Archery isn’t just for hunting or target practice. Get the entire family involved with engaging archery shooting games. Snag your partner and your kids and get outside with these dynamic games. From balloon archery to tic-tac-to, these games will delight the whole family.
Note: all of these games are intended to be played with safe archery habits in mind. Remind your children about best practices and ensure they implement them consistently during play.
Pyramid of Cups
One of the easiest archery games is knocking down a pyramid of cups. Get a large quantity of recyclable paper cups and stack them upside-down in a pyramid shape. For beginners to the world of archery shooting games, make the pyramid a little bigger. For seasoned shooters, make it smaller to increase the challenge.
One of the best parts about this game is you can change the shape to make it as easy or as difficult as you’d like. Try stacking the cups one on top of another in a single line. Put unbent metal coat hangers through them to create a hoop and string a single cup in the center as the target. See if you can pierce the exact center of the bottom of the cup. The only limit is your (or your kid’s) imaginations (and possibly physics).
Next up in our list of archery shooting games is one that involves balloons. This is another game that’s extremely versatile, not to mention easy to set up in your backyard.
Get a bag of your everyday party balloons. Set them up against a target, hay bale, or other suitable surface that won’t damage your arrows. For the simplest version, blow up your balloons and just try to pop them.
Like the pyramid of cups, you can set up your balloons in any configuration you’d like. Also try using different color ones to up the challenge. For example, make a flower with a yellow balloon as the center target and surround it with a different color balloon as petals.
Another way to enjoy this archery shooting game is a little messier, but very fun. Try filling your balloons with various substances. Flour or baby powder make excellent little explosions when the balloon pops.
You can also use things like glitter, water, confetti, or even paint. However, we don’t recommend doing these outside for environmental health reasons. Either place large tarps on the ground to catch the mess or shoot in a garage or other safe indoor area for easy clean up. (Indoor shooting should be for very experienced archers only, to avoid missing the target and damaging arrows or belongings.)
If you decide to use paint for this archery shooting game, make sure to choose a washable kind and/or use arrows you don’t necessarily care if they get stained.
Balloon archery, while fun, can be messy. For a cleaner, more competitive option, you can play H.O.R.S.E. It works just like the version you play on a basketball court.
Set up your target(s) and choose a player to go first. This player decides which type of shot the rest of you must complete. For example, they may choose the distance required or how close you have to get to the center of the target.
The next step in this archery shooting game is to take turns attempting to fulfill the required shot. If a player can’t complete the shot, they get the first letter, H, and continue onward. The first player to spell out “H.O.R.S.E.” loses the game.
The competitive nature of this option means all players are motivated to improve their skills. However, it also means it may be best suited to more mature children who won’t get excessively upset if they lose.
Similar to H.O.R.S.E., this archery shooting game is a competition based on precision. Participants begin at a distance of 10–15 yards away from the target. Each person takes turns shooting, and those who keep their arrows within the required area move back to the next distance.
Keep moving in increments of five yards. The winner is the one who remains in the game the longest by keeping their arrow within the designated area at the farthest distance.
Just like balloon archery, night archery is a supremely fun way to enjoy the sport. During the day, set up multiple targets (if you have the space). Use ropes to designate the various shooting lanes.
For this archery shooting game, keep the distance from the shooter to the target rather short, no longer than 20 yards. Then, once night falls, use flashlights to light your way through the course, taking turns at each target.
Because this game takes place at night, safety practices are even more vital. Use this option only with older children who are able to follow strict rules.
Last but not least, give an old game new life. On a large piece of paper or cardboard, draw a tic-tac-toe board (9 squares, 3 high and 3 wide). Attach the board to your target.
This archery shooting game is simple: each pair of archers takes turns aiming at different squares. When their arrow lands inside the square, it’s theirs. The goal is to get three squares in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Make sure your arrows have different color fletching so you can tell them apart.
Engage Your Family with Archery
Whether you play balloon archery, tic-tac-toe, or one of the others on this list, we hope you got a few interactive ideas to engage with the whole family.