By: Jeremy Alden
There are plenty of amazing Nerf target products out there to help your child perfect their shots and learn how each of their Nerf blasters work. However, spending extra money on Nerf targets may not always be in the budget.
The good news? Many Nerf enthusiasts and their parents have gotten creative to come up with some amazing homemade solutions that are just as effective and fun.
If you’re looking into making your own Nerf gun targets, let’s take a closer look at a few great Nerf gun target ideas that you can easily make happen without having to break the bank.
5 Simple Nerf Gun Target Ideas
1. Ping Pong/Foam Balls and Toilet Paper Rolls or Bottles
One of the most effective ways to improve our aim is to make sure that we’re actually hitting something when we’re firing our blaster. Many targets offer a flat surface where your Nerf dart will (hopefully) latch onto if your darts have a suction tip.
However, you simply can’t beat the feeling of watching something bounce and roll away after you’ve successfully made contact with it.
This is also extremely helpful if you’re firing from afar and may not be able to discern whether or not you’ve hit the target immediately afterward.
One way to accomplish this is by using a light foam ball or ping pong ball and situating it on top of a toilet paper roll (that has been secured by tape or another adhesive to a surface that won’t move) or even an old root beer bottle.
This gives you a much harder target to hit that will roll away once you’ve successfully reached it.
Although you may have to buy some foam balls, these are relatively inexpensive, and you can get them in bulk so that you have plenty more targets to fire at if you end up losing some of them.
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2. Make Your Own Targets Out of Cardboard or Paper Plates
You don’t have to look far for great target ideas.
In fact, two of the cheapest materials are perfect for target practice: cardboard and paper plates. With cardboard, all you have to do is cut out your favorite shape, do a little drawing or decorating to make it the perfect style, and then set it up to your liking.
Paper plates are almost already perfect as they are, although you could always decorate it with circles to make them look more like targets as well.
But how exactly do you use these new targets? Some ideas that can help you get the most out of your homemade targets include:
- Attaching them to PVC pipe to create your own unique system of targets
- Hanging them from a garage or another surface
- Gluing them onto a cardboard surface and shooting at it
- Attaching them to bottles
Put simply, this idea is both inexpensive and very flexible, making it perfect for someone who may want to tackle several projects with their Nerf targets.
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3. Use Cheap Butterfly Nets for Blasters Like the Nerf Rival Series
The Nerf Rival series uses high-impact foam rounds that shoot out at a much faster speed. This may be a little too much for some homemade ideas, so it can be better for you to look for different targets that will be able to withstand the force of the Nerf ball ammo.
One excellent suggestion that’s making its rounds on the internet is to use butterfly nets for this type of ammo.
You can easily find butterfly nets at the local dollar store and in a wide variety of sizes (all of which make it easier to create different-sized targets to help your child hone their skills).You can either hang these butterfly nets directly from a surface or even cut the handles off and glue them to a cardboard surface, cutting holes through the board to feed the netting through.
No matter what appeals to you most, this is a great target idea for Nerf blasters that offer a bit more force when they fire off their rounds.
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4. Attach Plastic Cups to a Presentation Board for Target Practice
Do you have some red or blue plastic cups sitting around the house from a previous party? If so, the good news is that you don’t have to throw them out or wait for another party to roll around to get some use out of them.
Instead, you can turn them into some fun Nerf dart targets and catchers.
With this idea, all you have to do is find a good-sized presentation board, decorate it to your liking (if you want to), and glue the plastic cups to the presentation board in your pattern of choice.
Instead of acting solely as a target, as the other ideas above do, the paper cups will catch your darts so that you don’t have to worry about them bouncing around and potentially losing them in the process.You can even feel free to get creative and add points over certain cups to keep score if your child is playing with their friends!
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5. Try Turning an Old Mirror Into a Fun Target for Better Suction
Not every Nerf dart offers a suction tip, which is why some of the target ideas out there are better for rounded tips like we see in the majority of today’s blaster options.
However, if you typically buy suction darts or are willing to make the switch, one target idea you can use is an old mirror.
Although you’ll likely need a larger mirror for this, you can take your mirror, decorate it with different sized targets using markers or another tool, and set it up in a safe place where it’s unlikely to break.
Then, when your child uses it for target practice, it’s more likely that your tipped darts are going to stick and show you exactly which place you hit.
Just make sure that you let your child know to be safe around it as a broken mirror can result in injuries and dangerous glass pieces all around the immediate area.
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You Can Create Your Own Nerf Fun Any Time
Although you may not be able to create your own blasters, you can certainly create your own targets with a little bit of creativity and some cheap tools.
If you want to give your kids something to aim at and may not be able to invest in some of the other Nerf targets at the moment, the five ideas listed above will give you plenty of inspiration and direction to find the perfect Nerf target project for your child’s needs.
About the Author
Jeremy is the founder of Dart Dudes, the leading resource for parents looking to pick up a Nerf toy for a child. He grew up with his four brothers and two sisters where there was always a Nerf war taking place.
With a focus on safety, Jeremy has helped thousands of parents help chose the right Nerf toy for their kids or grandkids. He lives in California with his wife and family. Learn more about me. - You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org