For many parents, they can’t wait until their kids are old enough for them to share some of their hobbies or passions with them. With some hobbies, kids can start getting involved from a very young age. But for other activities, it’s best to wait until your child is a little older before they get started, like with sport shooting.
So if you’ve decided that your child is now old enough and mature enough for you to introduce them to your love of sport shooting, here are three tips for doing target practice with your kids.
Gun Safety Is Always The Priority
If your family is familiar with firearms, then gun safety is likely something that gets brought up a lot. But regardless of this, it’s critical that you continue to stress gun safety as you help your child get ready to start sport shooting and participating in target practice.
According to Judy Schaechter, a contributor to HealthyChildren.org, some of the principles that remind your kids include to always have the safety on until they’re ready to shoot, to keep their finger off the trigger until they’re ready to shoot, and to always unload the gun before setting it down. If you have additional rules or guidelines that you want your kids to follow when doing target practice with you, make sure you outline them and are sure that your children understand before they try target practice for the first time.
Go Beyond Paper Targets
Traditionally, when someone is doing target practice, they’ll use paper targets to help them see how accurate they are when shooting. But for kids, it can often be more fun to try target practice with other items beyond paper targets.
T. Edward Nickens, a contributor to Field And Stream, shares that you can get creative by using things like water balloons, colored ice cubes, or even small toys when doing target practice with your kids. Just make sure that you’re using a safe backstop while they’re shooting and that the target they’re shooting at is safe for them as well.
Make The Goal To Have Fun
Just because you’re serious about sport shooting or hunting doesn’t necessarily mean that your kids will be. So to help take some of the stress and anxiety out of target practice, Cheyenne Dalton, a contributor to Women’s Outdoor News, recommends that you try to make fun the main goal of any target practice that you do. If your kids aren’t having fun while being safe, they may not want to do target practice with you more than once.
If you’re wanting to share your love of hunting or shooting sports with your kids, consider using the tips mentioned above as you try out target practice with them.