Backyard Angry Birds: Endless Outdoor Fun for Your Kids
Are you looking for ways to connect with your children through the games they enjoy?
Bring the game to life and have some outdoor family fun with your own version of Angry Birds.
In this article, I’ll show you how to create an outdoors Angry Birds game in less than 10 minutes so you can turn a favorite video game into an offline adventure with your kids.
Why Angry Birds?
Angry Birds is one of the most popular games available. It not only teaches players physics but it’s a lot of fun.
I must confess when I first came across the game I spent hours trying to knock down the piggy fortresses myself, so it’s not just for kids.
Angry Birds is fun for everyone. This is why it’s an ideal game to bring into your real life game play.
My kids love Angry Birds and I’d guess that yours do, too. But I’m always looking for ways to encourage my children to spend less time alone in front of their electronic screens and more time together outside.
Do your kids play this all day? Make an Angry Birds slingshot to play with offline.
One solution I’ve found is to find an element of their favorite online activities that can be translated into a real-life activity you can do together.
Recently we made an Angry Birds slingshot. It took less than 10 minutes to put together from things we had around the house and resulted in hours of fun family game play.
Making an Angry Birds slingshot will not only teach your kids (and you) problem solving skills but it will give them some physical exercise and it’s just plain fun!
If you haven’t yet caught the Angry Birds bug for yourself, you may need to do a little research to learn what has the kids so excited about this game. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube showcasing different Angry Birds experiments.
Some videos like the one below even show a cross over between the screen game and the real life game. You’ll have lots of giggles viewing these with your kids.
Here’s how to start your own Angry Birds adventure.
#1: Gather Your Birds
If your kids are into Angry Birds, you probably have some of these around your home:
Gather your large size plush Angry Birds toys (5-8″ [20cm] high).
You can also use teddy bears or any soft stuffed toys as long as you don’t mind launching them outdoors.
Tennis ball birds will fly a little differently and hit the targets a bit harder, but they’re also lots of fun.
The advantage of using plush toys is that they’re soft, so if anyone is accidentally hit, they won’t get hurt.
#2: Make the Slingshot
It took us a while to figure out what materials would work for the slingshot. I’ll share what worked best so you don’t have to search.
At first we tried to use a pair of women’s stockings alone, but they didn’t quite stretch far enough to tie around the poles. And they were too narrow to hold the bird toys.
I foraged through my drawers and found an old belly band (a stretchy, tubular piece of fabric that women use to cover their jeans when they’re pregnant). Perfect! The material’s extra width meant that it could easily hold a large Angry Bird plush toy.
What—you don’t have one of those lying around?
You can use an old T-shirt (or anything wide and stretchy) and cut it into a tube.
Cut the legs off of the stockings and tie one around the each side of your tube.
#3: Find a Location
You’ll need to figure out the best location for your sling shot as well as the best size and type.
These instructions work best in a large yard.
If you live in an apartment or other place without a backyard, you might be able to set up your slingshot temporarily at a local park. You could also buy a small indoor Angry Birds play set or make your own out of Lego bricks, sticks or blocks.
If you have a yard with plenty of space for flinging toys through the air find some poles to tie your slingshot to. They should be 4-5′ (1.5m) apart. Any wider and your stockings won’t have enough stretch.
We used the supports on our back deck. You could tie your slingshot to some trees, playground equipment or a patio cover.
#4: Angry Birds Away!
Once you set up the slingshot it’s time to test it out.
We had a lot of trouble figuring out how to make the Angry Birds fly, but discovered that if you use one hand to pull the slingshot backward and the other to hang onto the tail you can make the birds catapult a fair distance.
Take turns with the slingshot and I’m sure you’ll have lots of laughs.
It may be enough fun to simply catapult the Angry Birds and watch how far they fly. We found that we didn’t need to make a target at first because the slingshot itself was very entertaining.
#5: Take the Game Up A Notch
If you want to make the slingshot fun even more interesting and more like the Angry Birds video game, create a pig fortress you can knock down.
If you’re using plush toys in your slingshot, you’ll want to use lightweight materials such as cardboard boxes and empty cans or plastic bottles. Other materials may be too heavy to knock over.
There are probably plenty of building materials already in your recycling bin. (Just wash them out first.)
Your family will have a great time when they build a fortress, knock it down with the slingshot and then build another one.
And they’ll get some exercise in the process.
Why not give the Angry Birds slingshot a try this week?
Some Final Thoughts…
However you decide to take Angry Birds offline—whether you create a large Angry Birds slingshot as I’ve shown you here or a smaller indoor version—you’ll be sure to have loads of fun as a family.
My kids have decided to leave our slingshot up for whenever they feel like hurling an Angry Bird off of the back deck.
It’s great stress relief if you’ve had a busy day!
What do you think? Have you ever tried to bring Angry Birds to life in your backyard? Do you have a favorite Angry Birds YouTube video? If you give this a go, I’d love to hear how it went. Please leave a comment or post a picture below.
Cas McCullough is founder of Content Marketing Cardiology and co-founder of The Likeability Co. She helps small businesses and organizations build active, fun and profitable brands through powerful inbound marketing. Other posts by Cas McCullough »