How to Choose the Best Nerf Gun for a Small Child

Updated on January 23, 2017

Being the youngest one in the house isn't always easy. Sure, it has its perks when it comes time to do the chores, but what about when it's time to play. It's usually the older brother or sister who gets to play with the cool toys because you're still to small to use them. In light of this dilemma I complied a list of the top Nerf gun features that make it easier for children, as young as three years old, to have a lot more fun during play time.

In this article, I will show you how to narrow down your selection by looking for specific features that are designed for small children. Features that are all to often overlooked by consumers in the buying process. My goal is to help you make the best possible choice so that your son or daughter can spend less time looking for help and more time having fun.

Small, lightweight, and easy to operate are the three components we will be focused on.

Lets get started.

Choosing The Correct Size and Weight

When I look at the size and weight of a blaster, my first concern is safety. Especially for a child as young as three years of age. You want them to be able to play freely without struggling to carry around their new toy. Large guns can be bulky and usually require two hands to carry them around. This will take away from a child's natural coordination and could cause them to fall more frequently.

For this reason your best option is going to be a pistol. This will alleviate some of the size and weight issue all together. They're much safer for a child of that age and it won't feel so awkward for them to play with. Using a pistol will allow them to run around naturally without hindering their movements.

As an added perk. You won't need to worry about this blaster going to waste when it's time for your child to upgrade to a new gun. Pistols are always nice to have around. Chances are they will keep it as a backup sidearm when they use their new gun.

The Firestrike Pistol

Notice how the darts load directly down the barrel of the Firestrike. You can see how this process would be much easier for a small child
Notice how the darts load directly down the barrel of the Firestrike. You can see how this process would be much easier for a small child

Find Guns That Are Easy to Reload

Through the buying process you want to pay close attention to how the gun loads. You don't want something overly complicated, so try to keep it simple. The key here is to avoid a situation where they have to find help every time they want to reload their weapon.

Look for pistols that have the front load option. This feature allows you to load darts right into the barrel of the gun. This process is much easier for a small child because they don't have to struggle with a clip system. It's also easier for them to carry around a pocket full of darts, instead of a bunch of clips. Clips tend to get a little bulky.

Take a look at the Nerf Firestrike that's shown above. This is a great example of a blaster that has the front load option.

Make Sure The Gun Is Easy To Operate

How a blaster operates plays a critical role in whether or not your child will be able to play with their new toy by themselves. This is another key area where you're going to want to keep it simple.

Something you want to pay close attention to is how the gun is primed. Priming is how you activate the blaster to be fired. I have found through experience that priming handles that are located on the back of the gun or bottom of the handle are the easiest systems for small children to use. Kids are able to grip these handles easily and use the leverage of their entire upper body to pull on them.

See the Firestrike image—you will notice that this blaster has the priming handle that is located on the back of the gun. This handle needs to be pulled away from the blaster in order to activate it.

The video below will show you how easy the Firestrike is to use when it has both the front load option and the priming handle that's located on the back of the gun.

Loading and Operating the Firestrike

Features You Want To Avoid

Just as there are features you want to look for, there are those you want to avoid.These are features that could hinder your child's ability to play with the gun or need to seek out help in order to operated it properly.

For example. If you do decide to buy your child a larger gun, you're going to want to avoid those that require batteries larger then a "AA". Batteries can weight the toy down significantly and it's not usually something we think about when we're in shopping mode.

You will also want to keep an eye out for pistols that come with slide primers. The slider is normally located on the back of the gun and it's designed to replicate the same action as a real handgun. These are hard for small children to grip and pull back, so operating the gun might become a problem.

The Nerf Maverick in the picture below is a perfect example of a pistol with a sliding primer.

Maverick With Slide Primer

The slide primer is the back portion of the gun where the "Nerf" logo is, right above the trigger. To operate this blaster you would need to grip onto this portion of the gun and pull back. You can see how this process would be much more difficult fo
The slide primer is the back portion of the gun where the "Nerf" logo is, right above the trigger. To operate this blaster you would need to grip onto this portion of the gun and pull back. You can see how this process would be much more difficult fo

A Look at how the Maverick Operates

Hopefully this information was informative and puts you in a better position when it's time to buy. Regardless of what you choose I can guarantee one thing. Your child is going to love their new toy.

© 2014 Wess Pain

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