your milk production will decrease at a very inconvenient time or if, at some point, you might need to take a medication that isn’t nursing friendly. You need to be prepared.

Baby Vitamins

If you are worried that you little one won’t get all the vitamins they need, you can always store an infant liquid vitamin for them.  Each dosage can be added to a bottle, mixed in with food to mask the taste (when they are a little bigger), or given by itself.

Baby Formula

The wonder of formula is that any caregiver that can make a bottle can feed your child. It’s important that any sitter and older children know where you keep your stash of formula, or stored breast milk, in case you are out when its mealtime. Remember to store extra water for formula reconstitution, not to mention mama’s extra need for hydration.

Baby Food Making Equipment

If your little one is old enough to eat pureed food, you may want to consider storing a manual food processor instead of baby food. You can grind oatmeal into a fine enough ingredient to use for a baby. You can also grind fruit and vegetables suitable for your new eater. And you can use the food processor to make salsa and other tasty treats for the bigger family members!

You could keep a case of commercial baby food in your storage, but if you find your baby food storage runs out sooner than you planned, a food processor and canister of oatmeal is a nice back up. Freeze dried vegetables and fruit are excellent as baby foods when rehydrated and processed until smooth.

Other Equipment

Now that you are prepared both medically and nutritionally for your child’s needs, there are a couple more items that you may be of use to you.

A Body Carrier

I have to be honest: I don’t like lugging around a baby car seat carrier when there isn’t an emergency. I don’t want to think how much less fun it would be in the middle of one!

The are bulky, heavy and their handle are only ideal for twisting my wrists into unnatural shapes. A baby carrier – a wrap, or a more “modern” style – works much better for me. I can carry my child hands free! I don’t need to worry about where to place the car seat or keeping a hold of my older child, and it is so much lighter and easier to clean than the car seat carrier.

Baby Diapers

Disposable diapers take up a great deal of storage space. Instead, you could invest in cloth diapers and a hand cranked washing machine or Scrubba. Keep a bucket around to soak soiled diapers. When you wash them, pour the soaking water in the toilet.

Cloth diapers are also good for new parents with tight budgets. You may decide to use disposable diapers instead – no judgment here! But I find it comforting to know that if our budget just can’t support disposables one month, or we can’t get out to buy more for some reason, we still have our child covered…literally.

Finally….

Keep copies of all your immunization, allergy, and prescription records (in short, your basic medical file) together, in one easily accessible spot. In an emergency/disaster, you don’t want to find yourselves or your baby getting extra shots because you don’t have proof you are up to date and you have ended up in an emergency shelter that requires it. You also don’t want to end up either in trouble for having prescription medication someone doesn’t believe you need (or believes that you stole from someone else) or being unable to get something you do need because you don’t have proof you need it.

If your baby (or any other family member) has any truly serious health problems, make sure you have all the medical files – including films, labs, etc. – to ensure docs who have never seen you and who can’t access your regular files can help you. Keeping digital files on a thumb drive isn’t a bad idea, especially if you have a lot of files.

Resources mentioned in this article:

The post Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness by Teraesa Farrell appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/feed/ 0
10 4-H Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Vital, Practical Skills http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:10:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21262 Have you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. 4-H for kids is a great replacement for too much screen time, e.g. video games, […]

The post 10 4-H Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Vital, Practical Skills by Brandy Schau Dibert appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

The 4-H Club teaches kids important skils. Here are a few. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comHave you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. 4-H for kids is a great replacement for too much screen time, e.g. video games, computer, TV.

What seems interesting to us or important in a survivalist mode may seem a lot like hard work or cruel chores for our children. We may be fascinated with learning the skills of growing and storing our own food, raising our own livestock or reviving the lost art of sewing but everyone’s interests vary. Our kids may not be thrilled at all with those projects!

Even though the skills that are learned during homesteading and prepping activities are no doubt important, children may find it hard to focus on such things when today’s culture has taught them that all their needs can be met by shopping at any of the overwhelming amount of retail stores that pepper our nation.

TIP: How do your kids measure up on our list of urban and mental survival skills for kids?

My 9-year old son was a true patron of this technological era. He would spend all his time bouncing from one video game to the next. I had difficulty getting him outside and active. Luckily, his big sister, who is a farm girl at heart, got the family involved with a local 4-H club and introduced all of us to many new adventures. Thanks to 4-H, my son was eager to take early morning fishing trips to complete his project. Watching all that well-practiced hand-eye coordination come to life in the form of stringing a hook and baiting his line instead of the constant thumb action of a game controller was a rewarding moment as a mother. I treasure the moments that I’ve watched my children raising their chickens and rabbits, catching fish or learning to cook from scratch because I know the hard work and down to earth skills they are learning is a valuable art that they would not have accomplished without the assistance, guidance and support of the 4-H community.

4-H For Kids

One way to make learning significant survival skills fun and achievable is to enroll your kids in organized activities that encourage, instruct and reward accomplishments. There are several of these groups already established. 4-H is an organization with a general focus on working together for positive changes. The 4-H program is designed to teach skills of all kinds through yearly projects, workshops, camps, community service opportunities, and much more.

Numerous projects designed for children to complete on their own (with little parental assistance) are offered. Each project book helps children move forward in their skills by outlining tasks and procedures to complete, providing record keeping, and encourages children to seek designated professionals and other resources to learn more.

To hold children accountable and nudge them to do their best on these projects, there is a time of judging generally either before or during their local county fair. Children who score exceptionally well get to move on to the state fair for a higher level of competition and recognition. Often times, children are also given small monetary tokens for completing their projects and displaying them at the fair. Those with livestock projects can sell their animals if all guidelines are met. Buyers typically pay well beyond market price for these animals as a way to encourage children and promote the program.

Some of the wonderful 4-H projects that help build survivalist skills while having fun includes the following*.

Livestock Projects

Dairy Animals – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for dairy heifers and goats.

Poultry – Learn the proper care for raising pullets and broilers.

Market Beef, Swine, Rabbits, Sheep & Goats – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for market.

Non-Animal Projects

Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.

Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.

Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.

The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.

Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.

Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.

Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.

To learn more about the 4-H program and to find a club near you visit the official 4-H website.

 

Source:

About 4-H  (2015, January 18)

*Paraphrased descriptions were obtained from the Ohio State University Extension 2014 4-H Family Guide.

 

The post 10 4-H Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Vital, Practical Skills by Brandy Schau Dibert appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/feed/ 3
A New Family Hobby: The air rifle http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-new-family-hobby-the-air-rifle/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-new-family-hobby-the-air-rifle/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:00:18 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=476 If your kids get bored easily and you’d love to get them involved in a fun activity that will teach them practical, lifelong skills, consider the air rifle.  Also called air guns, this inexpensive hobby teaches both adults and kids (boys and girls!) valuable target shooting skills. The NRA has an excellent summary of the sport here.  […]

The post A New Family Hobby: The air rifle by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

The air rifle can provide a fun family hobby and help kids develop shooting skills.  www.TheSurvivalMom.comIf your kids get bored easily and you’d love to get them involved in a fun activity that will teach them practical, lifelong skills, consider the air rifle.  Also called air guns, this inexpensive hobby teaches both adults and kids (boys and girls!) valuable target shooting skills.

The NRA has an excellent summary of the sport here.  Not only will this sport be fun for the whole family, but target shooting is an Olympic sport with many organizations offering college scholarships to sharpshooters!

By the way, mom, if you’ve never fired a gun in your life, an air rifle is a good place to start.  If you have a daughter, it’s even more important for her to see that shooting isn’t just a guy thing.  Every woman should know the basics of firearm safety and shooting.  Still need a little convincing?  Check out my favorite blog for women who love to shoot, Cornered Cat.

To learn more about air rifle clubs and activities in your area, contact your local shooting range.  Your state’s Game & Fish Department may also have details.

This post has been updated from the original version posted June 24, 2009.

The post A New Family Hobby: The air rifle by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-new-family-hobby-the-air-rifle/feed/ 12
5 things I learned from lice http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:30:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20205 Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, it can happen to anyone and it might be a little easier to handle if […]

The post 5 things I learned from lice by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

5 things I learned about lice. It's better to be prepared for these critters! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, it can happen to anyone and it might be a little easier to handle if you’re prepared.

It happened to our family, and I wasn’t prepared at all!

I learned 5 things about lice, and quick!

One of my daughters had an itchy scalp and we checked her two days in a row and only found dandruff. We had gone to children’s museums and dance class that week. She goes to public school, but we hadn’t had a lice notice for quite a while. Then, on the third day, we checked her head and there they were – lice. I parted her hair and could see the bugs moving around.

I feel prepared for tornadoes, power outages and being stuck in my car, but I was not prepared for this. I inwardly panicked. I had not done any research and felt like I needed to know everything right away and get rid of these things fast. My husband and I checked the Internet, consulted some friends with experience and ran to the store. We quickly got a game plan together and started working.

Let me tell you this up fron. Lice are a lot of work. You will find yourself doing many things “just in case,” because the last thing you want is for the bugs to spread to the other children (or you) – or come back and re-infest.

(Stop scratching your head – I know you are.)

We may have gone overboard, but we treated everyone’s head in the family, looked through everyone’s hair, washed all the bedding and clothing, vacuumed everything, and put any toys with fabric or throw pillows in bags and tucked them away for the duration – two weeks – to avoid re-infestation.

And, that was just day one. Every day for two weeks involved checking and coming through hair, vacuuming and washing bedding and clothing. It took 2 hours each day to comb through our daughter’s hair.

We learned that lice die after 48 hours if they are not on a person’s head. They can’t jump or fly. The eggs need to be close to the scalp for heat to incubate. They are mostly spread by head-to-head contact, and rarely by sharing clothing and hairbrushes. They do no discriminate based on personal hygiene or home cleanliness. And, thank goodness, pets cannot spread lice.

We celebrated when it was all over. So, here’s what I learned:

  1. Have the treatment and comb on hand

Spend some time now and research about lice and treatments. Know beforehand if you are going to use the medicated shampoo, essential oils or another option and have it on hand, along with a metal fine-tooth comb for lice removal. It will let you avoid taking someone with lice to the store for those items and you can start treatment sooner.

  1. Children take their cue from their parents

Our children stayed calm during the whole craziness of the discovery and first day because we did (at least on the surface). We did stress to them the importance of following our directions so it didn’tspread. They saw how much work it was and were expected to help out a little extra. Since we took the time to explain it to them, there wasn’t much complaining.

  1. Have trash bags and extra bedding

We had a supply of trash bags on hand that we could put things in and it came in handy – not just for the toys, but also for bedding that we washed but didn’t want to use again until it was all over. We also had extra bedding on hand for the days where the wash wasn’t quite done by the children’s bedtime.

  1. Make sure to have a good heat source (washer/dryer/water)

Heat kills lice. You need to have a way to have hot water and air to kill them.

  1. Be prepared to spend a lot of time

It took two hours alone to comb through hair and every day there was a new list of chores to do – change bedding, vacuum carpet, furniture and mattresses – on top of the normal daily chores for a family of six. When it was all over, it took a day or two to put everything back in its place, too.

We are fortunate that we caught it in the early stages and it only affected one member of our family. We were done with the ordeal in 13 days. We still check all their hair every once in a while … just in case.

For more details on lice, visit the CDC Web site. Photos are courtesy of the CDC.

Have you thought about lice so you’re prepared if it should happen? Have you experienced lice and have any tips to share?

The post 5 things I learned from lice by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/feed/ 13
Wilderness Survival Series: Practicing Survival Skills As A Family http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:00:28 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19555 We are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring. What do our adventures consist of? We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our time in the wild actually has a purpose. We may be scouting for a good […]

The post Wilderness Survival Series: Practicing Survival Skills As A Family by Tammy Trayer appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Wilderness Survival Skills are important for everyone, not just survivalists and mountain men! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comWe are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring.

What do our adventures consist of?

We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our time in the wild actually has a purpose. We may be scouting for a good hunting spot, harvesting our meat or firewood for the year, taking a 20 mile hike for some casual exercise, or even panning for some gold (really!). We really put our wilderness survival skills to the test!

Any time we leave our property, whether on foot or in a vehicle, you can be sure that we have our gear and are prepared for anything. Not only do we have our gear, but we always have additional clothing and we each have a firearm.

We live in a very vast location and you never know what may be around the next corner, when your truck may break down miles and miles from home, when the weather may turn, or when even an unexpected injury will happen.

Our predators are typically the 4 legged kind, but you never know when you may run into the 2 legged kind as well. Our safety is a top priority and I feel that survival moms should know how to protect themselves and their children. I feel very strongly that women should not only carry a firearm, but be very knowledgeable on the gun they carry, know gun safety and know how to very accurately use their gun. This is a subject you will find in one of my upcoming posts, but I thought I would give you a little food for thought for those of you that do not carry.

Before I met my husband (aka Mountain Man), I was already busy running wild in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors. I grew up on a farm and my Dad wanted boys and ended up with two girls! As a result, my sister and I were the epitome of tomboys. I knew the outdoors and I LOVED it! I am thankful for the chivalrous nature of my Mountain Man, BUT when it comes to being in the outdoors, he knows I can hold my own and he expects me to know how to handle and take care of myself.

After having children, it only seemed natural to teach my children what I knew. Many are not used to the outdoors the way my Mountain Man and I are, which is why I want to take you through the steps for getting and keeping your family educated, trained and ready. Embracing things as a family is a great opportunity to grow as a family and also empower and nurture your children. When they see Mom and Dad do it, the kids are more likely to jump in and be enthusiastic.

Why YOU Need Outdoor Skills, too

Ladies, if you have a very chivalrous man and maybe even a proud man that wants to show you he is fully capable of taking care of yourself and your family, that is a very genuine man. However, he is not doing you any favors if he does it all for you. If you, yourself, are not interested in learning and allow your husband to do everything while you are camping or in the outdoors, you are not doing yourself any favors either.  Let me explain…

Let’s say that your husband falls and breaks his ankle during your next excursion.  What will you do?

Let’s say you are all out camping, and one of your children wonders off and gets lost.  You split up in an effort to find your child. It is getting dark and you have been unsuccessful in finding them.  Does your child know enough to survive, lost, for a night without you?

This is critical!!!  This is why, even though our family is very well versed in survival, we still go out as a family and practice our skills every chance we get. The old adage “Practice Makes Perfect” is just as important as “Knowledge Is Power”!

The entire family should know what gear to carry, what to carry on their person, how to light a fire, how to build a shelter, how to get safe drinking water and how to sustain themselves in any situation. You never know what may happen when you are out on even a simple hike.

Every day, I wear a paracord survival bracelet that my son made me. I have 9′ of paracord at my disposal ALL the time. I carry a lighter in my pocket, a pocket knife on my jeans, and my Keltek .380 P-3AT is holstered on my belt. My son is equipped with the same things and then some. Having those simple things on our person can save our lives. (This is referred to as your EDC, or Every Day Carry.)

This spring. our family practiced the whole 9 yards, including staying out for the night. Here is a little video of our excursion. As part of this new series here on The Survival Mom blog, I will walk you through what we carry in our packs, the varying ways we start fires, build shelters, hunt for food, etc.

This is just one part of a series of posts where I will provide how-to information and videos that you can watch with your children or as a family. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you and hope to encourage you to embrace these tasks as a family.

 

The post Wilderness Survival Series: Practicing Survival Skills As A Family by Tammy Trayer appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/feed/ 5
Survival Lessons for Students from Sesame Street http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-lessons-for-students-from-sesame-street/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-lessons-for-students-from-sesame-street/#respond Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:01:32 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19661 Prepare even the youngest kiddos for common emergencies with online tools and resources! Rather than mom-to-mom wisdom, I’m sharing a compiled list of online tools and resources you can use to help you prepare your little ones mentally and physically for emergencies they may encounter—even if you aren’t there to help. One great resources for […]

The post Survival Lessons for Students from Sesame Street by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

sesame streetPrepare even the youngest kiddos for common emergencies with online tools and resources!

Rather than mom-to-mom wisdom, I’m sharing a compiled list of online tools and resources you can use to help you prepare your little ones mentally and physically for emergencies they may encounter—even if you aren’t there to help. One great resources for a wide variety of ages is the Red Cross’ “Masters of Disaster” program for grades K-8. Some of these are even great for homeschooling!

So choose an age group and get started on your survival lessons for students!

Ages 2-6

Sesame Street has a great episode including several quick videos about being prepared for emergencies. The videos are in the context of “Fairy Tale Emergencies” and can spark conversations without scaring little ones.

The tool kit contains even more videos explaining what “being prepared” means, what constitutes an emergency, and basic information for this age group.

Fire Safety activities, printables, and planning ideas from Sparky the Fire Dog are perfect!

Ages 7-10

New York City officials have put together some interesting “Choose your Own” stories for emergencies like power outages, heavy snow, hurricanes, and heat waves that are interactive and informative.  One word of caution: because it’s a New York City, government-produced resource, it advises kids to do things like go to the designated shelter or cooling center. Discuss whether this is something you really want your kids to before they visit the site, and discuss your preferred alternatives, as well as whether designated centers are even an option. These PDF files are printable.

Ready.gov has created some activities by school-age groups, as well.  There’s a lot of educational jargon and waaaay more political justification than you need to actually implement the activities, but you can access those lesson plans here.

Go Bag for Kids has some cute animated videos about surviving earthquakes and tsunamis.  Scroll all the way down to find the embedded videos.

Florida’s Division of Emergency has some great online games—including building a virtual emergency kit that you can later print out—at Kids Get a Plan.

I also liked the printable checklists your kids can print and either compare against their own kits and go-bags or build themselves from the CDC website.

A printable, interactive Disney workbook includes activities and ideas for kids. It was developed with the Red Cross for Disaster Preparedness Month and addresses major and minor weather events.

Ages 11-14

Have kids check out the map from Ready.gov to learn more about recent large-scale events or disasters in each state, and which ones are most likely to happen. Your older kids can click on their state and get recent emergency-related headlines with real pictures, explore the most common weather events in your state, and get tips for what to do before, during, and after these types of emergencies.  If your kids stay the night with friends or spend time away from home, this is a great way to empower them to be more self-reliant.

A fun, interactive game from PBS kids gives scenarios of things that might happen when parents aren’t home.  They score points by making responsible decisions and following mom’s written instructions. My kids loved this one.

Ages 15+

If your teens are not in Scouting, consider having them take a CPR training course at your local YMCA or Red Cross. I liked this video of teenagers practicing their CPR/lifeguard training.

Additionally, the CDC has put together a story about a pandemic that is in comic book or “graphic novel” form. Curiously, the virus makes people zombies, so it’s geared toward older kids. They have to hunker down until their food runs out, then they worry about how much gas is in the car to get help.

Florida’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has its full teen workbook online for PDF download and can be useful for disasters in many regions.

Survival Lessons for Kids – Remember to Follow Up

As with any lesson, talk with you kiddos about the activities and use them as a springboard for conversation and/or modifying your own emergency preparedness plans.  Feel free to add your favorite ideas and links in the comments below. And for a complete scope and sequence of kids’ preparedness, click this link. Happing prepping!

The post Survival Lessons for Students from Sesame Street by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-lessons-for-students-from-sesame-street/feed/ 0
The Well-Trained Babysitter http://thesurvivalmom.com/babysitter-training/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/babysitter-training/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19432 This may surprise you, but I was a lousy babysitter. I wasn’t interested in playing with my young charges, had to work hard to gin up any enthusiasm for their knock-knock jokes, and was always relieved when the parents got home. I just wasn’t a kid-person. Now that I have my own kids and a daughter […]

The post The Well-Trained Babysitter by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
Equip your kid to babysit with this excellent Red Cross babysitter training course. It's online, entertaining, super-helpful. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Babysitter training

This may surprise you, but I was a lousy babysitter. I wasn’t interested in playing with my young charges, had to work hard to gin up any enthusiasm for their knock-knock jokes, and was always relieved when the parents got home.

I just wasn’t a kid-person.

Now that I have my own kids and a daughter of babysitting age, my tune has changed. My daughter is a kid-person and can hardly wait until she’s old enough to work in the baby nursery at church. She truly enjoys being around kids, and so, makes a great babysitter.

Even with those natural talents, though, I want her to have additional babysitter training. This began 2 years ago with a first aid and CPR class. As the daughter of Survival Mom, she naturally has her own emergency backpack, which she packed herself, and is more in tune with situational awareness than the average kid.

The Red Cross Online Babysitting Course

When I was asked by the American Red Cross to review their online babysitter training course, it was a no-brainer. My daughter was happy for the additional training, and I was glad she would be learning more about working with kids, handling problems, and running her babysitting business as a real business.

Here is what she had to say about the course:

I love kids! I always have and always will. I’ve been through several babysitting and mommy’s helper jobs and have loved every moment. However, I have always had some doubt as to certain abilities of mine, particularly conflict resolution and what to do if a child should harm themselves. But those concerns are no more, now that I have taken Red Cross’s Babysitting Basics online course. They go over every possible aspect of babysitting, from how to create a resume to playtime, mild scrapes to full-on injuries.

The course, all together, lasts about four hours, and is divided into six individual lessons, complete with quizzes and a final exam. There are many helpful downloadable templates for various things, such as resumes, interview sheets, parent reports, business cards, and much more, which are very helpful for someone who is just starting out and wants to be professional. The videos use simple language, have More Info tabs if you are confused, and a transcript for each video, which is handy for deaf or hard of hearing students.

The course itself is one of the best I have ever come across (okay, I’ve only done one or two small courses, one of which was a book by American Girl, but you get what I mean). Professionalism, safety, and keeping a level head are highly encouraged, as well as clear communication with your parents and the parents of the child you will be taking care of. I especially appreciated a method they suggested for resolving conflicts, as well as their emphasis on keeping both yourself and the children in your care safe from harm and what to do if harm should come to you.

The only things I and my mother (the Survival Mom) had difficulty with were the initial registration and launching of the course, and one or two of the quiz questions were confusingly worded. Overall, however, once everything is up and running, this course is definitely worth your time and money if you are looking to get started in your babysitting career.

UPDATE: 

Last week, soon after I’d gone through the babysitting course, I was offered a job of watching three young girls, whom I’d babysat before, for about four hours. Thankfully, I did not have to use my new knowledge of what to do in an emergency, but the part of the course dealing with discipline helped.

There were more than a few arguments (most of which were small, sibling rivalry issues that I let them sort out), but there were several more serious spats and disobedient behaviors. I remembered not to raise my voice, and tried to use the acronym, F.I.N.D. to conclude the arguments. I also remembered to lock the doors and to give heads-up warnings before it was time to get ready for bed. Overall, it went pretty smoothly, and I’m quite pleased.

How to sign up for the class

Perhaps the reason I didn’t enjoy babysitting is that I didn’t have any type of training. For me, the job consisted of showing up at someone’s house at an appointed time, hanging around and making sure the kids didn’t kill each other. As with any skill, the more you know, the more you enjoy the task.

The Red Cross Babysitting Basics course is well worth its $25 fee, and the Red Cross has found that 80% of parents are more likely to hire a babysitter who has taken their class. Putting the information together was no easy task, and experts in all areas were called in to contribute.

The final result is professional, easy to follow, and entertaining. It’s designed for kids ages 11 through 15. A much more advanced, hands-on class is offered for older teenagers, Advanced Child Care Training with pediatric first aid and CPR.

Both classes are ideal for anyone who might be involved with taking care of kids, either in a babysitting scenario, Sunday School classes, summer camp, or working as a nanny.

The Babysitting Basics course is the perfect gift for any kid who wants to start babysitting but needs information and training.

This article sponsored by the American Red Cross. All opinions are my own.

The post The Well-Trained Babysitter by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/babysitter-training/feed/ 0