A lot of parents in Singapore are wrapped up with academic excellence. They focus on preparing their offspring for school, and they make sure that their kids perform well in their studies. Who can blame them, since the education system here is merit-based. However, it is really up to parents to raise their kids to be all-rounded and well-adjusted individuals. The world around us is constantly changing. What is relevant today might be obsolete tomorrow. Should our young ones be left to fend for themselves one day, will they be able to adapt and survive?
Knowledge takes time to develop, hence we need to start teaching the next generation now. Let’s look at the basic survival skills everyone should know so that they can pull their own weight and contribute as much as they can when the need arises.

1. How to start a fire and cook on an open fire

Go camping with your children and show them how to build and start a fire using matches and flint. Help them understand how to cook on a fire and determine when the food is cooked and safe to eat.

2. How to find clean water

Another skill to teach during camping. Help children learn to locate water sources, how to purify and clean the water by using filters and boiling.

3. How to find food that is safe to eat

Take the kids on a nature walk and point out the edible and poisonous plants. Encourage them to keep a diary with drawings and descriptions of each plant for future reference.

4. How to read maps and use a compass

Play a game of treasure hunt and introduce the kids to map-reading. By using a compass to navigate, they also learn to find their way around.

5. How to handle a knife

Teach your children how to carry, handle and use a knife safely for everyday tasks.

6. How to grow a garden from seeds

It is essential that kids know how to plant a seed and harvest edibles. The best way to teach them is to start a home garden. Encourage your children to learn and understand how to grow food. Not only will you be showing them how to be self-sufficient, you will also have fresh food on the table.

7. Basic first aid

Everyone should know how to clean a small wound, treat it and tie a sling. You never know when this basic knowledge will be required.

8. Basic sewing

A lot of people overlook this, but basic sewing is essential for survival. With this skill, they can mend clothing or bags when needed, and also stitch a cover to protect themselves from the natural elements.

9. Basic woodwork

If you can work with wood, you can build almost anything. Introducing kids to carpentry is an excellent idea, it is a skill required for survival and also a good hobby to have.

10. Self-defense

Everyone should know some basic self-defense moves, not just kids. How to get out of a grip is an essential knowledge for all. This could save your life in a survival situation.
To find out more about these basic survival skills, here are some relevant books to get and read with your young ones:
  1. Pocket Survival Guide (Author: Rob Beattie)
  2. How to Survive a Disaster (Author: Alexander Stilwell)
  3. Life Hacks (Author: Dan Marshall)
  4. Home Hacks (Author: Dan Marshall)

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