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Awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party Ideas (Updated 2023)

Awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party Ideas (Updated 2023)

My sons love having Nerf Wars, so of course, they wanted a Nerf Birthday Party to celebrate their birthdays. We have thrown two super fun Nerf gun parties with all their friends and have learned a trick or two along the way with the best Nerf Wars Birthday Party ideas.

For each party, we created cool nerf party ideas with DIY targets, Nerf party games, supplies, bases, and party favors. Everything to make these parties easy to put together and much cheaper than booking a laser gun facility.

So, follow along and find out how to throw an awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party.   

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Ultimate Nerf Wars Birthday Party Ideas and Games. Learn how to host an easy DIY party by building bases, playing capture the flag and create favors and goody bags. All you need to know for a unforgettable Nerf Gun Birthday party!! #nerfwars, #kidsbirthday, #nerfgunbirthday

How to Throw an Awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party

Nerf Targets, Bases & Battlefield

To prepare for your Nerf gun party you need to create your bases, battlefield, and DIY Nerf Targets. This is the most time-consuming part so make sure to start before the day of the party.

You’ll be amazed at how you can turn your backyard or basement into a Nerf War with these simple DIY party ideas. Plus you’ll save money by making these bases and targets at home.

If your kids love Fortnite turn the Nerf party into a Fortnite Themed birthday. Combine both party ideas for the ultimate kids’ birthday.

Nerf Targets 

I’ve created two targets for the Nerf Party but to find more ideas check out Kid’s Favorite Nerf Gun Games & Targets. 

Target # 1 – Use Pool Noodles – I bought pool noodles and cut them to approximately 8 inches.

DIY Nerf Gun Targets to use at the birthday party.
DIY Nerf Gun Targets

Then I wrapped the noodles with the printable targets you can download for free below. I used regular scotch tape to secure them to the noodle. It’s that easy!

Tip: Find cheap pool noodles at your local dollar tree.  

Free Printable Nerf Gun Targets

Target # 2 – Get a few empty cans of Pringles and wrap them with colored paper which can be glued to the can.  

Easy DIY Nerf Targets made out of Pringles can. A fun Nerf party game for the kids to play.
DIY Nerf Gun Target

These targets can be propped up on a ladder or boxes to give different levels to shoot.   

Target # 3 – DIY Spinning Nerf Target with a Cardboard box. Make your targets more challenging by trying to hit a moving target. Kids love these and there cheap & easy to make.

Get directions on how to make a DIY Spinning Nerf Target.

Cool DIY Spinning Nerf Targets for Kids. Learn how to make this easy Nerf targets out of Cardboard boxes. Your kids will love it!.

DIY Bases & Battlefield Ideas

DIY Nerf War Battlefield Ideas for Nerf Birthday Parties. Learn how to make these cool nerf bases at home.  #nerfparty #nerfbases #nerfwarbattlefield #nerfbirthday

For a Nerf War, you’re going to need a battlefield and bases. It will give the kids somewhere to duck n hide and shoot. Plus, it just seems cooler especially if you have an open backyard or basement.  

The first step is to start gathering large empty boxes of all shapes and sizes. Ask your friends and neighbors to save some for you. Or ask your local Costco or grocery store for some.

Make DIY Nerf Bases & battlefields with spray paint and boxes.
Spray Paint for Nerf War Birthday Party

Next head to your local hardware store or Amazon for spray paint in camouflage, orange, brown, and green. Take the boxes out to the grass or somewhere you can get paint and spray the boxes mixing the colors to look like camouflage.

Last step, tape a group of boxes together and spray paint Team #1 or Team #2 with the orange spray paint. I used large rocks in our yard to anchor the boxes to the ground so that they wouldn’t fall over.  

Related Article  – Fortnite Birthday Party: All the Supplies and Ideas You Need

Cool DIY Nerf Base for kids at home Nerf Battles. It's super easy to create these cool battlefields to use at Nerf Gun Birthday Parties.
Base for Team # 1
DIY Nerf Battlefield for Nerf Wars Birthday parties. Cheap and easy to make in your backyard for an awesome Nerf Birthday party.
Base for Team # 2

If you don’t have time to make cardboard bases use mesh netting to create a quick base. We threw it over some sawhorses and our backyard climber.

Mesh Netting to create a Nerf Gun Base for Nerf Wars.

It worked great as spots to hide behind for the Nerf War and the mesh netting gave an army feel to the party.

Free Printable Screen Time Rules Checklist for Kids to use this Summer. Stop arguing with your kids about electronics and use this summer checklist to set expectations.

Nerf Party Supplies

Nerf Guns

Nerf Guns to use at kids Nerf birthday parties.

The kids will need several party supplies for the Nerf War. A debate we had was if we should buy the kids nerf guns or not.

At the first party, we threw we purchased the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster for all the kids. The Strongarm is a good starter nerf gun all the kids can use and has a reasonable price point. (shown below)

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Nerf Gun to use at kids Nerf Parties.

At the second party, we decided all the kids had their own nerf guns they would rather use, so we just had the kids bring their own.

To Buy or Not to buy is a decision you will have to make based on your guest list.  

Get a better idea of the best Nerf Guns for your kids in our review of The Best Nerf Guns for Kids.

Tip: If you decide to give out the guns, label each gun with a piece of masking tape and the child’s name so there are no mix-ups.

Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist. Get organized for upcoming birthday parties with an easy to follow checklist from start to finish. Two pages of everything to remember to do before the party.

Canvas Tool Belts

Use Canvas tool belts to hold kids Nerf Bullets during Nerf Games.
Canvas Tool Belts for Nerf Wars Birthday Parties

We buy each kid a canvas tool belt. The belt is made to hold nails, but we use it to hold nerf gun bullets so the kids don’t need to stuff their pockets with bullets.

You can find these aprons at Home Depot or Menards for $1.00. Very reasonably priced and practical.

Safety Glasses

Protect Your Kids Eyes while playing with Nerf Guns by using safety glasses. A must have Nerf Party supply for safety.

You want to purchase safety Glasses for each child to make sure you are protecting their eyes. I order them in bulk and use whatever is leftover throughout the year when my kids play at home.

Nerf Darts

You'll need tons of Nerf Darts for a Nerf War at home.

You will need to buy tons of nerf bullets for the party. I found that the off-brand Nerf bullets or darts worked just fine. They are cheaper to buy and the kids will go through them fast so you need a lot.

I did notice on some reviews people said the tips were harder but we did not notice the difference between the Nerf gun brand and the generic brand.

I purchase 500 for a party of 20 kids. Here are the ones we ordered

You could also consider a Nerf Party Set that includes safety glasses, bullets, and a face mask for each kid.

Nerf Party Favors

I consider all of the items above to be the kid’s goody bag or favors. Especially if you decided to give them all a nerf gun.

However, the year we did not give away the gun I gave the kids a small goody bag of candy and small items.

Here are a few other Party favor ideas:

Also, I let the kids help pick up the nerf bullets at the end of the party by letting them take some home. It’s the fastest clean-up you will ever see.  

Related Article –10 Most Popular Birthday Party Ideas for Boys

Nerf Party Decorations

Nerf colors are blue and orange so I would use those colors to decorate for the party.

Use orange, blue, or camouflage table clothes to cover your party favors table, food table, and where the kids will eat their pizza.

To save money we love to buy Cheap Dollar Tree Party Decorations and usually buy our table clothes there.

For plates and napkins, you can pick up plain orange colored plates or buy Nerf Party Plate sets.

Lastly, hang up some orange and blue streamers to add to the decorations. You can even tape a few Nerf Bullets to the streamers.

Party Set-Up & Timeline 

Set up a table at the entrance to the party with all the kid’s favors. I used an orange tablecloth and orange streamers to make it festive.

On the table, lay out the nail apron filled with 10-20 bullets, safety glasses, and a Nerf Gun, if included.

Set up Your Nerf Wars Birthday Party with a cool party favors table.
Party Favors Set Up
Party Favors Table for Nerf Gun Birthday Parties with safety glasses and a tool belt for nerf bullets.
Party Favor Set Up Without Nerf Guns

If you want to distinguish the teams, you can cut bandannas lengthwise and tie them to the kid’s arms. Pick two colors, one for each team, and place them on their nail apron.

Start the Party with Nerf Targets 

While the kids are coming in and getting settled, let them start by shooting the targets. I tried to make three stations so the line wasn’t too long at any station and to give them variety.

Find lots of Nerf Target Ideas to get you started.

Nerf Targets to set up at Nerf Parties at home. Fun Nerf Game ideas the kids will love to play.
Nerf Gun Party Targets

After the Nerf stations, we took a quick break for pizza before starting the Nerf Games.

Tip: Try to have a tarp or something behind the targets so that when they miss you’re not running all over for the bullets.  

Capture the Flag Nerf Game

To give a little structure to the Nerf War, we played the game Capture the Flag. While the kids are eating pizza, hide two different color bandannas or flags.

Split the kids up into two teams. Each team will be searching for a specific color flag. Make sure to show the kids what the flag looks like before you hide it.  

Capture the Flag is a fun Nerf Gun Birthday Party Game for Kids.
Bandanas I cut and used for Capture the Flag game.

When the game starts, kids will use their bases for cover. When they run out to search for the flag, the other team is able to shoot at the kids that are searching.

If a participant is hit, they have to go back to their base and start over. I also put boxes with more bullets out in two places as refill stations.

Whichever team finds the other team’s flag first wins the game.

Depending on how long the game takes, you can play it again or take a break for cake while you hide the flags for the next round.

After the second game, we ask the kids if they just want to run around or play capture the flag again. If you would like to change to a different game for the second round check out more Fun Nerf Gun Game Ideas

We usually invite parents who want to also play to come a little bit early for pick up and join in the fun. The kids love it when the parents play and it’s great for the parents, too.  

If your kids like playing Fortnite make the Nerf Party into a Fortnite Birthday Party theme with just a few tweaks.

When the party is done, if all the boxes aren’t destroyed, we usually keep a few for the kids to play with at a later time. 

You will also find the kids will reuse the targets, too.  Once the kids find out how fun this is, all their friends will want to come over and play it again.  

Want more Nerf Gun Game Ideas?- Check out these cool Nerf Gun Games & DIY Targets

Nerf Sleepover Party

Turn your Nerf party into a cool Sleepover. I know it can sound overwhelming but you are already halfway there planning a Nerf party.

Plan the rest of the party with these fun things to do at a Sleepover for Kids. Easy slumber party games, ideas, and activities.

Birthday Party Checklist

Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist. Get organized for upcoming birthday parties with an easy to follow checklist from start to finish. Two pages of everything to remember to do before the party.

Get organized with the ultimate birthday party checklist. Everything you need to remember to do before the party. Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist.

Birthday Gift Ideas

Best Gifts Ideas for Boys Age 10,11 &12 years old for Birthdays and Christmas. Find a gift they really want with ideas for cool electronics, games and STEM activities. Your sure to find the perfect gift for tween boys.

So, now you have your party planned what are you going to give your son as a birthday present? First, check out our Gift page for tons of ideas.

Then visit our list of the 35 Coolest Gift Ideas for Boys Ages 10-12 to find the perfect gift.

Nerf Guns are also a great gift idea for Nerf Birthday Parties. We have created a Buyers Guide and Review of the Best Nerf Guns for Kids. Read the pros and cons and figure out which Nerf Gun is perfect for your child.

Ultimate Gift Guide to the Best gift ideas for Fortnite players. 40 gifts Fortnite Lovers will be thrilled to get at birthdays or Christmas this year.

If your son is really into gaming check out our list of Best Gifts for Fortnite Players & Gamers.

More Birthday Party Ideas & Themes

Here are a few more birthday party ideas & Themes for Boys to help you plan your child’s birthday. Make sure to visit our Birthday Party Page for all the newest birthday party ideas.

Birthday Parties by Age Group

9 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas to Make it Memorable

10 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas That Rock!

11 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas Boys & Girls Will Be Excited About

12 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas to Wow Tweens

13 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas for Boys & Girls

Party Themes & Games

Cool Fortnite Party Ideas, Supplies and Games. How to throw a fun DIY or Virtual Fortnite Birthday Party. Plus party favors, V Bucks cookies, drop bags and everything else you need to make it a real Fortnite Party for your child. #birthday #fortnite

Fortnite Birthday Party – All the Supplies & Ideas You Need

10 Most Popular Birthday Party Ideas for Boys

Kids Favorite Escape Room Games for Kids at Home & Parties

Fun & Cheap Birthday Party Decorations for Kids at Dollar Tree

30 Fun Birthday Party Games for Kids

15 Balloon Games for Kids at Parties

Virtual Birthday Party Ideas for KidsWith Fortnite Ideas

If you want to throw a party with family or friends far away consider hosting a virtual birthday party with fun Zoom Games for Kids. It’s a great way to celebrate when you can’t be together. 

Alright, you are all set! If you follow these tips, you should have an awesome Nerf Birthday Party. I did add a few other things below to help with party decorations. I hope your family will have as much fun as we did throwing a Nerf Gun Birthday Party.

If you have any questions or any great Nerf gun party ideas of your own, please leave them in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers! 

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Don’t Forget to Pin This

Cheap Nerf Gun Birthday Party Ideas for Kids. Find fun games ideas & battlefields you can create at home. Plus decorations, party favors, and cool nerf targets. A full time line and how to plan the Ultimate Nerf Wars Birthday Party. #nerfgun #nerfbirthdayparty #nerfwars #nerftargets #cheapbirthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #nerfgunparty
Ultimate Nerf Gun Birthday Party Ideas. Includes games for the kids to play, DIY targets to create, and free printables. Learn how to plan the best Nerf gun birthday. #nerfbirthday, #kidbirthday, #nerfgun

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Nancy DUAN

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Thank you so much for your ideas! We had the almost same nerf party for my son last Dec. Everyone had such a great time, my 6-year-old still talking about it!! It was easy to set up and prepare, just following your step-by-step instructions! Thank you thank you:)


Friday 21st of January 2022

So happy to hear your son had a great Nerf Party and that it was easy for you to throw. Thank you so much for sharing!


Saturday 16th of November 2019

If the kids bring their own guns, were there any issues on “fairness” about someone having a gun that held more bullets, etc.?


Saturday 16th of November 2019

Great question. It wasn't an issue for us I think because they wear the belts filled with nerf bullets. But if you think it could be an issue maybe split the teams up based on what nerf guns they bring. Then it would be fair.


Thursday 11th of July 2019

I have never heard of a nerf war birthday party, what an amazing idea! It looks like a lot of work but I'm sure it's worth it. I'll suggest it to my son for his next birthday party. Thanks for the post!


Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

It's a really fun party. My kids and their friends love it! Hope your son enjoys it too.

Peter Clark

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Wow ,kids feel like real hero . Great article thanks for sharing . They are a great family activity too, having family battles, or everyone for themselves.


Friday 21st of June 2019

I agree great family fun too! Or just to invite the neighbors over for a battle. We do this all the time not just at birthday parties. Glad you enjoy it too!


Monday 11th of March 2019

We followed your party plan, and the event was a great success. I have two additions to offer: 1)We learned through the planning process that Nerf now offers an upgraded version of the gun you used that is called "NERF n-Strike Elite Disrupter Blaster." It's basically the same gun except it has a front-loading design which makes it easier to load the bullets. We were glad we provided guns to each boy, as it definitely evened the playing field. Perfect choice. 2) As it was January, no pool noodles could be found in our area, but we tried a variety of other recyclable options and found that half gallon plastic milk jugs made a good alternative. If you successfully hit them, they pop nicely into the air a bit! Large, metal cans also were a good choice, as they make a nice "plink" sound when you hit them.

We did have some trouble adequately refereeing the game, as it was difficult to see from any distance if a bullet actually hit one of the boys. Any tips on how you handled this?


Monday 11th of March 2019

I am so excited for you that your party went so well!! I love the idea of milk jugs as targets. Such a great idea as we all have them and would cost nothing. Great to hear their is a new version of the gun too I will have to check it out. Lastly the refereeing can be difficult. We usually play on the kids honor system but step in when they disagree and just call for a do over if we didn't see it. This usually will satisfy the kids. Thanks so much for letting me know how the party went and all the great tips!!