Thanks guys for the words on encouragement. I have sent the list to the "powers that be" asking for sone money to set up my plan. I have some kit of my own but feel that vthe school should let me have a little budget to get me going.
I'm a leader of a youth group and have recently started doing some more bushcrafty type activities with them. I have done a "bushcraft tool making" session with them, which went very well (the group were aged 10-12). My view is that it's better that they're introduced to potentially dangerous tools in a safe environment, so they can be shown how to use them. This is a loose idea of the session:
~ Safe use of tools. Showing the group how to use a saw, axe & knife in a safe way
~ Making a bushcraft mallet & bushcraft tent peg (both relatively simple for kids to do)
We got the group to pair up, and each paid did part of the making, with each group having a dedicated adult supervising them. The remainder of the group did another bushcraft related activity with other adults (a game and/or discussion), which required less adult supervision.
Worked very well, and everyone got to have a go at making something. Took a lot longer than I anticipated though and ran into two sessions (of about an hour each).
Recently ran an "animal tracks" session for the kids (aged 6-9), which involved showing them a series of tracks I'd printed out and getting them to guess what animal made them. Then we talked briefly about the rhymes to identify animal groups based on track patterns (ie 4 x 4 x claws etc). Seeing as it was all sitting down listening, they responded really well and really seemed to get into the session. Next step (when weather improves) is to head out into the woods and see if we can find anything in the wild!
They also made animal masks which we then used for a food chain type game - that was a bit more chaotic & would have benefitted from more space & time ... not sure they got the interlinks between animals & plants. One to repeat another time...
At school we've managed to organise some bushcraft training for our staff at the start of next term. I am looking forward to it and will report back here how it goes. All I've got to do now is write a risk assessment. Might upwardly delegate that one.
The company I work for (kingswood) does bushcraft specialism in the summer (camp Beaumont/kingswood camps) if your interested you get to do activities like zip wire ect and do entire mornings/afternoon of bushcraft
A good idea, if the kids are to young to use a knife, is vegetable peelers, you can't really carve something like a spoon, but they are good for just taking the bark off of green wood, to make 'walking sticks'. Its useful if you are walking long distances because the kids get a bit less tired if they use them properly as well! foraging for fire lighting materials can be fun, cramp balls, birch bark, 'punk' wood ect... and is a bit safer than foraging for food if they get it wrong, so is good for younger kids who have a tendency, when you tell them there are some roots you can eat, to start eating ALL of the roots in the woods!
Yesterday i was working with the group of 'vulnerable' 13/14 year-olds that visit us every couple of weeks. In the morning we did mallet making (club with thinned-down handle) from cutting the tree down through rough-trimming the handle with a froe, to tidying up the handle with a whittling knife (safety & law covered). They then asked if they could split logs from the wood pile - to which we said YES! We only had two froes, so they had to take it in turns, but all enjoyed immediately being able to put their new tool to use (we had to constantly remind them that we only have tools, not weapons).
In the afternoon we did paracord survival bracelets. Despite them having trouble sticking with any task for more than a few minutes (and one being diagnosed as ADHD) they all sat there for over an hour making them. Most of them took another 'kit' home so they could make another one. We had a variety of paracord colours, mainly the flourescent, multi-coloured ones, which they described as "Cool!"
The whole day was very relaxed (good as it was hot) and they were very chilled out just chatting and helping each other. Something we could never had hoped for 9 sessions ago, when they started visiting. Very, very, satisfying day all round.
I stumbled upon this thread whilst looking for some simple bushcraft ideas/crafts to do with ALOT of children, over three days, as a volunteer in a childrens area at what is primarily a music festival expecting 1500 visitors per day, any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking for something suitable for all ages, no fires or blades, and doesn't involve a lot of expense/preparation. (i dont want to run out or keep them waiting).i'm abit stumped.
i am currently involved in the woodcraft folk with my children (3 and 7). Apologies if this has already been mentioned but i have only skimmed over the thread at this point and will be returning to read in full when they are asleep tonight. Our group includes the 'woodchip' age range (0-6) so they are supervised primarily by the parents with scissors etc. One thing all our age ranges enjoy and something we always take on family walks is a ball of wool/string. we find a forked branch and then create a weaving warp between the branches, younger children are happy to pick up anything to weave into it, older children enjoy finding more specific things. it encourages everybody to slow down and have a good look around their surroundings, it can then be taken home and hung up or perched in the garden, they often become a prop as they play in the woods aswell. magnifying glasses make a great substitute 'tool' for blades with younger ones. stopping for a rest and having a game of leaf bingo helps with identification towards badges/ general knowledge.
One thing that I did a while back on a wildlife themed event was to make a giant spider's web out of paracord. Tied off six lines between some trees to make the radial lines, joining them all in the middle. Just some simple knots. Then took a really long piece of paracord and simply wove it around in a spiral from the centre outwards. I ended up with a web about 10 feet across, into which I placed a big cuddly toy spider.
The whole thing was surprisingly difficult to see in the shade under trees, and we sited it just around the corner on a path. We sent children down the pth and they thought it was hilarious, whereas adults were often seriously spooked by it
Makes a fun thing to set up at a camp, or with older children you can get them to make it themselves.
Quick hammock question re kids, I've a dd camping hammock and next weekend got a chance to spend a night out with the kids, and don't really want to do the tent. Has any one got any experience of having two kids in one hammock, top to tail at all? They're 7 and 9 so just wondered if it was a goer, whilst I bivvy on the floor, or will it lead to a night of no sleep? And am I just being tight and I should cough up for 2 DD scout hammocks. (This would be their first experience of being in a hammock over night). Here's them enjoying the hammock and brew kit during the day in the Peak district.
Rich D, I haven't experience of overnighting but have had my 3 and 5 year old in my frontline hammock during the day in blankets. They really didn't need to move much to slide towards the middle. The hammock would then hold them together. With sleeping bags to separate them, and maybe a rolled blanket as a divider I might get away with them on a diagonal lay, but it might be a long and whiney night if it didn't work. Any chance you can try them in it together? Otherwise I was thinking 2 hammocks stacked like bunk beds would be quite cool and probably keep them happy.
I'll be the kid in this scenario. We were taught and brought up to be functionally independent. Lots of camping, hunting and fishing (fire-baking fish in clay jackets for example.) There's a good sense of responsibility which comes with each person having their own kit. If my brother rips his sleeping bag, not my issue.
Lots of great ideas here. I'm getting my kids into bushcraft by learning alongside them. So far we've been lighting twig fires, lighting natural tinders, camping and camp cooking, whittling and carving, and of course exploring woodland. We've just started (thanks to this wonderful forum) identifying fungi (and setting fire to them!). I'd like to add to this thread that, as a primary teacher, it's so obvious which children in a class get this sort of input from a parent - they are more mature, more confident, have better resilience and more enthusiasm for learning. Forget homework (except for reading and times tables) if you're doing something like bushcrafting instead - it's much more effective at improving academic results!