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How To Host A Rubber Band War

If you are looking for a fun activity that can engage many of the neighborhood children of varying ages, you might consider hosting a rubber band war. A rubber band war can provide hours of entertainment and outdoor exercise for children. However, before you send out the invitations, make sure you follow these guidelines when setting up your battle. 

Consider Safety First

Before you get started, you should assess the safety risks of your rubber band battle and do your best to mitigate them. Some things you should consider are: 

  • Attire  Safe attire during a rubber band war should always include protective eye wear such as goggles or glasses. Rubber band guns involve the risk of eye damage if a participant is hit in the face with a rubber band. During a rubber band battle, participants will be moving about while firing, making aiming more difficult and potentially resulting in a rubber band striking the face of a participant. However, 90% of childhood eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective goggles. Additionally, long pants and long sleeves should be worn to cover exposed skin. 
  • Terrain Make sure the terrain is free of dangerous debris that can cause tripping or would be dangerous to fall on. Also, if the battle is taking place around a creek or other wet area, make sure that participants are warned to slow down and be careful in those areas. 
  • A Way to Stop the Battle   In case a child is injured or simply overwhelmed, it is important that there is a way for them to stop the game immediately. You can pick a simple code word such as, "time-out," to stop the battle. 

Set Appropriate Boundaries 

A few general rules and boundaries will help make the game run smoothly. Before you start the game, make sure participants know how long the game will last and where the physical boundaries are. 

  • Time  For older children and adults, a rubber band war can last all day or even into the night. However, for younger participants, you may want to set a shorter time limit, such as an hour. This ensures that children will not get overly exhausted or bored while playing. 
  • Space For young children, you may want to limit the area of the game to your backyard or a small park. For preteens, a single block or a larger park may be sufficient. For teenagers and adults, you can use an entire neighborhood. However, make sure everyone knows the boundaries before you start. 

Make Sure All Participants Are Properly Armed 

Not all participants have to have the same rubber band gun for a battle to be fair. For example, one participant may have a large, multi-shooter that is more difficult to carry and maneuver while another participant may prefer a smaller pistol-style gun. This is fine, as long as everyone is armed with a quality rubber band gun that offers a somewhat similar level of advantage. It would not be fair to allow some participants high-quality guns while others are simply using their hands to shoot rubber bands, so make sure you have enough rubber band guns for each participant to choose one. You can find rubber band guns from retailers like Elastic Precision

Consider Adding Specific Goals to the Battle 

To make the battle more engaging than simply trying to shoot each other, you can consider adding specific targets. For example, capturing the opposing team's flag is a popular goal for battles. Alternatively, you can hide specific treasures for both teams to search for throughout the battle. For an even more involved game, consider having three or four teams as opposed to just two. However, make sure each team is clearly defined by their attire so participants do not get confused about who is on which team.