This is the time of year when many parents start thinking about holiday gifts for kids. And it’s not easy! There are so many options out there and when the catalogs start arriving on your doorstep and your kiddos start requesting every action figure and video game they see, it’s hard to ensure that you’re buying quality products that promote healthy development.
But we think that gifts for kids should be more than “just a toy”. My husband and I love giving gifts to the kids in our lives that encourage physical activity, quality time with family, and outdoor fun. So we were thrilled when Genesis® offered to send us one of their amazing, high-quality bow and arrow kits to give to our oldest son.
Genesis® has a simple mission: to help youth everywhere experience the thrill of the fast-growing sport of archery. And it’s easy to see from their products that they take this mission seriously. When our son opened the box containing his Genesis® Original bow, we expected it to look like a toy. Instead, what we found was a beautifully crafted, professional-quality archer’s bow. I’ll even admit that the bow, along with the quiver of aluminum arrows, made me a little bit nervous because of how “grown-up” they looked.
The Genesis® Original is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®), an organization reaching over 13,000 schools in the U.S. with the goal of making archery fun, engaging, and safe for all kids. Their website features the awesome Genesis Build-a-Bow feature, where you can customize a bow with your child’s favorite colors. You can also choose to purchase an entire kit, which comes with a quiver of arrows.
Because our family is new to the sport of archery, giving the bow as a gift prompted a great talk about safety, responsibility, and taking this new piece of equipment seriously. And then it was time to take it out into the yard and give it a try!
Finn is still a little guy – only 6 years old – but he’s filled to the brim with an independent spirit (and a healthy dose of stubbornness). So, even though the bow was a little bit big and heavy for him, he was determined to give it a try. After a few attempts, he realized that he needed my help to hold and stabilize the bow for him so he could focus his efforts on loading and shooting the arrow toward the target. It was tricky, but fun!
We later found out from Genesis® that you can adjust the draw weight of the bow to make it easier to pull back and shoot. Once we did this, Finn still needed my help to hold and stabilize the bow, but he had a much easier time getting the arrows toward the target. Who knew archery could be such an awesome way for kids to work on strengthening, coordination, and visual motor skills?
It was also really neat to see Finn’s reaction to being allowed to use a real bow like this. He was so proud of himself and remained focused on the activity for a long time, which goes to show that putting real tools into kids’ hands (with very close supervision) can encourage them to take an activity more seriously and shows them that we think they are capable and responsible enough to handle it.
The Genesis® bow made a great gift for our kiddo. This product may be better suited for older children, but it is definitely something he can grow into as he gets bigger and stronger. The Genesis® Mini bow may be a better fit for younger children. I would also reiterate that this bow is not a toy! It is designed for children and families who are serious about learning the sport of archery. Use of this product requires extremely close supervision by an adult. In our house, we made it a rule that using the bow means one-on-one time with mom or dad (i.e. no younger siblings or neighbors running around nearby while it’s in use).
Are you interested in giving a Genesis® bow as a gift? Genesis® has generously offered to give one away to a lucky reader (U.S. residents only)! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter below! And be sure to visit Genesis Bows and follow Genesis Archery on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter!