Backyard Bushcraft ‘Bushcraft’ is the overall term for wilderness skills that can encompass things like navigation, shelter building, tracking animals, and using tools. Bushcraft tends to conjure up the image of a rugged outdoorsy type, carving a spoon out of a branch, hunting deer, and sleeping under the stars. Yet most people dip into this every so often in small ways on annual camping trips, immersing themselves in the outdoors with limited modern technology or comforts. When it comes to children thankfully they may never find themselves stranded on a hillside with nothing but a backpack and a jam sandwich, but giving them the ability to think that should it happen they will thrive – that is a very powerful confidence-building activity. What does age-appropriate bushcraft look like? Small children and toddlers can enjoy feeling like rugged explorers if you spare them a few old sheets to build shelters in the garden, hanging between trees and bushes. Get them to sketch a map of the back garden or local park, and mark the spot with an X to bury a time capsule. Getting down and dirty with some mud-based play can introduce small amounts of healthy microbes to mix up our children’s normal clean environments, helping to build a normal healthy immune system and reduce allergies later in life. Bushcraft practitioners often know how to tie several different kinds of knots, and there are many instructional videos online. learning to tie different knots can improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity, and create a sense of puzzle-solving in your child - and help with tying shoes too! Are you up for the challenge? Let our new printable activity guides inspire you. Week 5 is a backyard bushcraft challenge, fizzy mud pies! (Not safe for consumption) Click here to Download This post is part of our larger toddler and nature series. Please stay tuned for more and check out our Welly Waddlers Workshops, where you can see the benefits of hands-on nature-play first hand with your little one. To find out more or to enquire please contact us at [email protected] or on 063 91300.