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!
What a great article on archery. As a mom and grandparent, it was never something I considered but I can see that both my children (boy and girl) would have loved this.
Maybe this is something I can introduce to my grandchildren, especially my grandson and your article provides me with the information on what to look for.
In a world where so many kids want instant gratification, I can see this as a way for them to learn patience as well as well as discipline. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Mary Ann! I’m really excited to hear that you enjoyed reading my blog and that I could help you with some good ideas 🙂 I’m sure your grandchildren will love it, and it is a great opportunity for you, your husband and your own children to spend some quality time together with the kids! Enjoy and have a great time! Much love and all the best to you and your family! chris
I think this is an excellent post. Teaching children and adolescents discipline, hand and eye coordination, safety, patience, survival skills and a wonderful way to bond with your children. This post was well written and gives me ideas for what I can use to not only teach my children but also bond with them. If you take it into further teaching and teach them the crossbow, then there are different arrows to shoot with and different weights to pull and shoot with. This is an escalation and if you wish, you could escalate them to rifles so they can hunt and protect themselves. Cross bows are used for hunting also, they are quieter than a rifle, but the bottom line is they learn responsibility and the bonding idea is an excellent one. Great post!!
Hi Anne, and thank you so much for your kind comment and additional notes.
I know that this post is already quite controversial as it deals with “sports equipment” that could potentially be used as a weapon to harm people and animals, I don’t want to make it even more controversial by bringing guns into the debate. I know that there are many valid arguments for both positions and I do not want this debate to catch fire here on this blog 🙂
But I get your point and totally agree with the idea that teaching your kids skills that REQUIRE discipline, will also TEACH them discipline! I’m a big fan of the idea of sharing with your kid whatever you as a parent are passionate about. That automatically ensures that you will spend quality time together, which is always a great thing! All the best and thanks for your kind comment!
All the best, chris
Thanks for giving a few pointers about archery sets for kids. I was actually looking for something like that for my nephew’s upcoming birthday. I did a bit of the sports while I was in uni and even though I didn’t really excel in it, it was a very good learning experience especially in terms of training vision focus and stamina. I hope this is a skill that the younger generation will pick up early in life.
Hi Cathy and thanks for taking the time to read my article and leave a comment. I bet giving an archery set would be an amazing present for your nephew. Just imagine how it could bring back your own enthusiasm for the sport when you go out to the range TOGETHER with him!? Wouldn’t that be a great opportunity to bond with him + bring back good old memories of your college days? Let me know how he liked the present in case you give it to him, will you? That would be awesome! chris
Hey, I used to have one of those suction cup bow and arrows when I was a kid. Another downside to them is that they suck. Like, the suction cups rarely work, so you can never really “hit” a target. So if you need another reason to avoid them and just get a real bow and arrow, there you go!
Hey Ben! Thanks for taking the time to read my article and share your personal experience with those suction cup bows. It’s always cool to read that visitors agree with the idea of my post and share something that proves me right 🙂 Thanks, chris
Toy Dad, that’s pretty awesome, I must admit! I commend you for a great website!
Archery as a way of teaching life skills to my son and daughter is something that I haven’t considered. But after reading your post, I am honestly super intrigued.
Connections, sportsmanship, discipline, and survival is something that any kid can benefit from, I agree with you there.
I have a 4 year old son and noticed that your recommended archery set was from ages 4-7. Do you think just turning 4 would still be appropriate or would you suggest waiting a little. Thanks!
Thanks for reading my article and taking the time to leave a comment. Hm, that question is a tough one because the development of kids is so different from child to child. At the end of the day, it is your call. As long as you can make sure that you are present and able to help and guide your child, you should be fine. See how your son behaves in different situations: Does he accept rules you set? Can he distinguish “casual” situations from “dangerous” and “serious” ones? If so, I’m gonna say your good to go. But don’t take my word for it 🙂 At the end of the day, you can always buy the set and give it a try. If you don’t feel good about it, put it away and give it another try a year later or so!
All the best to you and your family 🙂
Oh I am so going to get my daughter into this! This is one of those activities that I did as a kid, loved it, but then just pushed it in the back of my mind. Other things to do, life gets in the way, ecc…
Thank you for this article, it really brought back some good memories!
Glad I could make you dig out some good childhood memories. It really gives me a big boost that my article could give you a new impulse! That’s really great! Enjoy archery and let me know how it turned when you return from the range the first time, will you?
All the best to you and your family,
Hi Chris, This article reminded me of my childhood and how my parents took an active part in playing with us, especially my father.A sweet memoir down the lane at the age of fifty. We really forget to enjoy the present time with our kids. This was a great article on parenting based on archery.
Thanks, Chris, for bringing out the old me for my grownup kids.
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I really enjoy reading comments like yours: When my content gets people thinking and reminiscing!? That’s flattering 🙂
I have to keep reminding myself of stories like this as well over and over again, to achieve exactly what you said: Enjoy and cherish the time spent with my kid. Sometimes it’s stressful, for sure. It’s good to have some memories and stories at hand that help me ground myself and be thankful for all the joy my sons brings to my life.
All the best to you and your loved ones,
I loved archery as a kid, my dad would let us shoot arrows at an old mattress and when we got older he would let us shoot soda cans. I loved it, I do not like to use it as a way to kill animals as I am an animal lover, but as target practice and for safety I still get out every now and then.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment here on my blog. I really appreciate it. And I couldn’t agree more: I hate looking at archery as a way to kill animals or seeing it as a weapon at all. It’s a hobby that teaches many things, as pointed out in the blog. Obviously, there are alternatives like martial arts or basically any team sport that can teach you a similar skill set, and I love that hobbies can be so diverse, yet so similar when it comes down to the skills they teach you, right?
All the best to you and your family!