Best Nerf Gun Features For Young Children

In this article my goal is to help you narrow down your selection by looking for specific Nerf gun features that are suitable for young children.

These features are all to often overlooked by consumers in the buying process. Hopefully when we’re done you will have a better idea of what to look for and be able to choose the best possible gift for your son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchildren.

There are three features that we will be closely looking at as we navigate through this series. Size and weight, loading and reloading, and finally, how the toy operates.

In the next 3 articles I will break things down by age groups. I will pick out a list of guns that best fit each age group using what I’ve talked about here, and with a little luck they will spend less time needing help and more time having fun.

Let us get started.

How the toy operates can determine how happy your child is playing with their friends, so keep it simple.

Size And Weight of the Blaster

When I think about the size and weight of a Nerf gun the first thing that comes to mind is safety. The younger a child is, the harder it will be for them to lug around their new toy.

Safety isn’t always at the top of a child’s priority list so it’s important that it’s at the top of ours.

Children 4 and 5

Keep it simple. Keep it lightweight. Pistols usually work best for this age group. Smaller size guns make it easier for them to hold the blaster in one hand while using the other for balance.

Children 6 and 7

At this age a child will have a much easier time maneuvering around so larger pistols work just fine. You could also venture out into the small arms of the Nerf world. The N-Strike series would be a good example.

Children 8 and 9

Kids 8 and 9 years old are pretty much at the point of being able to use most of what nerf has to offer. Their balance and coordination is more defined so size and weight isn’t as much of a concern.

Loading And Reloading

Loading and reloading is a pretty important part of the process and could determine how much fun your child has with his/her new toy. Especially since “fun” is defined by your child’s ability to fire back. The last thing you want to do is over complicate things for the younger children.

Children 4 and 5

For the younger ones you want to continue to keep things simple. Nerf has a nice selection of pistols where the darts are loaded right into the barrel of the gun. Most of them are single shot, but there are a few exceptions like the Triad which allows for 3 shots. Once the dart is loaded into the barrel the gun is ready to be primed and fired.

I know some of these guns seems basic, but once the fun starts you will quickly see what I mean.

Don’t underestimate the fun of these single shot pistols. They’re a blast! As both of my children grew we always seemed to go back to these pistols. Over the years we had more fun with them then any other Nerf gun combination combined.

Children 6 and 7

At this age children are a bit more coordinated to handle the mechanic’s of rotary guns and clips. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have an advantage, just more options to choose from. You can easily buy them a N-Strike and they will do just fine.

Children 8 and 9

At 8 and 9 reloading isn’t much of an issue. Children at this age can handle any number of blasters. You can have alot of fun picking and choosing.

How The Nerf Gun Operates

How a Nerf gun operates is one of those features that can make or break how much fun a child has. If they’re unable to prime and fire the gun efficiently and effectively they won’t be able to keep up with their friends once the battle starts. This is more relevant for the younger children.

Children 4 and 5

Children 4 and 5 years are greatly affected by this feature. So most of our focus will be on this age group. It’s not uncommon for them to want to use what their older siblings are playing with, but this can quickly become a mistake. Once the fun starts you will quickly see what I’m talking about.

Alot of the pistols have a great feature where the gun is primed from the back of the blaster. Notice the handle on the back of the N-Strike. This allows even a young child to use the leverage of their body to pull up on the priming handle. This is mich easier then the top rail primer that has to be gripped and pulled back.

Children 6 and 7

Children 6 and 7 don’t have as much to worry about. Their coordination is a little more advanced and they’re a bit stronger in most cases. This allows them to easily use top rail priming guns, along with nearly all battery powered blasters.

Children 8 and 9

The skies the limit! At this age it’s all about the cool factor. Big is good and automatic is better. Nerf does a really good job of targeting this age group with options. From here is just finding a gun that fits your budget.

For Nerf gun recommendations by age group follow the links below.

Best Nerf gun for children 4 and 5 years old

Top Nerf Guns for Children Ages 6 and 7