Category Archives: Bushcraft Crafts

Kids and Fire -Bushcraft for Kids

There are two things I always get asked about when I talk about bushcraft / Survival skills for children. They are knives and fire. In this post I want to briefly talk about fire. Kids and fire is often avoided. It doesn’t need to be kids and fire can be fun and safe.

Kids and Fire.

Fire is obviously something that can be dangerous. Burns are horrible injuries which can be very painful. I found this out first hand many years ago when I offered to burn some conifers for a neighbour after they had cut them down. I set everything up and went to light it with a match and it exploded in my face. My neighbour had painted the fence with some sort of creosote. They had left the remaining creosote outside. I thought the smell was from the nearby fence. I wasn’t it was in the pile of conifers I was to put a match to. The injuries were to my face and hands. My son at the time was about 5 years old. He visited me in hospital, he looked at me and asked where his dad was. My face was so swollen he didn’t recognise me.

The lesson is take care and take all the precautions you can.

Plan and be Safe.

My thoughts on most areas of bushcraft is that you can do them with the correct planning, preperation and technique.

There are two questions to ask before you start.

  1. What is the child capable of achieving alone and with supervision?
  2. Is it safe and what can I do to reduce risk?

What is the child capable of achieving alone

and with supervision?

 

At different ages children are capable of different things. They are developing their fine motor skills.  They are developing their conversation.

So when looking at kids and fire you need to think about what are they able to do? Initially you will naturally shy away and think that young children can’t do anything other than collect fire wood. From my experience they can achieve much more. But young bushcraft kids and fire need somethings demonstrating at a safe difference.

Don’t rule out activities for young bushcraft kids just because they are young. Think of ways of letting them be hands on. This helps their confidence soar and they also begin to learn taking risk is good as long as the risk is minimised.

Is it safe and what can I do to reduce risk?

Obviously safety is a priority. No one wants anyone to take unnecessary risk. Especially when it involves bushcraft kids and fire. Once you have a list of activities think about what you need to do to minimise risk. For example I might not let a child use wire wool and a battery because the risk of being burned is to high. But with the correct gloves it suddenly becomes safer. There are ways of making things safe if you want to do something with kids and fire.

Take a look at some of our suggested activities for kids and fire.

Remember children are often capable of much more than we appreciate it is down to us as parents or group leaders to minimise risk and maximise the experience and Adventure for the Bushcraft Kids.