We all know that being stuck at home can be challenging for children, so over the coming day and weeks, we're giving some ideas for how to keep them (and you) entertained!
Everyone's home setup and supplies will be different so I've tried to just use items that can be found around the house. In some cases you may not have the items but there are usually ways to improvise! Similarily I'll leave it up to you to judge if the ideas are suitable for you child/ren, some may not be suitable for younger ones. As we're a Bushcraft site, the activities will be mainly Bushcraft related as you'd expect!
So onto the first activity!
I think it's fair to say that most children are fascinated by fire. Now I'm not saying that we're going to be making mini piromaniacs, but it's something that I believe is important to teach young ones as they will then respect it. What we're going to be looking at here is making a "tinder pouch". Rather than looking at making the pouch itself (it can be an old sweet tin which is what I use), which could be another project in itself, we'll look at what goes into it.
Tinder is the start of the fire laying process, the very fine fluffy stuff that catches fire very easily and lights the larger bits of wood. This is a nice little project as it can be refined over time, adding new items as and when they're found.
Here's an idea of what you could look like. I've put a list of the components below and you can challenge the children to find all the parts!
String (more specifically "jute twine"). This is usually used in the garden or tying up parcels. By unwinding the strands then fluffing it up, it creates a superb base to a fire. If you don't have this to hand, this could be substituted for tumble dryer fluff or similar "fluffy" materials.
Wood shavings. Despite having two children and a home office, I couldn't find a pencil sharpener anywhere so had to use a knife instead. If you're able to find a pencil sharpener, the "sharpenings" are an excellent addition. They will easily catch alight once the string has caught.
Next challenge, research the silver birch tree. This tree is fabulous for firelighting, specifically the bark. The bark can be scraped to provide a fine powder that is an excellent base to any fire.
Twigs. When out for your daily excercise (or out in the garden), see if they can find a collection of small twigs, which once thoroughly dried, will be added to the top of the fire lay, providing the last piece of the puzzle before the kindling.
I have included three forms of ignition in the photo above. A lighter, matches and a ferrocerium (ferro) rod. Most likely you will want to keep hold of these yourself to prevent unsupervised fires! When confident with lighters and/or matches, a ferro rod is a great new tool for the budding bushcrafter to practice with!
Lastly, once the pouch has been assembled, share your photos!