Learning how to shoot a bow and arrow is one of the few sports kids can enjoy while simultaneously improving hand-eye coordination, focus, confidence, patience, and relaxation. And while it may seem like a challenge to teach archery to kids, with the right tips and tricks, teaching kids archery is much easier than you’d think!
That’s where we come in! Today we'll discuss the best age a child can begin to learn archery and the three crucial points kids wanting to know how to learn to shoot a bow and arrow must first learn before firing away.
What Age Can Kids Learn Archery?
While 8 is the general recommended age to start archery as a kid, learning how to shoot a bow and arrow more so comes down to a child’s strength, maturity, and physical ability. In fact, we’ve even seen children as young as three years old successfully use our toy bow and arrow sets, which are recommended for kids ages 6 and up.
By 8 years old, children often have the physical strength to safely hold and shoot a bow and arrow and the mental ability to understand the rules. As a parent, you can best determine your child’s muscle strength is by testing their “pinchers.” Meaning, when they place their thumb and index finger together and pinch, will it be strong enough to hold the arrow end on the string far enough to aim and shoot? If your child is younger than 8 but has the pincher strength to successfully aim and shoot and can understand safety measures expected of them, no age is too young to start learning about the world of archery!
If you have a child that’s not entirely ready for a real bow and arrow set but want to learn archery and how to shoot a bow and arrow, we recommend toy bow and arrows. Safe to use for children six and up, these toy bows and toy arrows make how to learn to shoot a bow and arrow as safe and easy as possible (not to mention make teaching kids archery super easy). Plus, if your child decides the sport of archery is not for them, they can still use their kid’s archery set for fun games!
Teaching Archery to Kids
While teaching kids archery will largely depend on the bow and arrow set they’re using, there are a few important points that need to be established before your child can become the next Robinhood.
Bow & Arrows 101
Teaching kids archery really comes down to an understanding of the equipment that’s being used just as much as how to use it. The easiest way for your child to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow is actually knowing the function and purpose of every bow or arrow part. Again, this will vary depending on your bow and arrow set, but it’s crucial they understand what each function does for learning and safety purposes.
Let’s Talk Safety
Archery is jam-packed with physical and mental benefits and should always be practiced with the utmost safety. Talk to your child about archery safety rules, including:
- Never point your bow/arrow at another person
- Inspecting bow, strings, and arrows prior to loading
- Not shooting until all non-shooters are out of their path
- Holding fire until instructed to shoot, or ready to engage in their targeted area.
- Shooting only at the target
Establish a Dominant Eye
It’s a common misconception that a person’s dominant eye coincides with their dominant hand. When teaching archery to kids, establishing their dominant eye should be one of the first things you do, even before they shoot their first arrow. Have your child follow these steps to establish their dominant eye:
- Extend both arms forward and bring thumbs and forefingers together to form a small triangle between the thumbs and forefingers.
- With both eyes open, have your child center the triangle’s opening on a distant object. This could be a rock, the target, a chair, etc.
- Have your child close their left eye. Ask them if the object moved or stayed center. If it stays centered, your child’s right eye (the open eye) is the dominant eye. If the object moved (no longer in their triangle frame), then their left eye is the dominant eye.
Now that your child understands the functions of their archery equipment, the proper safety precautions to take, and which eye they should be relying on to shoot, they’re ready to start learning how to shoot their bow and arrows!
If your child is just starting out with archery, Two Bros Bows kids archery sets are the safe and kid-friendly toy bow and arrow sets to teach your child the basics of archery while sparking their sense of imagination and adventure. Browse our kid’s archery sets today for the truly fun, vibrant, and unique toy bows and arrows your child will love.