Toybox Treasures for Survival

If you have kids, you most assuredly have a vast array of gadgets and gizmos that they love to leave lying around. Among these are most probably Legos, otherwise known as the midnight weapon of choice for those seeking to cripple you on your way to the bathroom.

Seriously though, if you take a creative look into your kids’ toy box, you’re going to find many items that can be useful in a survival situation. That’s what we’re talking about today.

Toy Guns

Though this may seem like a joke at first, there are innumerable people in prison right now for using a toy gun to rob a convenience store. That’s because most people can’t tell a real gun from a well-designed fake one and are fooled when a toy gun is used in place of a real one.

The same principle may apply if somebody is trying to break into your home or harm you in some other way. You can’t shoot somebody with it, but you may be able to scare the bejeezus out of them so that they leave you unscathed.


  • Balloons are great for keeping things dry. You can stuff them with an extra pair of socks or a shirt if you’re traveling, or you could put your medical kit or fire kit in one to keep moisture out.
  • Though balloons do hold water, you need a pressurized source such as a faucet to force the water in.
  • You could use them to tie things together, such as shelter poles.
  • A larger balloon could also be used as a waterproof pressure bandage by opening the end and just slipping it over the arm or leg. Be careful that it’s not too tight, though.
  • Speaking of which, you could use a balloon as a tourniquet.
  • If you fill them with air, they will float, so you can use them as floatation devices or for cushioning.
  • Keep your rifle barrel clean and dry by slipping a balloon over it. You can shoot right through it if need be.
  • Or use them as trail markers.


Just looking at this awesome flying disc pushes my survival imagination into overdrive. Here goes.

  • Digging
  • Collecting foods or water
  • Use them as a plate.
  • Signaling device – go with neon colors.
  • Emergency paddle in case you find yourself up the creek without one.
  • Fanning a flame to start a fire (OK, that’s a stretch, I admit).
  • Sanitary cutting board – unlike wood, plastic won’t absorb salmonella and other illness-causing bacteria. Bleach it after use and you’re good.
  • Boosting morale. Nothing relieves stress like a rambunctious game of Frisbee. It’s small and easy to carry, so pack it with you. A bit of levity is going to be imperative to mental health.

Jump Ropes

A bit of planning on your part when buying the jump rope can make this toy uber-useful in a survival situation. Buy one made from paracord or nylon cord and you’ll really get some survival bang for your buck. If yours is just plain rope, it’s still good for many of these uses, too.

  • Lashing things together
  • Hanging your tarp to make a shelter
  • Making candle wicks, if the cord is cotton
  • Binding a splint together
  • Climbing
  • Fishing line, or securing your bait bucket
  • Shoe laces
  • Bow drill
  • Clothes line
  • Building a snare
  • Improvised sling
  • Trip wires
  • Bundling or securing items for travel
  • Trotlines

Really, the uses for a jump rope go on and on. Even the plastic handles can be melted and used as fire starting material.


Yes, they make great refrigerator artwork, but crayons are actually pretty useful. After all, what are candles made out of? And what are crayons made out of? Wax. One crayon, if you use the paper as a wick, will burn for about 30 minutes.

If you bundle 3 together with string from your jump rope as a wick in the middle, that will burn for up to an hour! You can also melt them down with paper or cardboard and make fire starters. Of course, if you want to entertain the kids by letting them color with them, that works too!


Every kid owns a slinky. Nowadays, they’re often made of plastic but if you were smart and bought your kids a metal one, you can use it for all types of cool survival things.

  • Making fish hooks
  • Binding poles together for a shelter
  • Garrote
  • Saw
  • Electricity conduit
  • Holding your plants up

Just about anything that you need wire for, a slinky will substitute nicely.

Other, more obvious, toys that could come in handy include:

  • Toy whistle
  • Compass
  • Toy boxes – water collection, planter
  • Baseball bat
  • Backpack
  • Sand pails and shovels

There really are a plethora of useful toys in your child’s bedroom if you just take a few minutes to be creative. If you can think of other toys that are useful for survival, please tell us about them in the comments section below!

Find out more about skills that you need for survival in Conquering the Coming Collapse.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Video first seen on North Carolina Prepper.

Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

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