Think about the best gift you received during your childhood. It’s likely entrenched in your memory. It probably provided years of enjoyment, and maybe inspired a hobby you still enjoy.
That’s why the next gift you buy your child shouldn’t be just another toy they break or outgrow in a few months. Instead, buy a bow and arrows, and rest assured it’ll be a gift they never forget.
You’ll have lots of options that make buying a bow for your child seem overwhelming. Don’t feel intimidated. It’s easy to rule out options by identifying the bows’ limitations. Nerf bows, for example, are toys, and toys break. That might be OK if your child is 5 or younger. But by the time they’re a bit older, kids notice that Nerf arrows can’t penetrate a target, which takes away the satisfaction of shooting their first bull’s-eye.
By the time children are grade-schoolers, they start feeling left out when sitting on the sidelines while watching their parents target shoot when they could be shooting, too, if they had a real bow. If they demonstrate the maturity to safely handle bows and follow instructions, start studying your options.
Picking out a real bow for your child is easy and affordable. All archery shops can match kids with a bow they’ll enjoy for years. Youth models include basic recurves starting under $200, and compound-bow packages that include a sight, rest, arrows and everything needed to shoot archery for just over $300.
These bows are designed specifically for youths, and adjust to fit a wide range of draw weights and lengths. That means kids can use them several years before needing another bow. Some youth bows can even be adjusted to hunting-weight requirements, making them a versatile gift whether your child wants to shoot bull’s-eyes or go bowhunting.
For most archers, that first bow opens a door to years of enjoyment. Olympic archers and accomplished bowhunters all started somewhere and, unlike other sports, archery can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Beyond backyard target shooting that gets kids away from video games and TV shows, this healthy activity lets kids compete in 3-D or indoor target leagues. You never know where archery will take your kids, but you need to get them their first bow to find out.
And besides helping kids make new friends, archery builds other relationships kids might cherish the rest of their lives. People who share a common interest form some of life’s strongest bonds because they stay continually involved and connected. Countless clubs and organizations connect archers from different walks of life, and they always accept members whether they’re 8 or 80.
With all that in mind, think carefully before buying your child another present. If they’re ready for archery, consider buying them a real bow that properly introduces them to the sport. It can affect a child’s life much more than any toy you’ll ever find. Plus, sharing a cherished activity with your child, and seeing them embrace it too, provides a gift you’ll both value forever.