About a month ago we went to my nephew’s Nerf Wars birthday party. It was the coolest one that we’d been to in a while. The party was at an inflatables place that also had a maze for Nerf wars. As soon as my husband learn that he’d be allowed to shoot his brothers and nephews with Nerf bullets, he went shopping for the biggest one we could afford. Or, I should say that he bought the biggest one I’d allow him to buy.
In the end, we bought three new Nerf guns and a truckload of bullets. Add that to the two guns my son already owned, and we had more than our share of Nerf equipment.
Within days of the party, the kids (including my husband) had forgotten the Nerf guns. While my son likes playing with them, the simply target that I drew out and taped to the back of his bedroom door just wasn’t exciting enough. Then there was the annoying sound as bullets struck said door that led me to look for a way for him to use his Nerf guns outdoors.
Then I happened upon a post where someone had created a Nerf gun target game using a box, some paper towel holders, and a half-dozen balls from a ball pit. You can find that post here. While that game wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, it did give me the idea for an Outdoor Nerf Target Game.
How it’s played:
The Nerf Target game consists of PVC pipes standing vertically with a plastic ball placed on top of each. Each pipe has an amount written on it. The players take turns shooting their Nerf gun at the balls. If they succeed in knocking one off, they earn the points for that pipe. Since there are six pipes in all, I gave the kids six shots each. Once they’ve tried six times, they count up their total points, and whoever got the most, wins.
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The Ring Toss Game is played similarly, except without the balls. Each player tosses six rings and earns the points of any pipe they ring. My kids use a set of diving rings that I bought a month ago for the pool, but you could use the glow-in-the-dark necklaces in a pinch. Plus it would be fun to play in the dark.
This was surprisingly easy to make and fairly inexpensive. The best part is that the kids have been playing with it practically nonstop since the moment I first put the balls on top.
I placed a couple of towels behind the game when they are shooting the Nerf bullets so that we don’t have to search for them in the yard, and so that the dog doesn’t eat them. Labs eat anything.
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Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- 2-foot x 2-foot piece of ½” plywood
- 8 feet of 1½” PVC pipe
- 6- 1½” Male adapters ~We bought ours at Lowes for .98¢ each
- 6- Lock nuts ~Bought at Lowes for $1.49 for a 2-pack
- 6-Plastic balls ~I didn’t have any, so I bought mine from Dollar Tree. They come in packs of three, so you’ll need two packages.
- Spray Paint (optional)
Tools you’ll need:
How to Make It
To start, cut your PVC pipe into six pieces–three 3-foot pieces and three 2-foot pieces. I used a jigsaw, but you can use almost any kind of saw to cut through PVC. Even a hacksaw will work with not a lot of effort.
I used ½” plywood because I wanted it to be light enough that the kids could move it if they want to. If your board isn’t already 2-foot x 2-foot, then you’ll need to cut it as well. You will need to mark where you want your pipes to be and then, using a 1½” hole saw blade, cut out the holes for your pipes.
Next, it’s time to paint. This is entirely optional. If you don’t care about painting, you can leave everything as is. The game will play the same. I wanted bright colors for mine, so I used some paint I already had.
Once everything is dry, it’s time to mark your pipes with the amounts. It’s easier to do this before assembling the game. I used my Cricut machine to cut some vinyl. I would have used black vinyl, but I let one of my minions pick out the color, and she chose a mint green. You don’t have to use vinyl. A sharpie will work fine, but I have horrible handwriting, and I wanted it to be legible.
Now that you have your numbers written, it’s time to assemble the game. Place a male adapter in one of the holes in the board and screw a lock nut onto the bottom of it. You can use a pipe wrench for this, but I just did it by hand.
Once you have all six male adapters in place, push a PVC pipe onto each. You will have to wiggle it into place, especially if you painted the pipes, because it’s a tight fit. You can use glue like E6000 or something similar to glue the pipes into place, but it’s not necessary. I didn’t use a glue, and the pipes haven’t moved. Without gluing them in place, you could move the pipes around if you decide to later.
So, how much did it cost
I already had a scrap piece of 1/2″ plywood and the tools needed. The PVC cost 6.74 for a 10-foot stick. The male adapters cost 5.88 for all six and the lock nuts were 4.47. I already had the rings and the plastic balls cost $2. That brings the total to 19.09 before tax. Not bad for two games.
Place the balls on top and let your kids start shooting or hand them some rings and let them begin tossing. Either way, your kids are bound to have a lot of fun with this game over the summer.