One of the most popular toys that are often given as birthday gifts or even presents on special occasions like holidays is a toy gun. And when it comes to toy guns, nothing can beat the fun and thrill afforded by Nerf. And while there have been a great debate as to whether these kinds of toys are necessarily fuelling the aggressive tendencies of children leading to violence and aggression later in life, child development experts have already weighed in on the debate. Playing with toy guns do not lead to violence and aggression in adulthood. In fact, it has been shown to be particularly effective in helping kids with dramatic, make-believe, and pretend play. These types of play are important in the development of the kid’s cognitive, social, emotional, language, and physical skills.
In our next set of the top toys for kids, we are sharing with you the 15 best Nerf guns ever. Additionally, we also included herein a very lengthy presentation as to why experts believe that toy guns are safe and that they are beneficial for children’s optimum development.
Best Nerf Guns for Kids | Review
|Picture||Nerf Model||Range||Our Rating|
|Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster||Up to 75 Feet||5|
|Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster||Up to 90 Feet||4.99|
|Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster||Up to 75 Feet||4.97|
|Nerf N-Strike Mega Centurion||Up to 100 Feet||4.93|
|Nerf N-Strike Elite: Rough Cut 2X4 Blaster||Up to 75 Feet||4.90|
|Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster||Up to 75 Feet||4.81|
- 1 Best Nerf Guns for Kids | Review
- 1.1 N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster
- 1.2 Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster
- 1.3 Modulus Tri-Strike
- 1.4 Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster
- 1.5 N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster
- 1.6 N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2×4 Blaster
- 1.7 Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster
- 1.8 N-Strike Elite Stryfe Blaster
- 1.9 N-Strike Elite Retaliator
- 1.10 Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster
- 1.11 N-Strike Mega Centurion
- 1.12 N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster
- 1.13 N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster
- 1.14 Rival Apollo XV-700
- 1.15 N-Strike Elite Rhino Fire Blaster
1N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
Designed like a revolver that shoots 6 N-Strike Elite darts instead of bullets, the Strongarm Blaster is a great way to help kids enhance their make-believe play. The colorful orange revolving cylinder or drum chambers the soft-tipped Blaster darts which can be fired in rapid succession for distances of up to 90 feet. This is made possible by pressing and holding on the trigger while repeatedly pumping the Slam Fire handle. This activates the rapid fire mechanism. The cylinder can be flipped open for reloading. The colors of the Strongarm Blaster may vary.
What We Like about It – It’s great for enhancing quick motor reflexes of children especially in a quick-draw move. It also aids in a variety of role-playing and make-believe activities which can have an impact in children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.
2Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
The FlipFury Blaster looks more like two Strongarm Blasters rolled into one convenient and colorful packaging. This Blaster packs a whopping punch especially when kids are out to eradicate the zombie menace with its rapid fire system and a switchable 2-drum or 2-cylinder mechanism. The FlipFury boasts of 2 rotating drums each capable of accommodating and shooting 6 soft-tipped Zombie Strike darts. Once a drum is out of ammo, kids will simply flip the mechanism to load the next set of Strike darts. This is what your kids will need if they want to put an end to the rule of zombies.
What We Like about It – The double drum design is truly ingenious as kids can keep on shooting for at least twice the amount of ammunition of the Strongarm. It’s ideal for make-believe zombie play or even for close quarters combat scenario where a double-drum handgun will prove invaluable. Great for stimulating imaginative and dramatic play.
Age Range: At least 8 years old
Inspired by the configurability of the M4 carbine, the Modulus Tri-Strike is the ultimate in toy assault weapons. It can be used in three different ways – as an Elite dart blaster, a missile launcher, and a Mega dart blaster. It’s the weapon of choice among serious children who are out to fight a variety of enemies from regular combatants to super villains and even zombies. The good thing about the Modulus Tri-Strike is that, like the M4A1 or M4, it can be seriously modified to suit the objectives of the mission. Be it for close quarters combat, heavy artillery, or assault, the Modulus is what kids will take whoever or whatever the enemy is. Kids can modify their Tri-Strike with Nerf Upgrade Kits for even highly specialized mission roles.
What We Like about It – We love the idea that the Modulus can be built upon. There are a variety of upgrade kits in the market which should fit perfectly with the Modulus. It’s therefore ideal for helping children with their imagination and creativity. It’s also excellent for encouraging pretend play.
4Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
The Hammershot is one mean-looking short-barreled shotgun-type of toy gun. Or, you can look at it as an unusually long revolver complete with a hammer to shoot the projectile. The Hammershot Blaster fires 5 soft-tipped Zombie Strike darts either in single shots or in rapid fire mode. The handle of the Hammershot is designed like the leather strip-wrapped handles of classic revolvers. This is what kids will need to defeat the horde of Zombies. Activating the rapid fire action is as simple as pumping the Slam Fire handle.
What We Like about It – The Hammershot is one great-looking shotgun or revolver, whichever you may want to call it. It’s a great tool for pretend zombie apocalypse play where your kid will be fighting with his friends to defeat the zombie menace.
5N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
When we first looked at the RotoFury Blaster, we can’t help but compare it to the Mikor MGL or multiple grenade launcher although the RotoFury has a smaller cylinder for the grenades and a much longer barrel. Nevertheless, with 10 Mega Whistler soft-tipped darts, no zombie will ever be safe. Want to eliminate multiple enemies in rapid succession? Kids will simply have to activate the Slam Fire action and see 10 hapless enemies blown to smithereens. How do you know kids have fired the RotoFury? Well, the darts elicit a very distinct whistling sound as they pierce the air with their sleek design.
What We Like about It – It’s perfect for role playing war games. It’s ideal for close quarters combat so it should help enhance kids’ reflexes, focus, concentration, and alertness. It’s also helpful in developing their cognitive and psychomotor skills.
6N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2×4 Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
When kids need a shotgun for tactical purposes, they always reach for the Rough Cut 2×4 Blaster. This magnificent baby has two barrels each capable of shooting 4 Elite soft-tipped darts. One squeeze of the trigger and the Rough Cut blasts a pair of Elite darts up to 75 feet away. This should help immobilize the enemy even if he or she is wearing a tactical vest. With 2 darts being fired all at once, there simply is no stopping the Rough Cut. Want a meaner blaster? Kids will have to activate the Slam Fire mechanism to fire all 8 darts in rapid succession.
What We Like about It – We love the double-barrel design pretty much like the real shotgun. What really sells is the idea that kids can fire 2 darts at once. It’s perfect for close range shooting role play.
7Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
The Sledgefire Blaster is one sleek and very stylish shotgun designed for only one purpose – the ultimate stopping power that even the Mega Zombie will fall. The stock of the Sledgefire has a built-in cartridge holder so kids will have no problem reloading. It fires 3 Zombie Strike darts all at the same time. The Zombie Strike darts are first encased into a cartridge then loaded onto the chamber of the Sledgefire. No zombie will ever escape this one.
What We Like about It – The design is truly remarkable as it borrowed some of the design features of the Franchi SPAS-12 and the famous Scottish Holy Grail triple-barreled shotgun. This is great for encouraging dramatic and pretend play which can then be the foundation for the enhancement of psychomotor, social, cognitive, and emotional skills.
8N-Strike Elite Stryfe Blaster
Age Range: At least 6 years old
If your child is tired of reloading the Nerf darts, then you might want to give him or her the Stryfe Blaster instead. This Nerf blaster features a 10-dart magazine clip which can be fed into the dedicated chamber of the Stryfe Blaster. It also features a Nerf Tactical Rail system which can allow kids to add a variety of attachments for more personalized feel. It also has an Acceleration Trigger which is equivalent to the Semi-automatic mode of real-life assault rifles. The Styfe shoots the soft-tipped Elite darts up to distances of 75 feet.
What We Like about It – We love the expandability of the Stryfe. This allows kids to be as creative and imaginative as they can be. While this is going to be an additional expense on your part, just think of it as one great way to help encourage your child to be active in role playing and in pretend play.
9N-Strike Elite Retaliator
Age Range: At least 6 years old
When we look at the Retaliator, we cannot help but compare it with the IMI Galil or even an Ak-47 but with a straight magazine clip instead of the classic curved. Here’s what makes the Retaliator really cool. Its different components can be interchanged or removed to produce 4 different configurations. The stock, barrel extension, and assault grip can be removed or reattached depending on the nature of the mission. With a 12-Elite dart magazine clip, this is the perfect toy assault weapon for kids.
What We Like about It – The Retaliator is excellent for stimulating creativity in children as they get to reconfigure the rifle depending on the objectives of the mission. This helps them with their imagination which can play a role in helping them enhance their cognitive abilities.
10Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
Now this is Nerf’s interpretation of the Mikor MGL. The Doominator features 4 rotating dart drums that each hold 6 Zombie Strike darts. That’s 24 darts in total. The assault handle can be slid along the barrel of the Doominator for optimum efficiency of firing. This is one mean zombie-killing machine. No zombie will ever get out alive if kids will be going on a patrol with the Doominator. Like its name, zombies are doomed.
What We Like about It – The Doominator is a superb piece of toy gun technology. It’s helpful in fostering imaginative play which can enhance children’s social and emotional skills as well as cognitive and psychomotor skills.
11N-Strike Mega Centurion
Age Range: At least 6 years old
With design inspiration coming from the world’s elite sniper rifles primarily the Barrett M82 or M107 0.50 BMG, we cannot help but feel awe for the Mega Centurion. It comes with a magazine clip that contains 6 Mega darts and which can be shot up to distances of 100 feet. It also features a bipod attachment similar to the real sniper rifles for optimum stability.
What We Like about It – If you want to train your kid to be a sniper or a marksman, then you need the Mega Centurion. It’s perfect for helping develop concentration and focus while at the same time enhancing sensory processing as snipers are known to be well-attuned with their environment.
12N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years old
Looking at the Triad EX-3 Blaster is like marveling at the chic styling of the Walther 9 mm CCP except that the Triad EX-3 only shoots 3 Elite darts. Nevertheless, it features a smart technology which allows kids to determine which barrel is loaded. The blaster shoots the Elite darts to as far as 75 feet. And with a size that fits right in the palm of your kids, this is the perfect weapon for espionage missions.
What We Like about It – The small yet powerful Triad EX-3 is perfect for young girls as well as boys who want to play espionage missions. It’s ideal for encouraging pretend play which can help enhance children’s cognitive, language, emotional, and social skills.
13N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster
Age Range: At least 6 years old
If you have ever seen a Tommy with its sleek and sexy drum clip in the early 20s and late 30s, then you will definitely fall in love with the N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster. This toy gun fires soft-tipped projectiles for up to 75 feet. And if your kid is currently facing the prospect of being run over by bad guys, he or she can simply activate the Slam Fire to see him or her firing in rapid succession. The orange and white drum holds 25 Elite darts making sure that your kid will have enough firepower to see him or her through the day.
What We Like about It – The system is fully expandable. Get the Clip System blasters and your kid might as well be on his or her way towards blasting all of the enemies to smithereens. It is very ideal for pretend play which can help enhance children’s divergent problem solving skills as well as counterfactual reasoning skills.
14Rival Apollo XV-700
Age Range: At least 14 years
Instead of shooting foam-tipped Elite darts, the Rival Apollo XV-700 shoots 7 high velocity, high impact rounds more like miniature cannon balls. But that is exactly what the XV-700 is. It is designed for absolute stopping power. It was primarily designed for a head-to-head competition and at a muzzle velocity of up to 30 meters per second or 100 feet per second, it sure packs a whopping punch. However, if you want a meaner punch, then you’d definitely want to reach for the Rival Zeus MXV-1200 instead as this comes with 12 high impact, high velocity rounds. Nevertheless, the Apollo XV-700 comes with a tactical rail, an ambidextrous magazine clip release, and a trigger lock.
What We Like about It – The tactical rail simply means that the XV-700 can be heavily customized to make it a really personal weapon of choice. It’s ideal for superb competitive play.
15N-Strike Elite Rhino Fire Blaster
Age Range: At least 8 years
Ever wonder how it would feel like behind a .50-caliber machine gun or even a mini gun? With the N-Strike Elite Rhino Fire Blaster, your kid just might have the best days of his or her life. The Rhino comes with 2 blasters and 2 drums, each capable of handling 25 Elite darts for a total of 50 darts. It also comes with a beautifully crafted tripod for optimum stability. All your kid has to do is to keep his or her finger on the trigger and fire away. Activate the Slam Fire mechanism and your kid will be rapid-firing all day long.
What We Like about It – It may be a far cry from the real machine gun but the Rhino Fire Blaster does a pretty good job at helping children optimize their pretend and make-believe play. What more can you ask for? It’s ideal for the enhancement of imagination, creativity, and divergent problem solving skills.
How We Chose the Nerf Guns in Our List
Because we are essentially talking about a single product line of one particular toy manufacturer, we needed to modify our approach to coming up with our list of the top 12. We had to look at the overall design of the Nerf gun as well as the inherent features that it has. Consequently, we had to examine these features in terms of what it can do for children’s development. We then considered what other parents are saying about these toys. With these, we were able to come up with the top 12 Nerf guns we are optimistic that kids will surely have countless hours playing with.
Safety / Tips
Just as adults are debating as to the rightful place of guns in modern society, with the nation clearly divided between pro- and anti- gun advocates, there is a little revolution that is occurring elsewhere perhaps stemming from the same debate. Parents everywhere are also divided as to the nature of toy guns. On one side of the equation are parents who view toy guns, even Nerf blasters, to be instruments of violence, and that these should not be included or categorized as a toy. On the other side of the equation are those who see Nerf guns as essential toys to a child’s development particularly in terms of providing them with opportunities for dramatic and fantasy play.
Toy Guns and Pretend Play
Child development experts agree that pretend play is a very important aspect of children’s development. Such types of play helps children master the use of their imagination while at the same time enhances their creativity. This, in turn, helps harness their ability to solve problems and to think out of the box. Many critical thinkers as well as strategists utilize pretend play as a means of exploring what-if scenarios so they get a better understanding of possible outcomes.
Pretend play is not only ideal for helping children develop their cognitive skill abilities, many gun play activities also require role playing which means they have to develop and enhance their social interaction skills. And this is where the main point of child development psychologists lies. It is generally observed that children who play with toy guns do not necessarily grow up to become violent, trigger-happy individuals. In like manner, not all convicted felons had the chance to play with toy guns when they were still children.
Tips to Ensuring Kids’ Safety While Playing with Nerf Products
Choosing to allow your kids to play with Nerf guns or any toy gun for that matter is an intensely personal decision. Nevertheless, here are some tips you may want to consider to help make sure that your child is playing with his or her toys in a safe manner.
- Always choose a non-realistic looking toy gun.
Children must learn that Nerf guns are toys and like any other toy should be used as instruments of imagination and creativity. If you give them ultra-realistic toy guns, they will no longer be able to use their imagination to the fullest simply because you are giving them an exact replica of the real thing. That is why child development psychologists prefer giving kids sticks with which to pretend and make-believe as guns or even light sabers. This is where Nerf guns are highly valuable since they really do look more like toys than they are gun replicas.
- Take time to talk to your children about gun safety.
It is equally important to sit down and talk to your kid about gun safety. You may be surprised to learn that many kids don’t necessarily equate guns with killing, violence, and death. For many kids, guns project power and control – the power to take full control of their fantasies and imaginations.
You may want to start by gaining an understanding of how your kids look at guns and what does it mean to play with toy guns. You may join him or her in one of his or her playtime activities and remark how he or she is having fun. The point is for you to be consistent in underscoring the difference between a real gun and a toy Nerf gun. You will also have to emphasize that Nerf guns are excellent for pretend play.
- Limit your kid’s exposure to violent video or TV programming.
Many parents believe that if there is one thing we should be particularly be concerned about, that would be the increasing number of children’s shows and video games that exposes them to violence. For example, another toy category that is hotly debated are video games especially those that espouse gore and violence. Compared to playing with toy guns, this is where child developmental psychologists clearly draw the line further saying that the amount of exposure to violence in television shows and video games can adversely affect the emotional and social development of children. If your kid is going to play with his these types of toys, make sure he or she limits his or her exposure to violent video or TV programming.
- Always monitor your kid’s gun play; but, don’t prohibit.
We all know that play is a child’s way of learning more about himself or herself as well as the world around him or her. This is also true when playing with Nerf guns. However, it is crucial that we keep an eye on their playtime activities so that they are within the limits of what can be generally considered as safe. This simply means that children should be able to observe appropriate times for play. Anything in excess should always be managed accordingly.
For example, if all your kid wants to do is to play with his or her Nerf gun without doing his or her homework or even already sipping meals, then you know that gun-play is getting out of hand. In such cases, you may need to withhold the plaything for the meantime and set some rules for your kid to regain access to his or her playthings.
- Play target practice with the whole family.
What better way to teach kids about the value of toy guns than joining them for an afternoon of target practice session? You don’t need a fancy target. You can just draw a figure of a bull’s eye on an ordinary paper, hang it outside, and then compete on how can shoot closest to the center. Or, you can prop some empty plastic jars or cups on your fence and start shooting. You can then introduce the concept of gun safety to your kids and reinforce the idea that toy guns like Nerf blasters are very useful instruments for pretend or make-believe play.
Just like owning a gun entails a great sense of responsibility and accountability, so does letting our kids play with toy guns. It is therefore our job to guide them to the best of our abilities so they grow up respecting the awesome power of guns.
Toy Guns and Children – Encouraging Violence or Merely an Instrument of Pretend, Dramatic, or Fantasy Play?
With the ever growing concern on violence, it would be quite understandable to say that playing with toy guns at such an early age can lead to aggression and gun violence in adulthood. We don’t condone violence and while we do respect the provisions of the Second Amendment, we also recognize the fact that it is our sole responsibility as parents and as guardians of our children to teach them about how to properly use their toy guns. Owning a firearm, even if it was only a toy, requires a great sense of responsibility. This should be the focus of our attention whenever we see our kids playing with toy guns.
Contrary to what we may believe in, studies now show that children who play with toy guns do not necessarily grow up to become violent individuals or commit violent crimes. Research now shows that there is clearly no scientific evidence that suggests playing with toy guns and role-playing war games during childhood can lead to real-life violence and aggression in adulthood.
This was also echoed by other authors and experts in child development psychology. To back up their claim, they have cited studies wherein felons and other individuals who have committed violent crimes have never played with toy guns in childhood or even participated in a war game fantasy play. Likewise, there were plenty of individuals who have remained law-abiding members of society even though they did play with toy guns in childhood.
Again, for those who think that toys that depict violence or are used as instruments of aggression and violence, we respect your views. In fact, there is a very clear divide between those who see toy guns as encouraging violence and those who see these toys for what they truly are – as toys that help stimulate and enhance the optimum growth and development of children. Whether you are on one side of this debate, it is quite important to look at how kids actually play. This should give us an understanding of what toy guns and other similar toys can do for children of a particular age.
Experts agree that 60 to 80 percent of young boys prefer aggressive play while only 30 percent of young girls do. This is why many of the toys that are geared for young boys are inherently action-packed and full of adventure. They love pretending to be knights who kill dragons, the Jedi master who defeats the Empire, and the marksman who hunts down his prey. They also love action figures from Transformers to GI Joes to WWE and WWF action figures. On the other hand, young girls prefer to play with home-related and beauty-related toys. That’s why they love dolls as well as other playthings that will allow them to role-play the family. Since time immemorial, it has always been this way. Unfortunately, scientists, sociologists, and child experts alike cannot explain whether this phenomenon is inherently wired to genetics or is it a form of a socially learned behavior?
We all know that play is needed by every child to help him or her to grow and develop optimally. This means that it is through play that children learn about the different things around them including their bodies, the different people and the associated relationships established with these people, and every other aspect of daily living. It is also through play that they are able to develop their psychomotor skills which becomes the foundation for the continued development of their coordination, proprioception, sensorimotor, and balance. In many respects, their spatial intelligence is also developed. It is also through play that children develop and enhance their cognitive abilities, their social skills, and their emotional wellbeing.
But just how are toy guns helpful in the overall growth and development of children?
Toy guns are considered to be excellent instruments or tools for dramatic, fantasy, or pretend play. These kinds of play have been shown to be highly beneficial in the developing at least 6 different skills among children, both boys and girls. These include the following:
- Role playing skills – When kids play with their toy guns, they always assume the role of their favorite character. For instance, they can play the role of the gun-slinging Bugs Bunny or even the laser-shooting fighters of the Resistance in the Star Wars saga. Role-playing allow kids to imitate the actions and even the speech of the character. This helps in the development of kids’ cognitive abilities.
- Make-believe skills – Akin to imagination, children playing with toy guns can take on the role of a particular character. With continued play, children can slowly expand the roles of their characters. For example, while Bugs Bunny is not really known to use guns, that distinction being attributed to Yosemite Sam, children can use their imagination to think that Bugs Bunny is the rabbit-incarnate of a sharpshooting Transformer. This particular skill requires role-playing as its foundation.
- Social interaction skills – When dramatic play is involved, children have to learn how to interact with other children as well as adults. Pretend play helps children progress from independent play to one of cooperative play. Playing with toy guns essentially is more fun if kids have something, or someone, to shoot at.
- Communication skills – Part of social interaction and role playing is communication, both listening and speaking. Social interactions help enhance children’s ability to listen and comprehend what other children or adults are saying. Additionally, they will also learn how to express themselves a lot better. They will also learn different words and phrases as a result of their role play and make-believe play. This can widen their vocabulary enabling them to communicate even more.
- Attention span – Young children have very short attention span. However, as game play expands to include additional roles and make-believe superpowers, then children are able to significantly increase their attention span. This allows them to focus more intently on their roles.
- Use of props and/or materials – Do we really know how to use a gun? Today’s toy guns, especially those from Nerf, have a variety of features that children will really love manipulating. Add to this light and sound effects and you have just provided the best sensory experience for your kids. More importantly, though, is the fact that they will learn to use different props or materials that came with their toys. For example, there are toy guns that have targets as well as holsters and other accessories. Children will be able to learn the actual use of these items while at the same time exhibiting great success in their use.
Aside from the development and enhancement of these skills, children can also benefit from playing with toy guns in the following aspects.
- Social and emotional development – Children who play with toy guns in a pretend war game have to decide which side they are and what roles they have to play. For example, they may decide to role play the battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. In such a play, children will have to talk about who will play who as well as decide on the rules of the game. They then have to play it and attempt to remain true to the original objectives of the game. They learn cooperation and teamwork. More importantly, they will learn to control or manage their impulses which can help them to tone down their aggression. This leads to healthier self-concept, boosting self-esteem and fostering emotional development.
- Cognitive development – Role playing or pretend play requires the processing of a variety of information. The brain needs to process experiences, feelings, images, scents, and other pieces of information so that it knows what it needs to do. For example, before shooting away at a make-believe enemy, the brain needs to process the distance to the target, whether there are obstructions, and whether there are other shooters in the area that might shoot the child back. All of these encourage complex problem solving skills, counterfactual reasoning, and divergent thinking. In some cases, it can also help facilitate critical thinking. Playing with toy guns, especially in the act of shooting also helps enhance children’s focus and concentration which can, again, help in the continued development of the child’s cognitive abilities.
- Language development – Playing shooting games require knowledge of a particular lingo that is unique to those in this particular field. Children in make-believe war games have to come up with secret codes to confuse the “enemy”. All of these may sound chatter to most of us but for kids these are beneficial in enhancing their language skills.
- Physical development – Have you seen a shooter walking casually from cover to cover? Playing with toy guns help encourage children to be more physically active. They have to run, crawl, and even jump over obstacles to avoid getting hit. This helps strengthen their muscles and improve overall stamina. Toy guns also help improve fine motor skills, spatial intelligence, and, more importantly, hand-eye coordination especially in the timing of the shot.
Clearly, toy guns are beneficial in ensuring the optimum growth and development of children. However, we do recognize the apprehension and fear of many parents regarding the use of these toys. Like we said earlier, we don’t necessarily believe that playing with toy guns will create a very aggressive, trigger-happy, and very violent adult. We firmly believe that toy guns are instruments of child development. We also believe that it is our responsibility to make sure that these toy guns are used in a positive and developmentally-appropriate way. Hence, we have come up with several tips for parents to help guide their children in playing responsibly with toy guns.
- Always talk with your child about guns. Don’t talk about guns at your kid. It is important to have an idea about what he or she knows about toy guns. You have to be consistent in underscoring the difference between your child’s toy gun and the real thing. You can do this by emphasizing the fun in pretend play.
- Limit your kid’s exposure to violent movies, TV shows, as well as video games. Child development experts agree that if there is one thing you need to be concerned about, that would be your kid’s desensitization to violence as depicted in movies, films, and video games.
- Don’t discourage your kids to play with toy guns. However, it is important to keep an eye on his or her gun play. If your child’s entire playtime activity is centered on gun play, maybe you need to introduce something new to spark his or her interest.
- Always buy toy guns that really look like a toy. Never ever buy a toy gun that is designed as a toy replica of a real gun. It is also a lot better to buy toy guns that have a variety of colors. Remember that a toy gun is an instrument for make-believe or pretend play. The closer it is to the real thing, the less likely will children will have to make-believe.
- Always encourage your kid to practice target shooting. You don’t have to have an expensive target. An empty plastic jug or container can be an easy target. You can even draw a target on a piece of paper. Instead of shooting at each other, kids can compete on who can shoot closest to the bull’s eye.
Toy guns are important instruments to a kid’s optimum development. What is equally important, however, is that parents should guide children on how they can play with these kinds of toys in a safer, more appropriate, and more responsible manner. Hopefully, our lengthy post on the value of these toys can help encourage parents to consider giving their kids a safe toy gun. And when safe toy guns are considered, we are positive that our list of the top 12 Nerf toy guns can help.
Where To Buy
When buying online and sourcing new nerf guns for sale, we recommend Amazon, however you can also purchase from Walmart, Target or Toys R Us.
Check out this great guide on the fun of making your own modded nerf gun.
About The Brand
NERF is one of the leading manufacturers of foam-based toy weaponry although it did aim to diversify in its product offerings to include sports and athletics. It’s a toy brand that was created in 1969 by the Parker Brothers and is now one of the most productive divisions of Hasbro with an annual revenue of more than US$ 400 million. Its secret is its highly patented foam, a spongy, solid cellular material that is primarily made of polyester resin that is introduced with carbon dioxide to give it its distinct soft and light appearance.
The World’s First Indoor Ball
The polyurethane foam ball was initially designed by the Parker Brothers in 1969 after the indoor volleyball game invented by Reyn Guyer from Minnesota. The team eliminated everything else except for the foam ball. The popular Nerf ball was marketed as the perfect plaything for indoor activities as it was so soft and light that it won’t break windows or damage lamps or even hurt older people or younger children. By 1972, NERF already developed its very first Nerfoop using the Nerf ball to play basketball. Not long after, Nerf football made its debut and the company has been known for its soft and lightweight balls ever since.
In 1991, the company was handed control over to Kenner Products and throughout the greater part of the new millennia has seen movement of management control from Kenner to OddzOn to Larami before finally settling under the direct supervision and management of Hasbro. In response to the growing clamor for a female line of foam-based weaponry, the company launched its Nerf Rebelle series in February 2013 with the Heartbreaker bow and arrow. Ten months later in November 2013, Nathaniel Marunas released The Ultimate Nerf Blaster Book, a resource book for anything and everything Nerf including their N-Strike, Vortex, and Dart Tag series.
More than Just a Lightweight Ball
Today Nerf is a designer and manufacturer of developmentally appropriate children’s toys of the foam-based weaponry, sports, adventure, and athletics genre. It is well known for the following products:
- N-Force – This includes foam swords and melee weapons such as Thor’s Hammer and Sword Snake Eyes’ katana, the Blade of justice.
- Blasters – These are the most popular Nerf products. They come with Velcro-tipped and suction-tipped darts to be loaded onto a variety of firing mechanisms including N-Strike, N-Strike Elite, Vortex, Rebelle, and Zombie Strike.
- Super Soakers – It’s the company’s complete line of water guns for pure absolute summer time fun.
- Lazer Tags – First introduced in the middle of the 1980s, Nerf’s Lazer Tags now take full advantage of mobile devices such as iPhones and iPod Touches to enhance the player experience.
- Sports – These include foam balls that accurately represent ball games such as football, soccer, and basketball.
- Nerf Dog – Designed primarily for the training of canine retrievers.
- Video Games – In 1999, Nerf released the FPS game Nerf Arena Blast on PS2 and Nintendo DSi, 3DS, and DS Lite. In 2008, it released Nerf N-Strike and Nerf N-Strike Elite a year later.
NERF has been around for more than half a century and it is not showing any signs of slowing down. If any, the challenges of tomorrow are being met with much enthusiasm and commitment to develop better toys for children to enjoy.
Last Updated On The 2nd October 2016
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