There are several ways that a prepper could approach the concept of toys for their bug in preps and vehicle bug out preps. I don't specifically recommend that an adult carry around a toy in their bug out gear (especially if they don't have kids), but a small toy in your children's bug out bags wouldn't be a bad idea. (Bonus article: Choosing a Bug Out Bag for Your Children.) However, since bugging in is preferable to bugging out, I'll be taking the approach that you'll have the tools and resources to make toys at your bug in location.
Toys for Young Children
You know, Comfort Bears? They were the bears (and other stuffed animals) that paramedics, firefighters and police would give to people who were in need of something to hug and hold onto to calm down. Sound familiar now?
These comfort toys would be specifically set aside for when SHTF. Let's face it, most kids these days are little technophiles despite their parents' best efforts. So, save for very young children, you'll most likely not need very many stuffed animals.
Another reason for least learning how to make these toys is that it's a skill that you can use in making items for barter. You can also teach the skill to folks in your tribe who might be down from illness and injury, or even from being pregnant, but still want to contribute.
One of my Facebook friends even told me about a friend of hers who was using the toy to focus on while in labor! In addition, it became the baby's first toy. So if you're pregnant, this could be a fantastic way to start building a bond between mother and child (or father and child).
Games for Older KidsThese should include checkers, chess, Stratego, Battleship, etc. -- things that involve practicing strategic thinking, problem solving, and not rushing through choices.
In addition, there are other games that you should be playing with your kids right now, like "I Spy With My Little Eye", "Kim's Game", and "Hide and Go Seek" -- the old games that forced you to pay attention to your surroundings and that ended (and started!) sibling feuds. Ah yes, those were the days.
PatternsNow being the hands-on woman that I am, I have some patterns here picked out for you.
- The Yarn Box - Free Patterns
- Crochet Pattern Central - Animals
- All Crafts - Crocheted Toys
- Free Stuffed Animal Patterns
Also, because there were just so many awesome toy patterns, here's a link to an article on my personal blog where I pulled several of them together into one place: Toy Story...er... Emporium?
A Minor RantNow, I've spent several hours working on this article -- digging through dusty forum boards that have been cached, websites defunct for weeks/months/years, as well as current sites -- looking to see what other preppers are saying about toys for kids. And what do I have to show for it? A (figurative) nose full of dust.
The one incredibly annoying thing that kept popping up as I researched this article was how adult preppers would end up talking about their "toys". It's as though, in the prepping world, children are mainly an afterthought. This might be a reflection of today's values or lack thereof, but that digresses into politics and you probably know what I think of politics. I have the few sparse links that I could find linked here along with other groups here in the US who do the Trauma Teddies.
Bears on Patrol, a Trauma Teddy charity
Sites with tips on choosing toys and games for kids (not from prepper related sites but info is info!)
- Parenthood Preps: Preparedness with Baby On-Board (Has links to at least three or four other articles)
- Calming Children in a Crisis
- It's the Little Things that Matter
- Top Six Morale Boosters for SHTF (this just kinda barely mentioned stuff for kids.)
- Children and SHTF
- Maintaining Sanity
- Prepping With Children
- Developing a Routine