No rest for the wicked*: Tasks for kids over the holiday break

image by D'Arcy Norman

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Assign them the duty of rotating groups of food by bringing the back cans to the front.
  3. Along the same lines, hand them black Sharpies and tell them to circle the expiration dates on food and other supplies.
  4. Older kids can find new recipes that use only foods in your pantry and prepare them for meals.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Assign them the task of putting together a vehicle emergency kit.
  10. 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.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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© Copyright 2011 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(13) Readers Comments

  1. What is a Farraday Cage?

    • Yay! I'm not the only one who thought that!

    • A Farraday Cage is a metal box used to protect electronics from damage caused by an Electro Magnectic Pulse (EMP). An EMP can be caused by a nuclear weapon detonated in our upper atmosphere. Large solar flares can cause the same damage. It would be easier for you to Google it, than explain the whole thing here. But, it is something every prepper should know about!

    • It's a box that shields electronic items from an electromagnetic pulse.

  2. Thanks! I knew about EMP, but I didn't know there was something you could do to protect your electronics against it. I'll check it out.

  3. My grandmother used to recite the same quote, but you left out the other half of it: "and the righteous don't need any." :)

  4. I'm strongly considering Faraday bags. I'd like to toss an MP3 player (w/ video) loaded with our favorite songs and perhaps some favorite movies or TV shows, plus a Dyno charger. The bags could also hold walkie talkies with spare batteries. So much to do, and I feel time is getting short!

  5. Correction ~ Dynamo hand crank charger. ;)

  6. I woke all 5 of my kids up at 0400 today and took them on a 30 mile road march. They don't know it yet but this evening I'm dropping them off in Yosemite Natl Park with nothing but their Spider Man undies and fingernail clippers. If they aren't tough enough to make it home they aren't worthy of my parentage.

    • LOL Love it!

    • so funny!

  7. You seem to have forgotten the link to the BOB list in number 6??? Or am I missing something?

    • You're absolutely right! I just now added the link to a free download of a BOB list.

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