One of the most difficult things to develop in smaller children is hand-eye coordination. This is defined as the ability to control hand movement and manipulate objects based on visual feedback. According to studies, kids who are given the chance to develop the skill earlier become much more dextrous with hand use, and tend to master school skills like writing, coloring, and cutting sooner and more efficiently, than others who weren’t given the same opportunities. If you want to make sure your kids learn all those skills early on without boring them out with table-top activities, indulge them in some fun DIY shooting games you can organize at home. Wondering how you can set things up? Take cues from these two shooting game ideas.
Rubber Band Candy Slider
For smaller kids, it’s better to start with simpler set-ups. A shooting game that doesn’t require kids to estimate the angle of their shot will be much easier to understand and serves as a worthy starting point for little beginners.
- Take two pieces of 24 x 24 inch cardboard and tape them together at one side to create a hinge. Fold it at the hinge to create an “L” shape. For the purpose of this instructional, the standing side will be called the backing and the floor will be called the base.
- Using another 24 x 24 inch piece of cardboard, create 2 right angled triangle shapes by cutting it in half diagonally.
- Take one of the triangle shapes and align the right angle with the angle created by the edges of the “L” shape. Tape it securely and do the same with the other side. This should prevent the backing from falling forward on the base.
- Using a blade, cut out three holes through the backing just above the hinge of the “L” shape to serve as targets.
- To create the shooting mechanism, measure midway the length of the base and tie a 20 inch elastic band and to both edges.
- To play, use soft ammo like marshmallows or small candies, place them on the center point of the band while resting against the base, pull back, and aim at the holes before releasing. The ammo should skid along the base to go through the target holes.
- To increase difficulty, tie the elastic band closer to you and farther from the targets.
Mini Marshmallow Catapult
This is for slightly older kids who can estimate distances and height to bring their ammo to a target.
- Take eight popsicle sticks and secure them together by tying them up at both ends.
- Take another two popsicle sticks, lay them flat against each other, and tie one end together to create a V-shape by pulling the free ends apart.
- Lodge the eight-piece stack between the two piece to maintain the V-shape. This should serve as your catapult mechanism with the top stick resisting movement whenever it’s pushed down.
- Tie everything in place with twine or rubber bands to secure the mechanism in place.
- Take a small bottle cap, secure it to the tip of the top stick and use that as a place to settle your marshmallow.
- Push down slightly and aim for targets like plastic cups, shooting target boards, holes in paper, or any other make-shift targets you can create at home.
Give your kids a head start and begin honing their hand-eye coordination. Try out these fun and easy DIY shooting games at home and have a fun-filled learning experience with your little tykes sans the big expense of costly toys.