Archery Games for Kids

Archery is not only an activity for adults, as it is becoming increasingly popular with children. Archery is now offered as a part of many school districts’ physical education curriculum, and children can enter into archery competitions all over the country. Whether it’s for learning coordination, patience, or discipline, archery is great for many things. One of the most notable of those things, is countless hours of fun. When you throw in a mix of games to a sport that already offers great fun, it makes it that much more enticing.

Picture 6Arrow Darts
The rules for this game are exactly the same as normal darts. Simply draw (or buy) a face that looks like a dartboard, and shoot at it. For a challenge at a similar level to real darts have a face that’s 2’6″ in diameter and a shooting line 20 yards from the target. Each person shoots and then records their score. The first person to 300 wins.

Killer
Killer is an archery game that is similar to cricket in darts, focusing on accuracy. It is a great game for children to play because it does not focus on hitting the bulls-eye every time. The object of the game is to close out all of the different colors on the target. Each player shoots three arrows in a turn, and must hit each color three times. Once one player closes out a color, the score of that color is added to that player’s score each time they hit that color, as long as the other players have not closed out that color too. The game ends when one player with the highest score closes out all of the colors on the target.

Picture 7Archery Mathmatics

Blow up several balloons. They can be different colors and various sizes. For instance, the more difficult math problems, can be on the smaller targets. You tell the child the answer to the equation and they have to shoot the problem. Or you can do this vice versa. Tell the child the equation, and they have to shoot the correct answer.

Noughts and Crosses
Noughts and crosses is essentially tic-tac-toe with arrows, played on the back of a target, making it easy for children to understand. Draw a grid with three rows and three columns, and then play with 2 players like you would tic-tac-toe. The only difference is that the game depends on strategy as well as accuracy. The first person to hit each square claims it, and the first person to have three squares in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins the game.

Picture 9Balloons
A fun game that children can play with an archery target is called balloons. You can blow up balloons and pin the ends to the archery board, and then attempt to pop the balloons with the arrows. You can either do this simply for fun, or develop a competitive game where scoring is based on the number of balloons you hit or point value for different colors.

A twist on this game that we’ve played is to play “horse” with different colored water balloons–blow up a ton of them, some blown up all the way, some left pretty small (golf ball size). Hang them on the targets with some of them touching other balloons, others spaced a bit farther apart. The first person picks a specific balloon and calls which one it is. They take their shot and if they miss, they get a letter and the process starts over with the next person. If the first shooter hits it, the next person in line has to shoot the balloon of the same color, calling which one before shooting. Whoever misses gets a letter and the next person gets to pick the color everyone will be shooting for next. If everyone in line hits their balloon, the first person in that series gets a letter. If anyone hits the wrong balloon (even if it’s the right color), they get a letter as well.

The mix of balloon sizes and proximities can provide for easy shots and harder shots. Encourage the best shooters to try for the harder shots and leave the easier shots for the less experiences shooters. It’s a lot of fun, and a nice change of pace from shooting spots!

Picture 11Archery Bingo
This is the same as regular Bingo. Draw or buy a Bingo card or mat and place on the target. The adult in charge can draw and read aloud where each player is to hit. The first person to bingo and not miss wins.

Mystery Colors High/Low
Draw some colorful (large) pictures – target sized – let the the kids draw them. We used hand drawn (paint and markers) turkeys or deer for a shoot. Each piece of art work used the same colors (6 or so different colors)
Put the targets at an appropriate distances and let everyone shoot the same number of arrows – all at once. Shoot a few rounds if you have time to build the excitement and scores. Give each person a score card and a pencil to keep track of the colors they hit (i.e 6 reds, 3 greens, 4 browns).
At the end, shooters find out what each color is worth. Have a drawing to determine what each color is worth. For example, red is worth 5, brown is worth 10, green

Picture 13is worth 25. Half of the colors get positive numbers and half get negative numbers (which is subtracted from your score).

Let everyone add up their scores and then have another drawing to determine if high or low score wins. It’s pure chance and anyone that can hit the target has a shot at winning. This is lots of fun and the mystery factor gives it an edge.

All games should be supervised by a responsible adult. Always remember to practice safe shooting techniques and shoot straight!