Children's Bushcraft

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Fallow Way

New Member
Nov 28, 2003
Staffordshire, Cannock Chase
One of the biggest Forest School training companies can be found at;, they teach OCN level 1,2 and 3 as well as a certified qualification in becoming a Forest School trainer for experienced practitioners (level 4), again, all over the country. I studied under them a few years ago and I`m now doing a wide range of Forest School provision, very knowledgable and experienced trainers.

BigJim, your link did not work, are you refering to Simon and Marijke at Forest School Training Company Ltd? the link is
Jan 6, 2009
Hello, I only joined tonight, but I felt I should add my tuppence-worth.
I'm a Forest School Leader and take various groups of 4-5yr olds out into woods every two weeks through the whole year. It's so very possible and so, so beneficial!
Tom Brown's book is fantastic, there's also another great book caled Nature's Playground by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield which has lots of activities, all arranged seasonally, which is a help!
What Leon-1 said about Forest Schools is completely right, we introduce the use of fire and hand tools when we feel the children are confident enough to give it a go, I also work with a nursery group who are 3 and a half to 4 yrs and had a great fire with them just before Christmas. It's all about how confident you feel with your skills as to what you introduce at what age, children are often far more able than we realise.
I could yabber on endlessly, but going back to the original question on page1...a lovely activity is making elder friendship bands. (not bracelets, as that word can put boys off)

*Select & cut a length of elder around 30cm long and 2cm in diameter
*Cut into 2cm lengths with a hacksaw (not loppers or secateurs as they crush the wood) to make 5-6 beads.
*Find a "pokey stick" just thin enough to poke out the pithy middle of each bead,
*Thread the beads onto a piece of string
*Tie round the wrist of your bestest friend in the whole, wide world! ... and they might make one for you too.

That's one of mine, please use it & pass it on!
I'd be happy to chat if you'd like any more ideas
Jan 6, 2009
No problems i trained through Bridge water college in Somerset speak to john there he is a great tutor.

Hey Kris!
It's Janina from the FS Level 3 course,... long time ago now eh? Its great to see you'r still at Capstone and doing some great work too. We were the first people to roll out FS in Essex too, what pioneers we are!!!
Big smiles


Feb 22, 2007
Dallas, Texas USA
I have two girls that are now 9 and 11. I got them fuzzy backpacks a couple years ago. They have basic survival gear in their packs.

Saturday, we had a bushcraft day in the backyard. The girls set up a tarp into 4 different shelters, practiced using their knives to make stakes, climbed trees, and we made a Super Cat Alcohol Stove and boiled some water. The girls had a very good time and I enjoy doing things with them. It would have been fun to have done this in the woods but we had some time restraints.

Oh, we also aired out two new Italian Military Wool Blankets that I got for $12.50 each at Cheaper Than Dirt.

David Enoch


Mar 2, 2009
northern ireland
Hi all just joined tonight.

Iam planning on taking tom out at the weekend for the day, do a little fishing,shelter building, knots, brews and cooking. He has suggested sausages I may just try bannock as well.

At only 9 some may think him to young for his own knife but in fact he has 2 a folder and a fixed blade the folder for nearly a year now. Only one nick in this time and has only had to be warned once about misbehaving after the original warnings on safty ect. In fact if he sees a tree or bench with names carved in he tells me some people do not deserve to have knives.

We recently got him a sewedish trangia on which {he with supervision from his mum} has already cooked 2 meals for the family while he was at work, wish id been there.

Speak to you all soon dave


Jun 9, 2005
Gone feral...
Can I recommend pancakes as an excellent 'bushie' type meal which can be practised at home? Pre-mix the dry stuff for field use - my boy (8yrs) now wakes me on Saturday mornings with a pile of pancakes and maple syrup - completely unsupervised.



New Member
Feb 27, 2009
slowly give them equipment so they can build up a 'bushcraft box'... its great fun for them to then put it to use!


Mar 11, 2009
Ashdown Forest
this has been sooo interesting to read... I do quite a lot of stuff with my son, foraging, edible/poisonous plant identification, camping, fire safety etc. However did not know that the "starter knives" existed so will be out getting one asap! also thanks for the inspiration, I plan to start running foraging courses soon with lessons on cooking/utilising what you've gathered as part of it. Had not even thought of doing one aimed particularly at kids, despite the fact that I'm a qualified CRB checked childcarer and live in the Ashdown Forest aka Hundred acre wood!

I think there might have to be a few days commited to kids walks, with plant id-ing foraging etc, and hopefully the cooking lesson part will get them all eating their (wild) greens! GREAT thread guys, thanks again!


Mar 11, 2009
Ashdown Forest
allsorts round here I tells ya! some of the humans are even stranger... lots of space and a great variety of foragable goodies though. mushrooming is always majorly rewarding :) I picked a cep last year 21 cms across :) happy days. *sighs...


Apr 4, 2009
Hi all,

I find getting them out there in the first place is the biggest problem, but once there they are fine. Having two daughters and trying to teach them some basic survival stuff is a challenge. But like kids, once you have told them and they can see its of an importance to you, they do take some of it onboard as little snippets of info do get back to me now and again.

I recently made them small, Helle Triple Laminated knives, purchased from here, Once they see the value of a very sharp knife they soon learn to respect that. I dare say Social Services would have a field day, about responsibility and all! lol. In life though they are bound to come into contact with many sharp knives in the kitchen etc, and at least they will know the dangerous end.

So all in all, I think its a great idea, Basic Bushraft/Survival ought to be taught at schools.


Use of sharp cutting tools
Tree Identification
Plant ID'
Water purification methods
Apr 6, 2009
Hi Tony today me and my mrs snuck down the woods to leave a tin under a tree just under the surface.then we worked out how to get to it from the car park with a compass. for my young 11 year old boy special agent Adam.after findind the tin there was a message init saying he had to now find some coal fungus and take it home were he would use my flint and steel to set fire to the secret information he had used to get there.I must say we all loved it and he was nackerd after,everyones a winner hope this helps you

cheers Paul


New Member
Apr 7, 2009
...Location.... Location....
This is perhaps slightly off-topic but I fear as the world becomes more convenient, health and safety becomes more ridiculous and people become lazier that bushcraft may die down, I believe there should be more groups for children where they can gain an insight into working with nature because all the technology in the world can not stop nature from being a big part of our lives and sharing the passion of bushcraft from generation to generation is key to a real responsible and enjoyable lifestyle. What do you all think?


New Member
Apr 20, 2009
Hi all..can anyone reccommend a childrens course for an 8 yr old boy.. I have done the Foundation course Bushcraft Exped which was very good but want something nearer for a weekend to start him off.??


Hiya - my two daughters are really getting into Bushcraft now, at 7 and 5, and my little boy is showing all the signs of genius at 2!

We've so far covered:

Putting up a tarp,
Safe knife and axe use (really, I know its not very H+S but they need to know..)
Lighting a fire
Using a Dutch Oven to make bread
Trees and Leaves (identifying them)
Stalking (pigeons admittedly!)
Archery - big hit this one!
Looking after their kit - funny how this being the simplest was the hardest to teach them...

They're loving it - come rain or shine...

I like the compass routes idea to find something - class...

Andy :)


May 13, 2009
On my first trip out with my 4 year old daughter, a few years ago now we
Slept under a low tarp, she baked I was frozen.
Made a fire

Now she is 9 she can easily with a friend
Make a fire from a spark
Put up a tent
Put up a hammock and tarp
Use knife for whittling under supervision
Follow a simple orienteering or 'treasure hunt' route with a compass
Look after her kit, kinda
Know what to do in emergencies
Cook a full breakfast on an open fire
Make a roasting stick and rest for marshmallows
Get a pretty neat groupings with an air rifle at 20 yds

I usually take a mate of hers and dad, then i get some beers in the evening.

Skinning rabbits in half term :)

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