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Playing around

Another weekend and another day with the baby. She has a bit of a cough today so we stayed in and played instead. As she normally plays outside I was expecting some complaint but it worked out OK. One thing about being young is that repetition isn’t so boring and so we played a few games of snakes and ladders, dominos and we spent a little time drawing and checking the plants. Looks like my black fingers are still working overtime because a few of the little plants we have are now dead or dying. That is a different story though.

So I was thinking that in the event of a survival scenario keeping the kids entertained is going to be a tough one. At her age she can still be entertained by a few simple games and although she already has a Nintendo DS has not yet fixated on the electronic stage yet. So, a simple box set of 100 games which comprises chess, dominos, draughts, backgammon, etc. including some games and boards I have never seen can be bought at the local toy store for a bargain £5. Couple this with a few packs of cards, at £1 a pack, and we have enough entertainment to keep her going for a long time. She can play a few games already and it is good for her counting and memory. Of course it will be a lot more difficult weaning older kids off computer and console games but if you have alternatives like this box set in your stores then they will soon be using it rather than just looking at a blank screen. I also have several books in my collection on card games which include 101 Best Family Card Games and The Complete Book of Card Games for One although I have had Hoyle’s Card Games recommended to me which I may look at. The others are old books picked up over the years. These and a few packs of cards would be very handy if you needed entertainment and had no electricity.

Another, similar, area which I think is very poorly covered in our survival scenarios is writing, drawing and colouring, for entertainment, education and for general day to day working. Do you know how to make paper, ink, pens or any writing implement? Most survival lists I see have a few pens, pencils and a few pads for specific purposes like recording medical treatment or accident data and none for general use. I use paper all the time for working out and it will be missed when it runs out. Pencils, coloured and ordinary, can be bought in large packs for £1 at ASDA. Paper is a bit more expensive but for £1 or £2 at a pound shop or ASDA you can get a few pads which will be really handy. Keep as many as you think you can, pencils and paper never expire and are used for everything. What can you replace them with? A burnt stick on a piece of slate? Personally I’m hoping to have a PDA to write and calculate on but paper is acceptable.

I think that it is the simple things that we will find the most frustrating. As Skvez pointed out in a comment. How do you make screws? He doesn’t know and he isn’t the only one even though making screws is simple enough with modern turning tools, less so without, and it is something we have been doing for centuries. Ask yourself if you could make one yourself? If so how long would it take to make just one? Yet, currently they sell for less than a penny each. Less for bulk. Pencils, paper, drawing pins, zips, nails, hinges, drills, hacksaws, files, etc. All cheaply produced and for all intents and purposes impossible for us to make replacements when they go wrong, wear out or we want more.

Make sure you have some on your shopping list. I have.

2 comments to Playing around

  • Justin

    Not sure about screws but I could probably make a nail. I suppose a nail put through a threading die would make a rudimentary screw. Screws have only been with us for just over 100 years so we’d just have to learn to live without them. That said, I have a big (about 2k) box of them so would be ok for a while. Interestingly, people would actually burn their houses down to get the nails from them when they were going somewhere new.

    In relation to the occupying of children, I hadn’t really considered it. Glad you brought it up. I am buying a compendium right now. I have cards, card game books and chess but younger children would need more than those.

  • Skean Dhude

    Justin,

    Screws and nails with be worth more than their weight in gold. Houses will be looted for the nails, screws and other fittings. Stock up while they are cheap and 2K isn’t that much considering it is only a few £.

    Regarding the children, that is the point of this site to help each and everyone of us prepare for something we all hope will not happen. Glad to help. The more I write the more I think about and it isn’t just about the food and water.

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