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Everyone knows the children are our future. We don’t live forever.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to homesteading or if you have been doing it for ages, there are great skills you have.
The question is, does the knowledge just end with you? If you have children then it does not have to.
Children tend to love learning to do things that they see their parents do.
Self sufficiency in my opinion is a fantastic thing to teach to your children.
This is not a skill typically taught anymore in today’s world.
Everything is all about technology and you can go to the store for practically anything, or order it online.
While yes technology can make our lives easier, and there’s not much of a way to avoid it anymore, it can be helpful.
Let’s face it, technology is here to stay and it just gets more advanced.
My children need to know technology in today’s world but I also want them to be able to grow their own food if needed and store it, knit, crochet, hunt or raise their own meat.
There is no way of knowing if grocery stores will be around forever. I guess that’s my inner most doomsday prepping voice at work, or the military in me.
Always plan for the unexpected is what I’ve always told myself and be ready just in case some crazy thing in the world happens.
Homesteading has a lot of tasks your children cannot do till they’re older, but there are quite a few things that they can help with while young.
What can they help with?
Homesteading Tasks for Children
Depending on their age, they may or may not be able to start hands on learning with this task.
Either way you can start showing them how to do it as a visual tool.
Unless a garment or toy is ripped beyond repair I will fix it to be able to keep it longer.
Last week I was fixing a brand new plush dragon toy my grandparents had bought my son. It had ripped at the seams by his wings.
While the kids watched cartoons I sewed him back up good as new.
Of course my son was ecstatic, but right after I got done I told my oldest “mommy has to teach you how to sew soon, I won’t be around forever to fix things for y’all.”
We discussed the important topic that it is more expensive to just keep buying things when they rip or buttons fall off. Fixing it is much easier and cheaper.
Now on the other side of sewing, if you are a person who can make clothes, that’s even better!
Say way down the road your child decides to move to the middle of nowhere and live off the grid, that key skill can help them immensely.
Sewing is a fantastic skill that everyone should know and learn how to do.
2. Gathering Eggs
We love raising chickens and so do our kids.
One of the easiest tasks that children can do is to gather the eggs from the coop.
Before raising my own chickens as an adult I still remember getting eggs for my grandpa before he stopped raising farm animals entirely.
While his chickens always tried to peck me, I still did it. Thankfully, my chickens were always much nicer.
Our kids get very excited gathering the eggs.
Not everyone uses one, but I know we do.
Clotheslines are perfect for air drying garments, especially delicates, or just to save on electricity.
In the Spring/Summer I love to use it for air drying my cloth diapers for the baby to save on the electric, the sun is amazing for getting rid of stains.
Some may stray away from washers and dryers entirely, so a clothesline is a must for drying time.
Children can help by pinning the clothes on the line if they’re tall enough, taking them back down, or even just holding the laundry basket if they’re smaller.
Personally I prefer the plastic pins compared to the normal wooden ones. For some reason they tend to be easier and last longer.
This is an extremely simple task, and it can help to teach them how to save on electricity by letting the wind and sun dry clothes.
4. Ripening of Fruits
Even young children can start to be taught when fruits or vegetables are ripe and ready for picking.
This is something I’ve taught my kids even at a young age.
Each year of course, I repeat the lesson so it is instilled in them.
Knowing when your crops are ripe is a very important skill.
Also, I teach them why we wait till they are ripe. Letting them know they can be too bitter or tough, or overripe fruits just not being good to eat.
5. Feeding of Smaller Farm Animals
Children can help with feeding small farm animals around the homestead.
Animals such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, can be an easy task.
This also teaches them how to care for the animals.
While doing the tasks you can teach them also why it is so important to properly feed and take care of them.
If you are living off the grid or your animals are strictly your meat or income, it is a very important thing for them to know.
6. Raking Leaves
Smaller rakes are available if your children are smaller.
Raking leaves is always a fun task our kids.
It can teach them how to take care of the yard.
Also of course, it is so much fun to jump into the piles once you are done!
We always allow the kids to have some fun in them before we were to clear them out of the yard.
While children are young it is the perfect time to start teaching them how to garden.
Teaching them the importance and reward of growing their own food is amazing.
We have a great Guide to Gardening with Kids.
It can make harvest time even more fun since they know that they helped grow everything.
My son gets super excited when he can pick anything from the garden.
They also sell child sized gardening tools that are smaller for their hands.
8. Cleaning Up After Animals
If a child is smaller, of course they wouldn’t be able to shovel horse stalls or chicken coops, but they can still help.
Older children can help with the harder work.
Younger kids can help put new bedding in. It can be a fun task for them.
Learning how to properly care for animals is an important skill as I’ve stated.
9. Picking Out Seeds
Seeds are needed whether it’s for crops or for flowers.
Let your children help pick some of them out!
It can be an exciting thing to help choose what you will grow.
My kids love helping pick out what we should grow in the garden or what flowers we should plant.
This is a simple task that helps them feel involved and helping make decisions.
10. Small House Chores
Simple cleaning tasks around the house can be done by children.
Things such as helping to wash or dry the dishes, or fill the dishwasher if you do not hand wash them.
We do a mix of both. The dishwasher is mainly used but things like my pots and pans, cast iron skillet, etc. have to be hand washed.
Children can also learn to pick up after themselves, pick their clothes and toys up, and throw their trash away.
Even if you want to teach them how to wipe down counters and windows.
The simplest tasks can teach them so much.
Composting is an extremely simple thing to teach to children.
Teach them what they can compost.
Let them help throw compostables into your compost bin.
This is a great learning experience that they can see how it is broken down, and see the final product, new dirt!
12. Help Keep the House Warm
Children can help bring in firewood if they are big enough.
Smaller ones can carry kindling and such.
They’re helping with a super important task, keeping the family warm in the cold months.
Older children can be taught how to start a fire in the fireplace.
Learning how to create your own warmth is a lifesaving skill.
13. Picking Out New Livestock
Allow your children to pick out the new small livestock you will raise.
They can pick out things like chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigs, etc..
Raising livestock can be more meaningful when they’ve helped chose them.
14. Children Can Cook
Learning to cook is one of the most important skills they can learn.
Knowing how to cook your own food to feed yourself.
Let’s face it, our children will not always live with us, nor would we want them to haha.
They need to be able to cook for themselves.
I’ve been teaching my oldest how to cook. My son since he is younger I let help as well with mixing and such.
15. Helping With Canning
While they cannot do the main part of the processing of course, they can help with some things.
Children can help with prepping the fruits and vegetables, getting new jars for you, filling jars with non hot products, and helping with labeling and storing.
They can help with so much of the canning process and be learning a very useful skill all at the same time.
We cover the majority of the canning process and important information in our Canning 101 article.
16. Gathering New Seeds from Your Crops
While cooking or canning you are cutting up your crops.
In doing these tasks, typically people save many of the seeds from them to plant next year.
Teach your children how to retrieve the seeds and how to dry and store them.
This can show them how to keep their crops going with the crops they’ve already grown.
Children Love to Learn
So many things in life can be taught to your children.
Things like homesteading skills are a great thing in today’s technology filled world.
Self sustaining skills are starting to be lost in our culture since everyone sticks to technology.
We want our kids to know both. Technology and self sustainment.
Kids can have fun doing the tasks and learning new things.
You can always learn and continue to grow is one of the biggest things I always tell my kids. That’s partially why I kept going to college. To show them you can always achieve more.
Have fun teaching your kids these amazing skills.