Getting Kids To Become Preppers

Last night I came in from the evening rounds and the family was in front of the t.v. watching some new show.  I have two kids as you recall, my son is 14 and my daughter is 12.  They were watching a show where all of a sudden, at 11:11 am everyone over the age of 15 suddenly disappeared.

Not dead, just mysteriously gone.

It was the first episode of the series, which I didn’t catch its title, but something about “Sparkle Mystery” or something like that.

My kids have never been really big into the prepper thing.  My daughter likes primitive skills and working with the gardens and livestock because it is fun.  She is not ‘preparing’ for anything.

My son has little interest and is devastated every night when he can’t use his phone during dinner.

So we are watching this show and the kids on t.v. are playing around in a grocery store and just beginning to realize they are completely free of adult supervision.  They start playing around and breaking things of course.  One of the actors says with excitement “hey, this is like the end of the world as we know it”.

Over dinner our family talked about the show and I asked my kids what they would do.  My son said he would take the truck to Austin.

“To do what?” I asked.He wasn’t sure.But it seemed like it would be fun to drive Dad’s truck.  My daughter pointed out there would be lots more kids in Austin and that could be trouble.

“What do you want there anyway” she asked.  He didn’t know really, just thought it would be cool.

“I’ll get a bunch of generators” he said.

“For what?”.  But he didn’t really know.  And after a bit he remembered that gas with ethanol will only last about two or three moths – one of those prepper factoids he picked up by osmosis somehow.  So a bunch of generators wouldn’t really be that useful for long.

After a while they both decided it would be best to stay here at our research center.

They would get their friends to join them.

As we discussed more of what they would do my daughter became aware of her strengths.  She could grow food, she knew how to make medicine and she could suture up wounds.  She knew a lot of the wild edibles growing around here and she was a pretty good shot with a .22.

“The chickens would become much more… interesting” my son suddenly realized.  He does help out a bit with the chickens in between bouts of texting.  We grow out a flock of meat birds each year as a part of how we feed ourselves (and our dogs!).  I posted an article about that last week – here is the link if you missed it http://growyourowngroceries.org/is-re-eating-taking-recycling-too-far/

“Well Mom and Dad” my son concluded with earnest “please make sure you finish building the aquaponics system before you disappear”.

I can’t wait until the next episode.

If you want to comment, or know of the name of the series, please write to me in the comments section below!

If you want to learn how to grow your own food in a grid-down situation – check out the video set “Grow Your Own Groceries”  by clicking here

If you want to gain some of the medical skills my daughter has check out our Home Medicine 101 Online Expedition here

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This post was written by Marjory


  • Here’s my answer to what got me started gardening. A friend persuaded and coaxed me to do a little gardening a number of years ago. His idea was for me to grow a little food for ourselves and perhaps even raise some money along the way, if I could grow something unusual but marketable. Being ready for poor quality food for the masses and food shortages was part of the motivation as well. This was long before anybody referred to prepping.

    1. thanks John.

      I am trying to figure out how to inspire others. There is a lot of fear based stuff going on which is not my thing, but it sure motivated me too! LOL.

  • Jake Robinson says:

    ok, now you’ve done it Majory… march right in there and ask on of your kids what the name of that show is! I want to watch… googling “Sparkle Mystery” “Sparkle” came up with a show about girls pursuing fame…


    1. LOL, well, it is not about fame.

  • Dave Duggan says:

    That’s a funny story. My kids would say. “What, no TV???
    I enjoy working in the garden and the NH black flies love having me there. I like the idea of having food if the power is out for an extended period, I’ve gone 11 days and it’s nice to have eggs and a woodstove. I need to learn more about preserving food over the winter though. I live pretty isolated so I can only depend on myself. Good story, hope you come up with the series, would like my girls to watch.

  • Rustaholic says:

    I grew up HAVING to do it.
    We only had three acres but it was all mine to take care of from 8 to 15.
    My step-father hated me and I was nothing but a slave to him.
    I did learn a lot of the hand ways to do it all and he made me very tough and strong.
    We had a vegetable garden area where we ate from it all year though canning and freezing.
    We had huge strawberry and raspberry areas.
    We of course grew sweet corn to eat and cut off the cob and freeze.
    We raised a lot of potatoes and eat them every day. We had large tater bins in the basement.
    On the other side of the basement we had large squash bins too.
    We raised field corn for the pigs and chickens.
    All those years of having to made me not want a garden later.
    It took 15 years before I wanted a garden now I want to grow all I can.

    1. Yes, isn’t it funny how life will bring you ariund again?

      It wasn’t until I became a parent that I really understood some of what was going on with my parents.

      But if I recall, you had a very difficult upbringing.

    2. Homeschool Mom says:

      Good for you!! Take the best from a very difficult childhood and leave the bad behind you, and you will always prevail.

  • Lori says:

    There was a “kids” book years ago called “The Girl Who Owned a City” with the same type of scenario. Anyone over 12 died of a plague, and the kids had to survive…gangs of thugs, survival of the fittest…but turned out to be survival of the smartest and those with common sense. A great read for anyone. Don’t know if it is still in print but would recommend it as an “eye opener” for all ages.

    1. Hi Lori, thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered a copy to read with my kids.

      Here is the link to get it on Amazon.


      1. Addy Rae says:

        I first read this book in seventh grade for class and have read it many times since. It was one of my favorites for many years. 🙂

    2. Denise says:

      It’s available on Amazon for as low as a penny with $4 shipping

    1. Ah! The Sparticle Mystery – yes I think that is it. that link didn’t show season 1 though. I’ll have to ask my kids how we saw it. Hang on….

      My daughter says it is available on Netflix.

  • aimee says:

    My son wants to know the name of the show and what channel it was on!! Help!! 🙂

    1. Hi Aimee,

      Hopefully someone will write it in. And I’ll ask my family tonight.

      I can barely operate the X Box thing and everyone is afraid whenever I start pressing buttons.

      1. Homeschool Mom says:

        My daughter in college keeps up with her favorite shows at delishows.com.

  • Getting sick was what started me gardening. As I began to research how to get well again, I realized what was happening to our food supply. The more I read the more concerned I got, so I had to start growing my own food.

    Now I wish I had paid attention to my dad, who always had a small garden, and learned from him how to do it. I’ve had to start from scratch and I built Square Foot Gardens that were raised up to waist height so that I wouldn’t have to bend to tend them. They’re in my front yard too, because that’s the only place where I get any sun, besides my back deck where I have Earth Boxes all over. Who needs a stupid lawn to mow anyway?

    1. Thank you Barbara. As I reflect, it was illness that got me into growing my own food too. It is the easiest way to get good quality food.

    2. ITCS Mount says:

      GMO, glyphosate residue in everything, sub-lethal doses of benzene-based BHA BHT and TBHQ, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners developed as neurotoxins and artificial colors, including their favorite – cancer inducing caramel coloring, all developed from coal tar. Everything boxed, bagged, or canned has them. They don’t have to list them on the labels any more, either. You can blame the food lobbies and their wholesale ownership of key congressmen to whom they hand pre-written legislation which is passed without debate in an obligatory political Quid Pro Quo dance around the pork barrel. Meanwhile we citizens develop diseases that simply didn’t exist before 1950. Do your own research. Draw your own conclusions.

  • Jo says:

    It sounds like your kiddos were watching The Sparticle Mystery. I watched it with my children last year on Netflix. 🙂 There is a second season, but it’s not available on Netflix as far as I know. I believe it’s a BBC series.

  • Razz says:

    An IMDB search resulted in “The Sparticle Mystery” series, release in the UK in 2011. The plot synopsis seems to match your description.

  • KB says:

    I googled and came up with “Sparticle Mystery”, a British sci-fi series where an experiment gone wrong sends everyone over age 15 into a parallel dimension. Looks like they are into their 3rd season now. Now my interest is piqued!

  • Natasha says:

    Moving over an hour from the nearest shops started it, being flooded in for a week confirmed it ( the access roads were we weren’t), funny thing was my children really got on board reading the survivalist by circumstance novels!

  • Maureen says:

    Always looking for good material for kids. Here are a couple of other books … Sudden Independents by Ted Hill the only survivors of a plague are pre-adolescence kids, How I became a Teenage Survivalist by Julie L. Casey It’s about how a high tech family and their community adjusts to the loss of power, Surviving the Fog by Stan Morris is good but has adult themes so you may want to read it first.
    Thanks for all the info you give us. 🙂

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Thanks so much. I just put those up on the Amazon library account. When my kids finish “The Girl Who Owned A City” I’ll pick up these. Here is where I put them for everyone:


  • Carli says:

    Sounds similar to the series Jeremiah that I found on Netflix and really enjoyed. Basic premise is the same–adults die off from a plague and the show takes place approximately 15 years after. Very interested in hearing more about this show.

    1. Hi Carli,

      We watched the second episode and got a bit disappointed. My 12 year old daughter liked it, but my son lost interest. It got kind of ‘kiddie”.

  • Paula says:

    It’s the Sparticle Project. We watched the series and were waiting for the next season on Netflix…My kids love it. Definitely has encouraged some conversations. My daughter and youngest son feel more confident knowing how to “do” stuff and “avoid” stuff.

  • MQ says:

    What started me gardening? I’m the oldest of seven children and was ‘boss of the world’ until I left home. LOL When we visited my maternal grandparents I saw they always had a milk cow, chickens, a big garden and lots of food canned and frozen. From the time I was 9 to 12, we also had a garden, a milk cow, chickens, and food in the basement and the cellar. Then my folk’s marriage become rockier, my mother started working part-time and my responsibilities became more numerous–laundry, meals, in addition to sibling care. However, the cupboard was sparse, my responsibilities did not include making out a grocery list!, and I had to learn how to make a meal out of whatever was available. Usually not much. No more chickens or cow or garden. Unfortunately, my grandparents moved at that same time and help wasn’t available there. So…I learned to always have a very adequate amount of food on hand. I’ve moved a good deal since I became an adult, so gardening hasn’t always been possible, but I’ve been blessed with friends who have given me produce in exchange for labor; I’ve learned to buy in bulk; I can, dry, pickle, etc. For several years I milked a lovely little Jersey cow and had milk, butter, and cheese. Now, I’m in TX, trying to learn how to garden here. And my cupboards are not empty–if for no other reason than one never knows when one could be suddenly stricken ‘poor’ and have to choose between a roof over one’s head and food on one’s table.

  • Cab says:

    Very interesting story. I would not let my kids watch TV – it’s “the enemy” programming your kids to think their way, not yours. But still, I see your point how you were able to get them to think and examine their priorities, even using this TV show. If you watch TV together and use it for a conversation starter, and don’t watch a lot of it, I suppose it could be a good thing to do. Thank you for your newsletter. I’m glad I signed up. I have a hobby farm, some goats and chickens, and an acre or so all mulched up and prepared for a garden, but I’ve not planted yet. I’m having a hard enough time just getting my sprouted seedlings to stay alive. I used the wrong kind of soil to start them in.

    1. Hi Cab,

      Well, let me be the first to welcome you to the site.

      We do use the television as a starting point for family discussions, but sigh, my kids also watch an inordinate amount of video not as a family.

  • Mike63Denver says:

    The distinctive feature of the liberal intellectual is the striving of universality.

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