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Thread: Children's Bushcraft

  1. #1
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    Default Children's Bushcraft

    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 ):

    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
    Tone
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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...
    Modern 'Civilisation'? Pah!

    The day I stop learning is the day I die...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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
    "Paddle your own canoe"
    Rovering to success - B.P.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Tony, have a look here,under factsheets there are plenty of idea's on activities aimed at the younger person, idea's on tracking games, fire lighting,map work, etc.
    Some are ok to be used as they are, some could be adapted.
    http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/library/index.htm
    New success in the outdoors comes from age old wisdom.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Great link steve a. :-) To make it easier i will link directly to the topics if that's OK.

    Training Aids
    Mapping
    Lashings
    Hiking
    Simple Knots
    Compass
    Basic Cooking
    Fire Lighting
    Use of Axes and Saws

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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
    Alick

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    There is the "Forest-Schools" Programme ): 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
    The GREEN-CRAFT (keeping you safe in the wilderness........and keeping the wilderness safe from YOU)

    my flickr account

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    I believe that Tom Brown does a specific book aimed at children as well.

    Here it is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...324054-2377223
    "Let's get out there and do stuff"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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.
    All life is subject to the laws of Nature, or to be more precise, the laws of our CREATOR.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by RovingArcher
    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.
    I wish you luck mate! May you suceed where the education systems fail pathetically.
    Modern 'Civilisation'? Pah!

    The day I stop learning is the day I die...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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

  13. #13

    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Brainflex
    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)
    "If fishing was all about catching we would call it catching"

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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....
    Nick In Belfast.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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 :-)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Have you had a look at the stuff on here http://www.inquiry.net/ Ok a bit old fashioned in places but some good stuff.

    George

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleHeath
    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 ) 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.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    One of best things I remember about camps like that was doing skits (sketches (humour)) by the fire. :-)

  22. #22

    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleHeath
    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
    That sounds cool. :biggthump

    PS. A little correction: i believe it's www.woodcraft.org.uk :wink: The link above is invalid to me.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    What about the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides, they may have pertinent info.
    just a thought

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonraker
    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 ) 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
    Why do I get images of 'Swallows and Amazons' and a lot of very wet kids...):
    Modern 'Civilisation'? Pah!

    The day I stop learning is the day I die...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    How about a walk for the younger kids where you deliberately stay out after dark. At this time of year you can do this without staying out late. As the UK gets more built up we can go for weeks at a time without ever seeing real darkness and kids may never have really experienced it at all.

    I've done this a couple of times this winter. It's great for looking at stars, learning to walk without a torch and hopefully preempts this problem of urban kids growing up to be afraid of the woods after dark.

    Wrap them up well and take something to eat. I took a little charcoal brazier the size of a 12cm zebra billy that lights in no time and gives a lot of warmth and a cosy glow when you stop for a mars bar.

    Cheers
    Alick

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    when i was in woodcraft we had a game were you go out into the woods in pairs in a torch and you had to find reflective markers, great fun!!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleHeath
    when i was in woodcraft we had a game were you go out into the woods in pairs in a torch and you had to find reflective markers, great fun!!
    Sounds like a modern day version of our *snipe hunts* when I was a kid. Of course, there is no such a thing as a snipe, but it got us kids into the woods at night, hunting for something we thought was real. The adults would send us in this direction or that, pretending they saw the flicker of a tail, etc., it was all great fun and we all were rewarded, whether we found a snipe or not.

    Yep, it got passed onto my kids and they are passing it onto theirs.
    All life is subject to the laws of Nature, or to be more precise, the laws of our CREATOR.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    Quote Originally Posted by RovingArcher
    Sounds like a modern day version of our *snipe hunts* when I was a kid. Of course, there is no such a thing as a snipe
    Could have fooled me. Wading bird, long billed, nearly hunted to extinction...
    http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i2300id.html
    Modern 'Civilisation'? Pah!

    The day I stop learning is the day I die...

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    The snipe is a very difficult bird to shoot, requiring a very keen eye and lightning fast responses. The origin of the word sniper lies in the ability to consistently hit snipe in flight.

    Dave
    So many look, so few see.

    I'm not tight! I'm frugal!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Children's Bushcraft

    And 'snipe-nose pliers' are so called as the long, thin jaws resemble the bill of the snipe.
    Modern 'Civilisation'? Pah!

    The day I stop learning is the day I die...

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