Archery is many things—it is a useful outdoor sport, a way to build self-esteem and a great way to bond. Ultimately, it also teaches your kids valuable skills to provide themselves with food and protection in a survival situation. It certainly is one of the most well-rounded skills you can teach kids because of its numerous benefits.
Dads don’t always get the credit for these special bonding moments with their children. But teaching your children archery is like teaching them fishing—it’ll leave them with memories they will never forget! (Of course, the same advice applies to moms as well). Here you’ll find useful information on the many benefits of archery, as well as archery sets for children that are perfect for teaching your son or daughter to aim.
Six Reasons to Teach Your Son or Daughter Archery
There are several reasons why you want to teach your kids archery that are very different compared to other hobbies. Let’s go through them and see how your kids will benefit:
#1: An Individual Place to Shine
As parents, we’re taught that kids should be social and involved in their school if they want to excel, both in life in general and when they are applying to colleges. But, some kids just do not want to participate in team sports. They may not enjoy being part of a team or have the physical abilities to be great at a sport—and that is okay!
Archery is easily measurable through target practice and your child can celebrate when they are doing better. It is also something that many can excel at with a little practice. This makes it great for kids who shy away from group sports and activities, especially if you are trying to boost their confidence.
#2: Useful Life Skill
Archery is more than just a sport. It is a skill that can be used to provide food or protection. While I know that I would not want to think of my son, Benni, ever needing to go into a survival situation, it’s reassuring to know he would at least be able to take care of himself. After all, that’s one of the reasons that kids go into Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts—to create connections while learning useful skills they won’t have the chance to practice in a school setting.
#3: Creating Connections
Parents cannot necessarily take complete responsibility for the way that their adult children behave, but much of what they accomplish as an adult reflects what they have learned at home. Recreational sports like children’s archery helps build a bond between parent and child. This bond fosters better communication and encourages your child to share more.
Children who participate in archery also have the opportunity of connecting with others. As the popularity of archery grows, so do the number of archery clubs popping up around the country. These are also a great idea if you aren’t sure where to start with your little one’s archery education.
#4: Teaches the Art of Sportsmanship
Do you have any adult friends that have had a mini-temper tantrum every time that life does not go their way? This type of adult were kids that were given awards even when they did not earn them and were taught that they did not have to follow the same set of rules as everyone else. Sports like archery teach your child to win and lose in a safe setting, free of judgment.
Something to note though is that your child will only learn good sportsmanship if you guide them toward it. As a dad (or mom), you have to step up and let them know that losing is okay—but that winning feels amazing and it is important to always give their best effort.
#5: It is Fun and Relaxed
The final reason that you and your son or daughter should learn archery together? It is a fun, relaxing sport that anyone can learn. There are no time constraints and archery can be practiced without pressure. It also has a great learning curve, since you can choose equipment based on skill level—from expert to beginner and everyone in between.
#6: It Teaches Your Kids About Self Discipline
Recreational archery is more than the average hobby! It requires self-discipline, a valuable skill for anyone to learn and adopt early in life. When kids usually play, it is ALL about fun their imagination. With archery, your kids will develop situational awareness and a sense of safety and responsibility. They cannot simply run around and do anything they like. They will learn how important it is to obey safety rules and listen to you and other sportsmen around.
In order to enjoy archery with your kid, it is OUR responsibility as Moms and Dads to teach our kids these rules, but also to judge whether they are ready to take on the challenge together with us, or not.
Safety First: Some Important Rules
Safety if SUPER important when we are talking about archery. Archery is a lot of fun and bears a lot of value, as we have discussed above, but it is also quite dangerous when kids and other sportsmen do not follow some important safety rules. After all, arrows can be used as weapons and harm people! Make sure to teach your kids the rules below before you even think about heading out to the range. Roleplay them and play through several scenarios to see if they have them down.
- Do NOT point an arrow at ANYONE: Not a human being, not an animal. Arrows are dangerous and can harm people. They aren’t toys and have to be treated with respect. Keep your bow and arrow pointed at the target at all times!
- Do NOT walk around with an arrow pointed upwards: You could stumble and fall on the arrow, thus get hurt by it. My suggestion is to not hand your kid the arrow before he or she is in position to shoot. Try to teach them that arrows are dangerous and therefore you as Dads or Moms are supposed to handle them in all situations other than the actual shooting.
- Do NOT retrieve your arrows until the range is CLEAR: This one is really important. Make sure your kid learns to ask for permission before moving around the range. That is especially true when it comes down to retrieving the arrows shot at the target. Kids can become somewhat “carefree” when it comes down to recover their belongings, and therefore it is important to teach them that the arrows they shoot will not go away and that no one will take them from them. Make it a team effort to recover the arrows together with them!
My Pick for Best Kids Archery Set
Manufacturer: Bear Archery
Age Range: 4-7 years
Current Price: Click here to check
This set comes with everything that you need to get your son or daughter started with archery. It is a step up from suction-cup ended plastic bows and arrows, making it higher quality. But also more demanding in terms of taking responsibility: For you as Moms and Dads and your kids, which will, again, teach them valuable lessons for life!
The set comes with a bow that has an 8-12 pound draw weight, safety glass arrows that are durable and can take a beating, and a target. The bow is ambidextrous, meaning you do not have to stress whether your child will want to shoot left- or right-handed before you decide to buy it.
The archery set is also full of extras that help keep your little one safe, including an armguard and finger rollers. The arrows can be safely transported inside of the included quiver.
The target included with this set has bright blue, red, and yellow colors. It is very visible, which can make aiming a lot easier. It also has points on the target, so it makes it easy to get competitive with your child or to include friends or siblings.
Why I Don’t Recommend Suction Cup Arrows
I know there are many bow and arrow sets out there that come with suction cups. I understand why people buy them: Because they think it’s a toy and it is less dangerous to give them to your kids.
I want to challenge that perspective, though. Please hear me out! If you buy a “toy” archery set instead of a real archery set like the one I suggested above, something happens with your and your kids’ subconsciousness: Instead of learning that archery is a serious hobby that requires a lot of responsibility, you AND your kids learn that archery is pure fun and doesn’t bear any danger. It doesn’t feel like a serious hobby anymore! Rather it feels like bows and arrow are pure toys. And it can be really hard to “unlearn” this, especially for kids!
I doubt that your kid will be able to “switch off” this mindset when you start introducing them to real arrows when they grow older. It may still be a toy for them, just a sharper one… And Moms and Dads may probably overestimate your kids’ capabilities and responsibility because they “have so much experience with the toy arrows already”.
My suggestion is to take archery serious from the very first day on. This way you and your kids will enjoy this awesome hobby so much more and will benefit greatly.
This approach is somewhat similar to my comparison of Carrera Slot Cars Tracks and how a good, more expensive system is an investment in your kids future. Your kids will learn so much more and take the hobby much more serious. And it REQUIRES you to spend time together: There is no excuse (neither for them nor for you) to withdraw from the situation. You and your kid, you both have to be 100% present in the situation, which creates a rock solid foundation for a great bonding experience!
Archery is a great way for dads (and moms) to connect with their kids. It helps teach valuable life skills, allows your child to learn sportsmanship and encourages competition in a lower stress environment. It is also great because of the archery sets like the one reviewed above make learning easy, even from a young age. This makes it the perfect sport for anyone interested—you might even be able to find fun clubs or archery competitions for your little one to participate in once they are ready.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Would you like to teach your kid recreational archery? Or do you prefer other hobbies for you and your kids to enjoy together? If you have anything to add to this story, please reach out and leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and get in touch.
Here’s to bonding with our kids through sports—boys and girls! If you, by the way, looking for even more activities to bond with your kids, check out my post on Activities To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids.
Thanks for reading!
Bear Archery First Shot
Fun Factor For Dads9.0/10
Fun Factor For Kids9.0/10
Family Entertainment Value8.0/10
- High quality archery set for kids
- Comes with everything you need to get started, including a target
- 8-12 pound draw weight
- Teaches your kids valuable life skills
- This is NOT a toy! It is a real bow!!!
- More dangerous than suction cup sets
- It's a bit more pricey than suction cup starter sets!