Whether you're planning a Nerf war with the guys or planning a child’s Nerf-themed birthday party, you're sure to find some of these DIY Nerf obstacle course ideas helpful. Sure, you could buy a $1,600 “snapcage” or a $760 inflatable archery bunker set -- or you could use some items you might have laying around the house or upcycle materials that are destined for the dump.
With some creativity and a little elbow grease, you'll have a professional Nerf obstacle course for little to no cost. These are our picks for the best do-it-yourself Nerf obstacles on a budget:
Top 5 Budget Ideas for a DIY Nerf Obstacle Course
1. Nerf Palette Bunkers
- 2 - 3 wooden palettes
There isn’t a DIY list alive that doesn’t include upcycled palettes, so we thought we’d just list this one right off the bat. The easiest approach is to take two palettes and lean them against each other to create a tent shape. Secure at the top with screws. Using this same concept, you can get as creative as you’d like. For example, using 3 palettes to build a more permanent structure and refinishing and sealing the wood to keep it from rotting for a year-round installation. You could pick up plywood and create stand-alone barriers that can be moved easily to create new Nerf obstacle course layouts each time you play.
2. Army Crawl Nerf Obstacle
- Wooden stakes (24” - 36”)
- Mason’s string
- Rubber mallet
For testing speed and agility, set up this easy crawl-through Nerf obstacle. Using brightly colored mason’s string (about $8 for 500 feet), a handful of stakes (2”x2”x36” is a good height), and a rubber mallet you can have this Army crawl set up in no time at all. Simply use the mallet to hammer the stakes into the ground in two rows, each row 4 to 5 feet apart, with a 3-foot distance between each stake down the line. Use the mason’s string to create a crisscross pattern across the top of the stakes. Players be timed as they crawl through with their Nerf blasters and pop up and hit targets at the end of the course for an added challenge. Make the course as long as you’d like. For kids, 10 feet is a good distance.
3. Simple Nerf Particle Board Barriers
- Particle board
- Gardening stakes (6’)
Particle board is one of the cheapest construction materials you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe’s ($24 per 4’x8’ -- a lot of coverage). If you’d like to make smaller barriers for kids and don’t have a saw at home, most home improvement or hardware stores will precut the wood for you. Pick up few packs of hardwood plant stakes, which are typically about 6 feet in length. Hammer one stake into the ground and lean the piece of particle board against it. Place another stake on the opposite side, behind the particle board, sandwiching it into place. Use more stakes for support as needed. This is a course that can be easily taken down and put back up, so the materials can be used again and again to create a variety of patterns each time you play.
4. Nerf Tire Agility Obstacle
- Old tires or
If you go to your local dump, you can pick up old tires to create a number of different Nerf obstacles. Stack them to build various barriers and bunkers or lay them out to create a tire agility course. For a softer, more kid-friendly version, you can create an agility course with inner tubes -- just use string to tie the tubes together and stake them into place.
5. Nerf Balancing Obstacle
- Logs or
- Wooden crates or
- Buckets (wide bottom)
Using wide logs, sturdy wooden crates, or weighted buckets, create a Nerf balancing obstacle. Set the objects on level ground and make sure they’re secured or weighted if necessary. For example, stabilize buckets with inexpensive sandbags inside to give them more heft. Spread them as far apart as the participants’ agility level allows. Have individuals leap from one object to another and shoot a target at the end or shoot targets throughout the obstacle.We hope these ideas spark your creativity for some outside-the-box Nerf fun in your own backyard this summer. For more Nerf games and Nerf gear, check out Ray Squad. Remember to have fun out there and check out our VIP Club for amazing perks for Nerf lovers.