What better way to spend a Saturday than going to the range as a way to spend some quality time with your loved ones, or even by yourself. Brendan, my son, and I love going to the range to improve our marksmanship skills, to prepare for hunting trips, to have fun, and to bond. It is one of the best places to bond for a parent and children that I can think of. Let me explain why I think so.
Teaching a child to shoot signifies something very special to your child, and to you too. First of all it means that you want to do things with your children, probably something you already love doing, so you want to share it with them. Secondly it means that you think your children are ready to do something which requires a lot of trust of them by you. It also indicates that you are willing to do something that requires you to pay an awful lot of attention to your child for an extended period of time, after all you do not just hand a child a gun and say go have some fun, nor is it like teaching a child to ride a bike. Once they learn how to ride, they ride off with there friends. If you teach them to shoot, they surely cannot go to the range themselves at, let's say 9 years old. You have to continue to take them to the range and teach them about shooting, and shoot with them, if they are to continue this as a hobby or sport as a child. You have to spend time with them, during which time you pay an awful lot of attention to them, but yet during which time your continuously strive to get them to the point where they are fully capable of handling a firearms safely by themselves. The whole process is something that gets them to exercise things you have taught them, to accept responsibility and to act responsibly, to continue to closely bond with you the parent even throughout their teen years, to learn about one of our greatest rights, to prepare for times in their lives when they will combine all those things to make themselves fine upstanding adult members of the community.
Going to the range with the kids though is not just a narrowly restricted activity. In the case of my son and I, I try to spread out the range trip experience with other things. Because of that, I choose to go to a range that takes us about 45 minutes to an hour to reach. My son, who now has a driver's license, usually gets to drive. Sometimes after we are done at the range, we go to visit my mom. It makes for a nice family visit. We may also stop out and get some shopping done (maybe at Home Depot, so I can get some work done around the house). A typical range trip without the visit to our relatives may take about 6 hours total. With a trip to my mom, it is an 8 to 10 hour affair.
My son could choose to do many other things on a Saturday in the summertime (he is almost always off on Saturdays since he works on Sundays). He could ride his bike, play ball, work out in the garage or at the gym, look for a new and better job, or he could hang out with his friends or with his girlfriend. That he still sometimes chooses to go to the range with me on Saturdays makes me realize I have done something right as a parent since he is still interested in doing things with me and he just finished college! That is a real good feeling.
All the best,