When you stop to think about the many benefits of archery for children, like improved hand-eye coordination, improved self-confidence, and the rewarding sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming a challenge, it only makes sense to introduce your children to the well-rounded sport of archery. But where, when, and how do you teach archery to kids?
Don’t sweat it! With the help of Two Bros Bows, we’ll walk you through the most important archery tips for beginners to help get your young archer up to speed on the what’s, how’s and why’s of archery for beginners, including:
- What Age to Teach Archery to Kids
- Proper Beginner Archery Distances
- Important Archery Techniques for Beginners
- Establish Their Dominant Eye
- How to Hold a Bow and Arrow
- Stance and Posture Matters
- Get a Grip (& Keep It!)
- Beginner Archery Safety Tips
Let’s get started!
Archery For Kids 101: A Guide to Archery for Beginners
What Age to Teach Archery To Kids?
Rather than the age you can begin to teach archery to kids, learning archery will more so depend on the type of kids archery set (real or toy) used, along with the child’s strength, physical ability, and maturity level.
For instance, a Two Bros Bows toy bow and arrow target set is the perfect youth beginner archery set for children six and up, while a real youth beginner archery set is best suited for children eight and up, only if they can safely hold, aim, and shoot at their target.
Toy bows and toy arrows are naturally lighter and easier to hold and safer to shoot than a real youth beginner archery set since they are made from lightweight wood and fabric materials and do not come with a sharp, pointed arrow. If your child is eight or older, but you think they would benefit from starting with a toy bow and arrow (no shame in that game!), go with your gut. This simple change in archery equipment will make teaching and learning archery much easier, and encourage them to persevere to the next level of archery.
Proper Beginner Archery Distances
Beginner archery distance is typically determined by skill level and bow type. For your beginner archer, we recommend starting close to practice consistency and coordination, with a three to five-yard distance to start. Once your child demonstrates they can successfully hit the target at this distance for most of their shots, move the target another yard or two further. There is no right or wrong way to learn, but slow distance increments can help motivate them to keep practicing.
Important Archery Tips & Techniques for Beginners
Establish Their Dominant Eye
Before learning how to hold a bow and arrow, it’s important to establish your child’s dominant eye. Our dominant eye does not always coincide with our dominant hand, so this is an important step for archery safety and proficiency.
To establish their dominant eye, ask them to extend both of their arms out in front of them, bringing together their forefinger and thumbs and forming a small triangle. Then, center the triangle over a distant object and ask them to close their left eye first. Ask them: “Did the object move or stay center?” If it stays center, their right eye (the open eye) is the dominant eye. If it moved, their left eye is the dominant eye. They will then hold their bow in the hand opposite of their dominant eye.
How to Hold a Bow and Arrow
This video by Two Bros Bows brothers Duncan and Hayden perfectly demonstrates how to hold a toy bow and arrow. Another way to teach your child how to hold a bow and arrow that may also be beneficial is to simply have your child place their first three fingers below the arrow shaft. The bowstring should be positioned in the first groove of their fingers, and their index finger should be pushed up against the arrow nock or nock indicators.
Stance & Posture Matters
How you stand while shooting your arrow matters. While there are several stance options more experienced archers prefer to use, a beginner archer may want to begin with a square stance, a simpler and easier stance designed to keep the archer more accurately in line with their target. In this position, your child will stand with feet square with their hips and shoulders so that the side of their body faces the target. This stance will help them focus on holding their bow and arrow without worrying too much about balance. It will also help them “feel” whether they are leaning back away from the target, or forward and toward the target, making it easier to practice maintaining a straight, steady, even posture.
Get a Grip (and Keep It!)
Another important archery technique for beginners is to decide on a grip at the beginning of the shot and stick with it. Changing grip position even slightly can jeopardize the accuracy of the shot, so taking the time to focus on maintaining a steady hand will pay off over time.
Beginner Archery Safety Tips
Last but certainly not least in our list of important archery techniques for beginners is archery safety. Teaching your kids bow and arrow safety is a crucial step in any parent’s archery lesson guidebook and can help prevent injury to your child or others, especially when they move into using real bow and arrow sets. Here are six golden rules for archery safety your child needs to know:
- Always inspect the bow and arrow before use to ensure it is in good working condition. If any splits or cracks are present, discontinue lessons until repairs are made.
- Always wear bright colored or reflective clothing so other archers can see you in any condition.
- Never dry fire a bow, and only pull an arrow back with the bow facing the ground.
- Never point a bow and arrow at anyone, or overdraw the bow.
- Teach your child to put their listening skills on high alert, knowing when to “hold” (stop moving and stand in a safe spot while another archer shoots).
- When practicing with other archers, never run out onto the field to get your arrow until it is time to do so. Speak to one another to make sure no one is accidentally injured.
Two Bros Bows Makes Archery For Kids Fun, Safe & Rewarding
Regardless of experience or strength, Two Bros Bows youth beginner archery sets are a great learning tool to introduce the benefits of archery for beginners in a safe, fun, and imaginative way. Your kids will love to practice and show off their bow and arrow skills, all while unknowingly improving their self-confidence, hand-eye coordination, upper body strength, and self-esteem.
Shop Two Bros Bows today to get the one-of-a-kind toy bow, and arrow sets designed to unleash your child’s imagination, curiosity, and love for the outdoors, all while learning a new skill and life lessons that they will benefit from in childhood and into their teen and adult years.