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Five Archery Games for Kids

Getting kids involved with archery at a young age is a great way to get them interested in the Great Outdoors - and off the sofa.

However keeping kids interested and motivated can sometimes be tricky, even with a sport as engaging as archery. Thus one way to get them more motivated is to introduce games so they are more motivated to try harder.

#1. Bowling for Cups

Cans work equally well for this activity but the concept is simple enough. The more cups or cans you knock over the more points you get.

#2. Shooting Balloons

Makes a nice satisfying sound when they get hit. If they are getting hit too easily move them further back, or if they are too difficult to hit then move them closer. The balloons are not reusable like cups or cans are, so you will want to make them just hard enough to hit so that your kids have to pay attention to what they are doing to actually hit them with an arrow.

#3. Hit the Foam Ball

Below is a foam/rubber target ball usually used by hunters for practicing shooting at different distances. For kids however you can substitute a cheap foam ball or for extra challenge, a tennis ball. The goal is to hit the ball at different distances and learn how to adjust your aim regardless of the distance you are shooting.

#4. Bow-Making Contest + Flight Archery

For added fun you can also have a wooden bow making contest - for this activity your kids should be 10 years or older and have some experience with carving knives. As parents you will want to supervise this activity and help them using any of the more dangerous woodworking tools. eg. Don't let your kids use a skilsaw or band saw by themselves. But a draw knife, hand saw, rasp or sandpaper would be okay tools for them to learn how to use.

Their goal during this contest is to make a bow out of wood or bamboo or PVC that can shoot really far - flight archery is a good measurement of whether their bow is any good. Making a stickbow, bamboo bow or PVC bow is ridiculously easy, but to get it to shoot really far is the true challenge because that requires the bow to be "fast on the cast".

Tip #1 - Thick limbed bows are sluggish and slow. Bow-making is an artform wherein you have to learn how much thinness will make the bow shoot faster, but still provide good power / prevent breaking.

Tip #2. Top and bottom limbs need to be tillered evenly so they both bend the same amount, in the same places, and bounce back at the same speed. One limb slower than the other will make your arrows fly slower.

Even for adults with some woodworking skills making a quality bow is a challenge. If you are interested in bow-making try reading The Traditional Bowyer's Bible - Volume I. There are 4 volumes, but the first volume covers all of the basics.

Note - For the purpose of the above activity try using store-bought arrows on your homemade bows. Arrow-making is a challenge by itself.

#5. Tic Tac Toe Archery

Tic Tac Toe is a very easy game and all you really need is a target and two sets of arrows that are different colours.

Other games that are more for adults are: Poker Archery, Dart Board Archery, Battleship Archery (you can see their ships on the board, but can you hit them?), Clue Archery, Chess Archery and more.

If you are looking for archery lessons in Toronto contact me to schedule some lessons.

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