Children's Bushcraft

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Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,109
676
49
Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
I've been looking about for information on bushcraft for Children and there's hardly anything that's orientated around the younger generation, the future generation of bushcrafters.

So, I want some help from you lot to compile a list of activities, with descriptions as appropriate, of activities for kids. Feel free to list obvious things as well as more abstract and I would like everything you can think of, this is the opportunity for a huge brainstorm :eek:):

The activities can be practical and theoretical, interactive or presentational...Whatever, as long as it's orientated around younger people.

I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions and I'll compile them into a resource that we can all use.

Cheers :You_Rock_
 

jakunen

Native
Hi Tone,

One thing that I was looking at doing at the meet in August, but with the woods being invaded by the aliens it never happened - kids gotta love them, was some plantlore related stuff - spelling bees with plant names, plant lore A-Z, plantlore treasure hunt/orienteering.

May be next year...
 

TheViking

Native
Jun 3, 2004
1,864
0
31
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I believe all bushcraft activities is for kids, but my gues is that you mean the very youngest... :) How about?

Woodcarving
Kit introduction
Tying knots and hitches
Stalking
Fire making (with firesteel)
Looking after the land and leaving no trace. (that's kinda compulsory)
 

jamesdevine

Settler
Dec 22, 2003
823
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Skerries, Co. Dublin
For an aid with the youngsters try Winnie the Pooh. With shelter building, tracking, trapping and exploration following in the foot steps of pooh and friends is allot fun even for the bigger kids and allows allot of room for the use of the imagination.

Kids of all ages don't like long lectures so following the scout model of learning by doing, passing on knowledge by telling stories around the camp fire and allowing them the freedom to explore the world themselves is all good.

Also you should always try to create an atmosphere were it is OK to ask questions. It really helps everyone both teacher and student.

Just my thoughts
James
 

alick

Settler
Aug 29, 2003
632
0
Northwich, Cheshire
So far with my kids over the 7 to 11 age range -

Firesteel
Making cord from fibres
Knots and braids - they're good at this
Setting up tarps
making bread
Simple carving
Climbing (top roped)
Camping
A little bit of map and compass work - they understand it but aren't that interested yet

Supervised as appropriate

Tracking, fox walking, foraging for plants would all go down a treat but I don't know enough myself to go beyond the basics.

Great idea for a sticky :biggthump
 

Neil1

Full Member
Oct 4, 2003
1,317
58
Sittingbourne, Kent
There is the "Forest-Schools" Programme :eek:): this is aimed at very young kids (pre-school I think) and has things like knife & saw skills, fires & shelter building. Awareness & confidence is taught through games. This would seem a good starting point.
Neil
 

RovingArcher

Need to contact Admin...
Jun 27, 2004
1,069
1
Monterey Peninsula, Ca., USA
Lots of good ideas. I feel that starting with how they view Nature, by instilling a solid foundation of Respect and the understanding of how everything works together is a good way to start them off.
 

RobertsonPau

Tenderfoot
Dec 7, 2004
60
0
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North Yorkshire,UK
Tony

It may not be what you're looking for, but have a look at the link.

http://www.treetalk.org/index.php

It's intended to teach young people about the way plants and animals, including man, interact with each other and the environment. The programme names can appear to be a bit off-putting but the issues they get across are good. I have some experience with them and found that the principles are sound and really get kids thinking about how they affect the world. I know that there a quite a few books about the different programmes.

Paul
 

Brainflex

New Member
Nov 6, 2004
49
0
51
Great ideas all of you as I want to get my lad interested but he is only four!
Short attention span and wants immediate results.Oh well patience is a virtue
 

tomtom

Full Member
Dec 9, 2003
4,282
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Sunny South Devon
Brainflex said:
Short attention span
nothing stirs a childs soul like "not allowed" as in most normal situation Knives and Fire are not allowed maybe this would be a good place to capture their imaginations.. teaching safe techniques at a young ages is a good idea IMHO!! (though maybe 4 is a bit young)
 

Ed

Admin
Admin
Aug 27, 2003
5,929
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South Wales Valleys
nothing stirs a childs soul like "not allowed" as in most normal situation Knives and Fire are not allowed maybe this would be a good place to capture their imaginations..
You are quite right there, but I would keep the knives for older children though, and ones you trust.

Karen and I worked on a playscheme during the summer teahing 5-14yr olds wilderness living skills. Everyone liked fire.... just having it there, carving feather stick and burning them :) very popular.

Fire by friction was also very popular..... most 8yr olds could get some good smoke going and a few managed to get a coal... I was impressed. The sparks from flint and steel also have that wow factor that gets then interested.

Some of the lads were into fishing so we got them making cordage and got them to make pole fishing kits with hawthorn hooks.

Some of the girls dissappeared with karen and foraged ingredients for natural dyes which they used to tie-dye tee shirts and pieces of cloth.

With the young ones we got them to do bark and leaf rubbing..... then we swapped them around he groups and they went off with their play workers to see if they could find the tree they came from.

.....and of course, .... it rained.... so first thing of the day was to build a den in the woodland to keep everyone dry...... you wouldn't believe how many of them wanted to stay out over night in it.... they loved it.

Ed
 

Great Pebble

Full Member
Jan 10, 2004
775
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Belfast, Northern Ireland
I've had a (now extremely) long standing ambition to have my own book published for kids and I'll eventually get around to it by vanity publisher if necessary. It'll be geared towards the more practical side of things, as is my wont and will feature a small, psychotic penguin named Boggle.

It's just a case of finding the time to put it all together....
 

leon-1

Mod
Mod
Tone, I think the guys have covered most things, but nature walks with a varied theme.

You can incorporate a lot into a walk, identify edible and medicinal plants, trees (what they are and what they can be used for), animal tracks and signs (a good tracking book, but also a good theme for a walk).

Carving is quite good, so if you have this tree it is a hard wood and is better carved green and then given a long time to season will not split can be incorporated.

Try and get a lot into it, don't focus on any specific part for a long time because childrens attention spans are shorter in general, but most of all get them doing things, you learn a lot more when you are hands on and kids will pick up on different things as we do so the better the variety there is the more they will learn :)
 

PurpleHeath

Forager
Jan 5, 2005
126
0
West Sussex, England
hi, i am new so hello to everyone!
i am 17 and when i was 6 i joined an youth group called woodcraft. this really just a bunch of hippys teaching their kids to get on with each other, but every 2 months of so the took everyone on a camping trip. these were usually quite short but we always camped next to a wood so all the kids could play and get use to the forest. we did not do any of the bushcraft skills that you would normally would like to be taught, but it was great fun! for many children these camps took away any fear of going camping without they parents. by the time the kids have been to a few weekend camps they are at home in the forest and routine of the camp, this was my first introduction to bushcraft.
www.thewoodcraftfolk.org.uk
 

Moonraker

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 20, 2004
1,190
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Dorset & France
PurpleHeath said:
hi, i am new so hello to everyone!
i am 17 and when i was 6 i joined an youth group called woodcraft. this really just a bunch of hippys teaching their kids to get on with each other, but every 2 months of so the took everyone on a camping trip. these were usually quite short but we always camped next to a wood so all the kids could play and get use to the forest. we did not do any of the bushcraft skills that you would normally would like to be taught, but it was great fun! for many children these camps took away any fear of going camping without they parents. by the time the kids have been to a few weekend camps they are at home in the forest and routine of the camp, this was my first introduction to bushcraft.
www.thewoodcraftfolk.org.uk
Firstly, welcome to the forums Purpleheath. Great to have your input. :wave:

You raise an crucial aspect of kids and the outdoors and that is the very opportunity to be outside and experience the freedom. Then sharing that with other kids is so important ( same for use oldies too I think :D ) In a way the chance to have unstructured time is as beneficial as organised events. Give the kids a box with loads of rope, a few tarps, containers, some string and you will see things happening right away :)

I am not knocking the teaching aspects as that is great and the opportunity and time to share and pass on passion and experience is so, so rewarding for all involved. Just that the way to get kids really involved is to fire up their imagination. Do as our ancestors did and use storytelling to catch their attention and weave it into your activities.