Summertime Survival Skills for Young Girls

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Summertime survival skills girlsThe Opportunities

“Can we have some nails?” my oldest asked me last weekend.


“We want to make some benches with the scrap wood.”

It was an opportunity to teach them a new skill – hammering a nail. My husband showed them how to do it, found enough hammers and let them loose with their project.

The preschooler quickly got frustrated with crooked nails. The oldest hit her finger with the hammer and cried a bit. But another one kept at it and created four wooden structures that afternoon.

“They’re too young …”

My children are young (8 and younger), but I am forcing myself to look at what they can do this summer instead of what they’re too young to do. I would like to keep them little forever, but they need to have skills to survive in this world. I realized my oldest hasn’t been taught to even use a hand can opener! I will be changing that this summer. I would hate to have them ill prepared if an emergency situation arose.

Summertime Survival Skills 101

They have taken swimming lessons and we have taught them our address and phone number, how to call 911 and how to recognize if someone is choking, but there is so much more to learn! I am putting together a list of things I can teach them this summer.

  • Using a can opener
  • Heating a can of soup
  • Making basic bread
  • Starting a fire (and putting it out!)
  • Basic first aid – bandages, treating bug bites, treating burns
  • Sewing – threading needle, basic stitch, button
  • Basic knife safety skills
  • Basic shooting skills
  • Wildlife recognition
  • Edible plants recognition

We will use all the resources available in our area – backyard fire pit, campgrounds, YouTube videos, rainy, boring days and classes offered by our local parks and recreation department.

This is the start of my list – what would you add?

4 thoughts on “Summertime Survival Skills for Young Girls”

  1. If you live near a Home Depot or Lowes, I’d check out their children’s classes – usually offered on Saturday mornings, FREE, and they’ll learn how to hammer nails, follow directions, and put together a project. Sometimes involves painting, glueing and using screwdrivers. One of the stores offers online registration, but I forget which one.

  2. If you have an REI store near you, check for their schedule of classes. They offer a huge variety for adults and kids. I’ve seen family friendly/kid friendly hiking classes for only $10 and I’ve seen “learn to kayak” and “learn to standup paddleboard” as well as bicycling classes. They have outdoor survival style classes that your kids might really enjoy, too. Fun for the summer!

  3. Growing a simple garden from seed
    Planting/caring for fruit bushes
    Growing/harvesting strawberries
    Raising chicks to sale or for eggs
    Old timey games and the proper rules – like our grandparents played as kids
    Camping outside/building or setting up structure to spend night in

  4. Your article inspired me to make a list of what (in addition to your list!) I’m going to teach my 8 and 12 year old nieces this summer, if possible:
    Building a Buddy Burner or Penny Stove and using it to heat up soup
    Making “firestarters” with cotton towel dryer lint and empty toilet paper tubes and use them to start a fire
    Simple Knit and Purl stitches
    Simple Crochet stitches
    How to help with doing laundry in the machine
    How to do laundry in a bucket without a machine
    How to hang laundry to dry on a clothesline
    Boiling water
    Washing, rinsing, and drying dishes by hand
    Weeding a garden: pulling weeds out by the roots, how to tell what’s a weed vs. what’s the plant
    When produce from the garden is ripe and how to pick it safely without harming the plant/vine
    How to use a small step ladder safely (and not climb up on chairs or anything unsteady)

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