Can you make a bow and arrow toy for kids?
What are some reasons you might want to make these toys instead of buying them from a store?
What are some downsides to doing this?
Making a bow and arrow set for kids to play with is a fun, quick, and simple task that many parents enjoy completing. The kids can even get involved with a couple of the steps in this project, so you can make it an interactive learning experience as well.
There are several reasons why you might want to consider making this type of toy for your little ones to play with instead of buying one:
- Making a bow and arrow toy set is usually more affordable than buying one in a store. You can often save a lot of money on the materials and equipment you need to complete this task.
- If you’re concerned about the types of paint, plastic, and other substances you expose your kids to, you can manage that exposure by making toys yourself.
- Making a bow and arrow set instead of buying one at a store gives you a chance to make changes or repairs as needed so your kids can have the perfect toy.
On the other hand, there are a couple of downsides to consider, too:
- Homemade bow and arrow sets for kids don’t usually last as long as those you buy from the store. You may need to make several over the course of the year, and this will contribute to the amount of waste created by your family, too.
- Store-bought bow and arrow sets are flashier and may have more features, which can be more enticing to kids than those you make yourself.
When you better understand the pros and cons of this project, you can more easily choose whether or not it’s right for you and your kids. Read through the information below to learn more about how to make a bow and arrow toy set for children!
How to Make Bow and Arrow for Kids
Materials and Equipment Needed
- Nylon string
- 1 PVC pipe, 40.5-inch thick
- Black duct tape
- 1 wooden dowel rod, 3/8-inch
- 1 piece of ½-inch pipe insulation, 6-inch
- Eraser caps
- First, carefully hold the PVC pipe and use the hacksaw to cut a slit in each end measuring about ½-inch in length.
2. Cut the nylon string to a length of about 3 feet (36 inches) using the scissors.
3. Tie a double or triple knot in the ends of the nylon string. Make sure the knot is big enough to prevent the string from slipping through the slit you just cut.
4. Burn the edges of the nylon string with your lighter to prevent them from coming unraveled over time.
5. Slide one end of the knotted string into the slit you made on one side of the PVC pipe.
6. Hold the PVC pipe down with your foot and gently bend it so that it makes a curved shape. Bend it as far as it needs to go until you can thread the other end of the knotted string through the slit you cut in the opposite side of the pipe.
7. Use the duct tape to wrap around both ends of the PVC pipe. This will help secure the string in place and will ensure little ones can’t accidentally yank the string out quite as easily.
8. Use the scissors to cut your foam pipe insulation piece into a length of about six inches.
9. Pull the insulation apart at its seam and then wrap it carefully around the center of the PVC pipe.
10. Secure the insulation in place with more duct tape; use as much as you feel is necessary to hold it in place.
11. This completes the bow portion of this DIY project.
12. To create the arrows, use the hacksaw to cut the dowel into three 16-inch pieces.
13. Use the hacksaw to cut a small groove in one end of each dowel piece. This should be where the dowel connects with the bowstring.
14. Place an eraser cap on the opposite end of each dowel rod.
15. If you choose, you can also use a small piece of duct tape to create a marking on the arrows so children can remember where the arrow should fit the string.
This project isn’t too challenging for adults to complete, but keep in mind that children should not help out with most of these steps. If you do want to get your child involved in this task, kids can usually handle placing duct tape on the center piece of pipe insulation and may also be able to help place eraser caps on the tips of the dowels. Otherwise, however, this short project should be handled by adults or older teens only.
Some parents who create these types of toy projects enjoy letting their kids customize the bow and arrows however they like. Although too many customizations might negatively affect how well the bow and arrows work, paint and feathers are good choices. You can let your children paint the arrows in their favorite colors and help them attach feathers, and you can also help them decorate the bow with stickers. You may also choose to spray-paint the bow, but you should handle this yourself and should coat it to make the paint last longer.
It doesn’t take long to finish this DIY project, so you should be able to complete it in just a couple of hours at most. It is also a low-cost project that can give your kids a fun way to start learning about archery from an early age.
But how can you be sure your children will be safe playing with toys you make yourself? Here are some tips to keep in mind regarding these DIY toys when it comes to the safety of your kids:
- Always supervise your kids while they play. Even if your children are a little older, it’s important to be close by just in case anything unexpected happens—as it so often can with little ones!
- Make sure you smooth out any rough edges on the cuts you make. This will prevent your kids from being able to cut themselves on the toys you create and will reduce the risk of splinters, too.
- Frequently check your handmade toys to ensure they aren’t showing signs of damage. When they begin to wear out, either repair or replace them right away before you let your kids play with them again.
- Always choose kid-safe materials to work with. Do not use any toxic products on toys you will be giving to your children.
- Be sure to consider the age and ability of your kids when you make DIY toys. Don’t make toys that are too complicated for your little ones to use or that contain parts your children may swallow.
When you keep this information in mind, you’ll be ready to help your children play and learn with this fun DIY toy. Make extra arrows if you think your kids will want to practice shooting often!