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Nail Games

In the builders market you can obtain different length and type of nails. A large pack does not cost that much and will give you a supply of nails for any future games evenings.

  1. Hammering nails

    A favourite at games stations is hammering nails. Count either the number of ‘blows’ required by an individual to hammer a long nail (10-12cm) into a thick wooden beam (without it becoming crooked!), or count the total number of blows required by a team to hit 10 smaller nails (5cm long) into a wooden beam. Crooked nails do not count!

  1. Nail-bending and hanging onto rope

    The group has 3 minutes to hang as many nails as possible onto a washing line. In doing so the nail can not be pierced through the line, rather it has to be placed on top. This is only achievable if the nail has been bent before hand and then is carefully placed onto the washing line. A steady hand is required for this, and a strong hand is needed for bending; i.e. something is required from each person – ideal.

  2. Moving bent nails

    3 ropes are suspended at different heights. On the first rope there are 10 bent nails. At a distance of approx. 120cm, and using a stick approx. 100cm in length with a hook at one end, each participant attempts to use the hook to lift the nails from the first rope to a rope suspended slightly higher than the first. For each nail successfully transferred one point is given. For each level double points are given per nail.

  3. Stacking nails

    Instead of stacking match sticks on a bottle head, nails are used instead. How many nails can the group (the individual player) stack within 120 seconds?

  4. Magic nails

    Each group receives a large nail with a large head hammered into a wooden plank. 19 further large (or smaller) nails should be stacked onto this head, ensuring that no nails touch the floor or the plank underneath.

  5. Making a nail chain

    The group has to bend as many nails as possible and link to one another to form a chain within a specified amount of time.

  1. Nail rail

    Using approx. 100 smaller nails build a nail- marble railway. The board is tilted and a marble is thrown onto the railway (at the top), and should come out at the bottom. If the boards have the same measurements, the marbles can be timed. The longer it takes for the marble to reach the bottom, the better the marble railway has been built.

  2. Rain maker

    Rain makers are a lovely craft idea. Strong cardboard tubes are pricked with a nail, sealed at the bottom and then filled with rice or something similar. Seal the top of the tube and then paint it nicely.

  3. Nail and thread picture

    Nails are hammered into a board in a pattern (star, circle etc.), then different coloured threads are stretched between the nails. Doing this will create a lovely thread picture

  4. Target shooting

    At this station the group can make a spear using a wooden stick, masking tape and a nail. Using this spear, shoot down balloons hanging at a distance of 5 metres. Time allocated for the game is 3 minutes.

  1. Nailing

    A small group stands around a tree trunk (nail-stick).Then each player places a nail approximately 5cm from the edge of the trunk (depending on the size of the trunk); the nails should be (equally) hammered/pressed in slightly so that they stand without falling. Place the left hand behind your back and using your right hand hold the hammer – pointy end facing down, to the edge of the trunk ( i.e. so that it is not hovering over the target nail!), then a single targeted blow is made to your nail. Then the hammer is passed on to the next person (even if you missed the target!). Whoever manages to hammer their nail fully into the trunk using the pointy end of the hammer, wins. A simpler variation for younger or clumsier children involves ‘nailing’ using the ‘wider’ end of the hammer.


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