Now that clay grounds are reopening and recreational shooting is starting back up, I feel like everyone is out having a whale of a time but me. Surviving lockdown with kids is hard, especially as I am juggling two small children and a job with no childcare. To top it off, the food shop has just been delivered and my bottle of wine has been substituted for olive oil. That’s just not going to hit the spot!
Despite this mayhem that is my life, it hasn’t diminished my passion for all things fieldsports. Here is my guide to surviving lockdown with kids. And hopefully, we can get back to the days of the kids having some quality time with their grandparents sharpish!
Game cookery – most of the shooting community have some form of game lurking at the back of the freezer. Now is the time to dig it out and cook it up with a little ‘help’ from the kids. My advice is, keep it simple. Prep as much as you can before you include the kids. Patience is not a virtue possessed by many children, so the quicker and smoother the activity the better. Here is a video of my two cooking up something from the BASC quarantine cookbook.
Foraging – time to do some of the gathering part of the hunter gatherer lifestyle. Marta Jacyna has produced a useful guide of what to look out for. A valuable skill to pass on to the next generation and a chance to try and expand their pallet beyond spaghetti hoops.
Bird spotting – an essential skill for any game shooter is good bird identification. Let’s get the kids in training now and perhaps sharpen our own skills. You could set up a bird feeding station in the garden and see how many species you can spot out the window. Click here to see how to make your own bird feeders at home. You could even dig out the camera and have a go at some nature photography following Nick Lanes top tips.
Dog training – At home we have a scruffy lurcher whose retrieval skills is as useless as a chocolate tea pot. But, just getting the kids to do the basic skills of sit, stay, paw and heel help them to understand how to interact with dogs. It builds their confidence around dogs and lays good ground work for when I get brave enough to add a gundog into the mix that is our hectic family life.
Countryside Classrooms – To keep the little darlings distracted while you attempt to appear professional in a meeting, why not stick them in front of one of BASC’s Countryside Classrooms. They stream live on Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday, or you can watch them back at any time on the BASC website.
I hope this will ease the stress of surviving lockdown with kids. I am now off to clean up a mystery spillage, take the pink tutu off the dog and contemplate putting on yet another load of laundry!