“Hey ___, remember that one time when we went to the cabin and you taught us how to make BOWS & ARROWS?!”
Said the happiest kid ever, reminiscing on a legendary holiday vacation.
The holiday season gifts us so many great things;
a time for family and friends, old and new, delicious food, nostalgic adventures and activities, stories and recipes passed down, sometimes a little heat in the kitchen...and lots of coziness. And I love every second of it!
Our home base is in sunshiney Florida. Yes, the weather is mostly great… but for a true sense of fall, we headed north to spend some much needed time with our families at the cabin.
We hiked up to Pelton pond in breath-taking New York where we showed our boys how to make bows and arrows!
The instructions are pretty simple but the lessons learned and memories made are so rad.
You’re going to need some yarn, scissors, a pocket knife (or sandpaper) and your imagination!
We gathered medium width bendable branches. Try hunting down some that are still a bit green and not too dried out, that will ensure the branch is nice and bendy.
Then cut the branch to about 20” in length.
*Cue handy-dandy lessons about identifying different species in nature, forestry and the odd creepy crawler that you’ll probably encounter.*
Remove the ancillary branches and smooth it by running your knife over the outside of the bark. I did that part. If using the knife makes you uncomfortable, pack some heavy grit sandpaper in your backpack. That’ll do the trick just fine too!
Then you’ll want to cut notches facing downwards on top of the branch, on the side facing away from you and also on the bottom of the bow on the same side so you can tie your yarn.
Now it’s time to make the arrows!
You’ll want to find a branch that’s about 12” long and stiff. So less green than your bow.
Remove the ancillary and smooth the arrow-like you did with the bow. Cut the very end of the stick so you can stabilize the yarn when you draw back the bow.
And voila! You made bows and arrows!
The boys were so excited to learn how to do something brand new, something we normally wouldn’t really have gotten up to in Florida. They felt confident in their new skills hunting down the perfect branches and showing them off to each other, even helping each other find the best ones. The rustle of the leaves under their booties and the giggles of my children are memories I’ll think back to often.
And as you can imagine, after a long day of friendly hunting and gathering through the forest, the boys were ready for a nice long bath and a nice long nap.
And so was I.
Happy Fall, everyone!