Homemade Blow Dart Wars

In Blow Dart Wars two teams face off and try to hit members of the other team with Nerf® darts propelled by a blow dart gun.

Although you can purchase expensive ready-made equipment, here are the steps you can take to make your own blow dart guns and play Blow Dart Wars for relatively little cost:

  1. Locate a space to play. You can play inside or outside, depending on your preference and how many people you have playing. Unfinished basements make awesome blow dart arenas.
  2. Track down some Nerf® darts—many people have these just lying around their house if they have boys. If necessary, you can purchase darts at any local Target or Wal-Mart or online. I recommend getting the kind with a suction-cup end. I bought a knock-off brand at Target that works just fine.
  3. Go to a local home improvement store. Purchase half-inch diameter PVC pipe (it’s important to get the right size), which costs around $1 for a five-foot section. I have found the best PVC pipe at a midwest franchise called Menards (the brand they sell is Charlotte Pipe). Home Depot is my second choice (JM Eagle brand) and Lowe’s is a distant third (their Silver Line brand pipes are not all exactly the same diameter, which can cause problems trying to fit darts inside).
  4. Cut the PVC pipe into roughly 30-inch sections, and make sure to cut enough sections so each player has their own blow dart gun.

Congrats! You have your own homemade blow dart guns. Using them is simple: Place a dart in one end of the blow dart gun, take aim, suck in a deep breath, and blow out the dart with as much force as possible.

Warm up by shooting darts at empty pop cans. Then you can begin officially playing Blow Dart Wars using a number of different game formats. I won’t list them all here, but my favorite is to have two teams start in different areas and everyone tries to hit players from the other team. If you get hit three times you’re out. The first team to eliminate all players from the other team wins.

Two cautions: 1. Require the players to wear eye protection. You’d be surprised how fast the darts can come out of the barrel. 2. You must warn players to not accidentally choke on a dart when they are taking a deep breath to blow it out of the gun.

Blow Dart Wars is one of the best games I have played with middle school boys. Here’s why:

  • It’s cheap.
  • Almost anyone can play, even if you’re not athletic.
  • It’s active.
  • You get to shoot something.
  • It hurts a little bit when you get hit with a dart. It’s cool if it hurts.
  • Your team can develop a complex strategy as part of your game plan if you wish.
  • You can shoot Nerf® darts way faster with a blow dart gun than with any official Nerf® device.
  • You can shoot with great accuracy.
  • It can be played in a variety of environments and at a variety of events (inside, outside, at birthday parties, friend gatherings, church lock-ins, etc.).

I recommend you give this game a try, or at least help the middle school boys in your life give it a try. It could even be a cool bonding moment to go out to the store, purchase the materials, and make the blow dart guns together. Just be careful: You may end up having as much or more fun than the students!