Children's Bushcraft

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Jan 19, 2008
Sligo, Ireland
There was a knock at the door the other evening, and when my son went to the door he found three little kids, who said 'Is your mom coming out to play?'
I don't have any grandchildren (yet) but I play with the local kids. I taught them how to make a playhouse out of Willow, and how to find berries and nuts in Autumn. And tonight I taught them how to strip nettles for making twine. Tomorrow I will let them make the twine.
And when it's raining I tell them stories of the things I did when I was their age; messing about in water, trying to catch rabbits, staying out all night in the woods to see the badger. And I read them stories such as the wind in the willows.

the next generation of bushcrafters will catch it off us. All we have to do is play with them.


Jun 9, 2005
Gone feral...
Just idly browsing the Bison Bushcraft site - any thoughts on the 'Mon premier opinel' knife..? What age kids would that be aimed at? Anybody actually got one?



I always thought of Scouts as being Bushcraft altered for children. :)

robin wood

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 29, 2007
Just idly browsing the Bison Bushcraft site - any thoughts on the 'Mon premier opinel' knife..? What age kids would that be aimed at? Anybody actually got one?


Not got one but have had a quick look and it's simply a standard opinel with the tip rounded. Opinions vary on whether it is a good idea to round the tip on knives for kids learning. It is certainly true that the tip is responsible for more than its fair share of accidents so if I was teaching groups of kids then I certainly would use rounded tips. For teaching our own kids in a one on one situation we go with pointy knives as the point has its uses. If I was going for a round tip I would be more inclined to round the tip myself, the opinel does look rather like a bread knife so is not going to impress a proper mini bushcrafter (though may look more innocuous to mum) I would go for a standard opinel, swiss army etc or a brusletto balder if you want a fixed blade and just take the point off gently with some coarse emery paper, it still looks like a proper knife and can be sharpened back to a point when proper knife skills have been learned.

As for what age is it designed for, well thats down to parents knowing their kids, is your child likely to stick it in someone else? or cut stuff they shouldn't with it? Our kids were given their first knives on a visit to the Frosts factory in Sweden aged 5 and 8, with proper instruction they were completely safe and responsible but they had been using knives in the kitchen from age 3 starting cutting bananas with a blunt table knife, a good project to learn how to hold and use a knife with no danger whatsoever. Here they are learning carving from Wille Sundqvist.


This thread on british blades may be of interest lots of different experiences about first knives.

Dark Horse Dave

Full Member
Apr 5, 2007
Surrey / South West London
Just idly browsing the Bison Bushcraft site - any thoughts on the 'Mon premier opinel' knife..? What age kids would that be aimed at? Anybody actually got one?


My two kids, aged 5 and 8, have them. Both are happy with them, and we're perfectly happy with them having and using them, and in fact they both show considerable sense and responsibility with them. They may well have been OK with a pointed tip but we felt happier with them having rounded to start off with, and even though I suppose it would have been a learning experience of sorts for them, I didn't really want to cart them off to casualty for stitches or whatever! I would say make your your own judgement call based on your own knowledge of your own kids - seems reasonable to me!




Aug 6, 2008
Belgium (ex-pat)
I have taken both my kids, my son when he was 7 and daughter when she was 6, to the Woodlore family course and they loved it. Yes it's bloody expensive at 200 pounds a pop but was very enjoyable and will be a lasting memory. Sadly the year my daughter did it they had stopped teaching the using of a knife and weren't allowed to use anything sharp (thanks health and safety).


New Member
May 22, 2008
I've managed to get hold of two starter knives for my kids, ages 6 and 8. They're the "My First Victorinox" by, well... Victorinox funnily enough!

They have a rounded blade and there is a model available with a saw blade.

WORD OF WARNING!! Although the blade point is rounded off, these knives are bloody sharp straight out of the box!! Certainly surprised me, being a starter tool... Also the saw blade is just as good as a Leatherman blade, so beware the little fingers!

Here's the manufacturer link - I'm sure if you Google it you'll hopefully find a supplier but this could be difficult in the UK it seems



Full Member
Sep 18, 2008
Scouser living in Salford South UK
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_
Hiya Tony, I sometimes take the cubs and scouts ti loggerheads in North Wales and go on a leaf/twig hunt. I've got some identification sheets I can email you if you like.

Lol... I am probably classified as a kid at 13 hehe
Im planning to get a mora frost , and a hammock and tarp,
atm all ive got I can call mines a brand new victorinox which is great :)
Like somone said earlier, all bushcraft is for children, its just some of it isnt considered socialy acceptable for children i.e knives knives and knives
I hate going anywhere I cant take my knife, because I will inevitably need it to do something
Oct 1, 2007
How about knife saftey, willow whistle making ect something very hands on ? ! or tracking most of the kids my age and younger loved it when rob taught us and its easy once you know how all you need is to learn the tracks find a straight stick and lambing rings ? ! well i think. also jason taught me and my friends some pretty cool cuts and ways to not cut your self!!!! !!


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 15, 2005
Cardiff, South Wales
Just thought I'd post this.

Our eldest son (Evan, 3) went for his first proper time to nursery school yesterday. It's at the local primary school. He's been going one day a week with his Mum for a few weeks to get used to it, but now he starts every day from 9.00-11.30 on his own.

From what I gather, one of the nursery teachers has been on a special course to be able to take the children into the woods adjacent to the school. On Wednesdays, if the weather's fit, they all take wellies and coats and have "wood school".

Yesterday he came home from school stinking of wood smoke and happily singing "four fat sausages" to himself. From what I can gather they had hot dogs and popcorn in the woods.

How cool is that? :headbang:

Fallow Way

New Member
Nov 28, 2003
Staffordshire, Cannock Chase
That is fantastic, it sounds like Forest Schools, which, if it is, you will be pleased to know that there is a lot more going on that it seems due to the personal, social and emotional development aspects of that particular provision.

I hope youre children really enjoy it.



Nov 1, 2008
Hereford, UK
Scanker, thats cool, what a breath of fresh air - a month ago I helped with my 4 year old sons class on a trip to a local wood on a leaf hunt and they were brilliant at the identification of shape, colour, texture, etc - the kids are still talking about the trip now - I've allways said "the outdoors is the best classroom as the kids have no walls to bounce off!! "


Neil1 mentioned "Forest School", I won't go into too much detail but it started in the 1950's in Sweden and is now country wide in Denmark. Uk has been promoting the idea of outdoor Edu for some time. Here in Scotland I've been running Forset School with Primary Schools for the past 4 years.

Everything mentioned can be done with kids. Carving - substitute a Potato Peeler for the knife and make sure they cut outways (away fro the thumb). Knots - Clove Hitch and Square lashings, then have them build dens. Fire lighting - Firesteel with cotton wool tinder and Petroleum jelly, then toast marshmallows before making sure he fire is properly extinguished.

They say FS is for 3 - 93yrs. Look it up on the FEI website, thats Forest Education Initiative.

Everything done has an aspect of school curriculum and Sweden/Denmark found it improved classroom concentration and attention in pupils engaged in outdoor edu.

Big Jim


Sep 29, 2008
Chatham Kent
Hi all

Im a forest schools leader in Kent we at Capstone was the first school to be doing it in Kent at the time i done my training they had not taught anyone else in kent as the trainer told me. We have just started our new year group they come to us what ever the weather and we go outside and get to see how the group change over the year. we also run forest craft workshops for children we have one in the next holidays where we will be mallet making and whistles along with fire. Children need to explore as they get wrapped in cotton wool way to much.


Looking for Forest School Training, try

They have trained Forest School Leaders all over the UK, OCN level 3 for Leaders mostly through Bicton College. The process is ongoing and many Leaders are now training as FS Trainers working alongside the FS trainging Co Ltd.

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