ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should Kids Be Allowed To Play With NERF Guns?

Updated on May 29, 2013

Some good NERF blasters for young kids

Why it's ok to play with NERF guns

When I was a kid growing up, my parents did not allow me to play with toy guns. My parents were pacifists and did not think it was right for children to play violent games. The effect of this ban was simple. Us kids would still play war in the park near our house, but we'd use sticks as guns or borrow toy guns from our friends.

As you can see, my parents' ban on toy guns and war games was completely ineffective. I think what made it worse is that we were hiding our games from our parents and therefore, they had no opportunity to provide essential guidance about guns and violence. Also I noticed that my son started building guns out of lego before he even had a toy gun. We don't watch a lot of TV, but somehow he picked up the idea of guns anyway.

As a parent with kids myself, I allow my young kids to play with NERF guns, but with oversight and guidance. I want them to learn about guns and violence through this toy rather than later with a real gun. Too many accidents happen that way.

Some Potential Benefits Of Playing With NERF guns

I think there are some potential benefits of playing with NERF guns. They are:

  1. Physical Exercise: Toys like this help them get off the sofa, away from the TV or Xbox and onto their feet for some much needed exercise. Kids need at least two hours a day of physical activity to stay healthy, school is not giving them that, but games like this can help
  2. Competitiveness: It's a competitive world. If you want something, you need to go and compete for it. NERF games teach children to compete, it is a counterpart to the 'you have to be nice' feedback they get the rest of the time for sake of family harmony and peace.
  3. Resilience to pressure: Competition induces some stress, it is good for children to learn how to cope with small amounts of stress in a gaming environment.
  4. Concentration: especially target practice games require some concentration and patience.

Guidance For Kids Playing With NERF Guns

With my 6-year old, we started with the 6-shot Strongarm Blaster he got for his birthday from one of his classmates. First I taught him proper gun handling techniques, not because I think NERF guns are dangerous (I don't), but rather to use them as a vehicle for teaching proper technique for when they handle a real gun.

  1. Don't look down the barrel
  2. Keep the NERF gun pointed at the ground until you are ready to take aim
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are aiming at your target
  4. Don't leave it laying around ready to fire
  5. Never point the NERF gun at anyone, don't shoot at anyone

Now that last point may seem contrary to the idea of NERF guns doesn't it? Well, so far he hasn't had the urge to shoot at anyone yet. When that day arrives, I will add the following rules:

  1. You may only shoot at people for fun with NERF guns, NEVER with a real gun
  2. You may only shoot your NERF gun at people who are ok with it.

With that I hope to prevent accidents in the future.

What Kind of Games To Play

There are a number of games that can be played with NERF guns. It is a good idea to wear safety glasses with the game as the darts can potentially hurt your eyes in case of direct hit.

  1. Target practice: This is a good game to teach kids proper gun handling techniques. It requires concentration and motor skills from them. Aim at toys that can be knocked over from 5 to 8 feet away.
  2. NERF war: More suitable for older kids. Establish an objective of the game. Can be played with or without re-admission of struck players.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)