Survival skills for kids

10 Survival Games for Kids: Boost Survival Skills with Fun

Trying to get your kids more interested in building survival skills? Sometimes, the simplest way to teach them is by using survival games for kids. This makes it fun for them to learn and kids learn best through play.

When you’re looking at which games to play with your children, consider the skills they teach, rather than whether or not it’s an actual survival game. I’ll add the skills that each game helps your kids improve to the listings. Now is the perfect time to get started, before everyone heads back to school.

Survival Games for Kids

1- Hide and Seek

This classic children’s game involves one person as the seeker and the remaining players as the hidden. The seeker counts to a designated number, usually 20 or higher and the rest of the people scatter and hide. The seeker then has to find them all. There are variations of the game where a designated safe point requires those who are hidden to make a break for it and attempt to reach the safe point before being tagged.

Skills: Hiding, stealth, searching for others

2- Obstacle Course

You can easily set up an obstacle course inside your home or outdoors. All you need are some obstacles that kids have to go over, under, and around. Start simple for smaller children and get more complicated for the older ones. Then have them complete the obstacle course one at a time, while timing them. The best time wins.

Skills: Strength, flexibility, obstacle navigation

3- Follow the Leader

Playing Follow the Leader is a lot of fun for everyone, but when you’re the leader, you can easily turn a simple game into one that tests their skills. For example, you can lead them to:

  • Walk along a log or plank
  • Leap over an obstacle
  • Sneak around a corner
  • Army crawl across the ground
  • Do somersaults
  • Climb something
  • Do squats and other exercises that will build endurance

Consider which skills they need and then incorporate that into your leader routine.

Skills: Copying, stealth, balance, strength, endurance

4- Tag

Running until you can tag the next person is a game that every child loves. It involves chasing and evading, both of which are things kids love to do. There are so many variations on tag that you can use them to keep from getting bored, as well. However, the basic game is easy and can be played just about anywhere.

You’ll need one person to be “it” and they have to tag someone else. Everyone attempts to avoid being tagged by running away and when someone is touched by “it” they become “it.” The cycle repeats until everyone is exhausted. This is also a great way to run off some energy when your children are too hyper before bed.

Skills: Running, overcoming obstacles, evasion, endurance

5- Ninja Spy

A popular game in my house, Ninja Spy requires you to come up with missions for the kids. You assign them to carry out tasks without other people noticing. These can be very easy, like putting a coin on the coffee table without anyone saying anything to them, or you can have them do chores on the low down. This is my favorite use for this game. Have the child sneakily put the clothes in the dryer or wash a dish without being noticed by anyone else.

Skills: Stealth, obeying orders

6- I Spy

While it seems like a simple child’s game, I Spy lets you build observation skills in your children. The original game calls for saying colors, but you can easily change this to anything you want. “I spy something alive.” “I spy a dino shape.” These things will get your kids looking more closely at their environment, which can be very beneficial in a survival situation.

Skills: Observation

7- Scavenger Hunt

What child doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Reward them at the end with an ice cream or a dip in the lake to make it extra fun.

Basically, for this game, you make a list of things the players need to find. This can be as simple as “Something rusty” or “a feather.” You can also mix it up with more obscure listings when kids are older and more experienced, such as “something you can make fire with” or “something edible.”

Skills: Observation, seeking, foraging

8- Paintball

For older kids who probably scorn games like hide and seek, paintball is a great option. It’s fun, but it also teaches them combat skills that could serve well in a hostile situation. Play in teams and work out a strategy before you jump in, so they can follow the plan and see how teamwork helps.

Skills: Combat, shooting, evasion, strategy, teamwork, overcoming obstacles

9- Laser Tag

Like paintball, laser tag is a fun way to practice combat and evasion techniques. Unlike paintball, it’s a lot easier to play this particular game at home. In fact, it’s a favorite among my children and we frequently head to nearby nature parks to play with our own set of laser tag guns. You can play anywhere, from the backyard, to the graveyard.

Skills: Combat, shooting, evasion, strategy, teamwork, overcoming obstacles

10- Geocaching

If you haven’t yet tried the awesomeness that is geocaching, it’s high time you did. The “game” is worldwide and involves players from everywhere. You need to join a cache site or forum to find places in your area. Then you can navigate to the spot to find a treasure that has been left by someone else. Needless to say, treasure hunting is a lot of fun and may require you to hike a mountain, navigate a busy city, or anything in between. Use GPS if you want an easier time, or teach your kids to navigate the old fashioned way, with a compass.

Skills: Navigation, searching, endurance

These survival games for kids may not all seem like they are actually building survival skills, but they are. There are plenty of things you can do to help your kids with their skills, but there will never be anything quite as appealing as a game played with friends and family. Use this time to form stronger bonds with your children and to help them develop the necessary skills to survive in a dangerous situation.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *