Interaction by Developmental Age
You bought your child an emergency bag! Great job! But do you know what's in there, and why? More importantly, does your child?
The LadyBugOut bug-out bag is designed not only to address your child's physical needs, but emotional as well. The best way to help your child FEEL safe, is for them to be familiar with the items in their bag. The more familiar they are with the bag, the more prepared, empowered, and safe they will feel.
The first step to guide your child's interaction with their emergency supplies is to determine your child's developmental age. A child’s developmental age may not always align with their chronological age. For example, a 13-year-old teenager who is preoccupied with a fear of the dark may be functioning closer to a six- to eight-year-old in terms of developmental age. Developmental ages are measured across domains such as language, motor, cognitive, social, and emotional.
Developmental age can vary across these domains. So, your child may function more like a 13-year-old in some ways, and an 8-year-old in other ways.
What is your child’s developmental age?
Ages 3-5: Early Childhood / The “Doing” Stage: This stage is marked by exploration; children are learning by doing. They use play as their primary way to express themselves, so acting out a disaster-related scene with dolls and/or toys can be an effective method for helping them absorb information. Let your “doer” child crank the flashlight, blow the whistle, wrap themselves in the solar blanket. They will likely see their LadyBugOut bag as a bag of toys, and that is great! Sneak in learning about disaster preparedness as you pretend play with them.
Ages 6-12: Middle Childhood / The “Mastery” Stage: Children in this stage want to know “why”; they use experiences to help them understand and learn. Showing them the products in the bag, explaining how they work, when and why they’re used, and encouraging them to try them out is the best way to engage them in the process. Encourage your “mastery” child wear the headlamp outside at night to explore how far it lights up the path and what happens when they change the light color. Talk about the benefits of a headlamp over a flashlight, and when they’d want to use each.
Whatever your child’s developmental age and how they interact with their emergency bag, have fun exploring together and you’ll all feel safer in the process.