If you purchase a rubber band gun for your child, you may find that they begin shooting at random objects. While you should take the time to discuss rubber band gun safety with your child and let them know what is and isn't appropriate to shoot at, you should also consider making some targets for your sharp-shooter-in-training. Making targets can be a fun bonding activity to do with your child and can help curb your child's desire to aim at your picture frames or their sibling. Here are three targets that you might want to try out with your child.
Aluminum cans make an excellent target for rubber band guns because they are light weight, making them easy to knock over, and they have a somewhat satisfying sound when they are struck. They are also easy to obtain, and turning them into a target can be as easy as setting them up on a fence or box and making sure there is nothing behind them.
For a more elaborate target, you can paint the cans with various designs. Also, if your child does not like having to set up the cans over and over, you can attach a string to the tab of the tin can and hang the can from a tree branch, creating a floating target. However, if you do this you should add some sand or beans inside the can to help weigh it down.
For a quieter, indoor option, you can use plastic cups in a similar way.
Disposable pie tins are also a cheap way to make a target that sounds great when it is hit. You can buy a few disposable tins and let your child paint them or glue pictures onto them to serve as targets.
After the tins are decorated, punch four holes evenly around the edge of the pie tin and loop long rubber bands through the holes. Alternatively, you can staple rubber bands to the tin. Finally, secure the pie tin between two sticks in the ground by looping two rubber bands from the pie tin over each stick. This will create a secure target that bounces slightly when you hit it.
Spinning targets are fun because they can be set up anywhere and they provide visual satisfaction when they are hit. Spinning targets can be made out of cardboard, stock paper, or paper plates.
First, you should have your child color, paint, or draw their desired target on the paper. If they are decorating both sides, encourage them to make them different colors so they can see the target spin when it is hit. You should then tape a small stick or dowel that is thinner than a straw, to the back of the target. If you are using a wide target, like a paper plate, you can tape a two sticks across from each other on the target.
Next, cut a hole in a cardboard box that is slightly larger than the target. Cut a piece of straw about two inches long and tape it to either side of the hole you cut. Place the target in the hole by sticking the dowel in each straw. The target should now spin freely.
To increase the target's spin when it is hit and help keep it still until it is hit, you can tape a small weight to the bottom of the target. A coin works well for this.
To make your child's target practice even more fun, consider combining these methods to make several targets and create a shooting range for your child. This can keep your child entertained for a longer period of time. Alternatively, as a fun game for the neighborhood children you can consider setting up the targets in a short obstacle course.