Are your kids huge Nerf Gun fans? My boys love to play Nerf Gun Games at home with all their friends. Anywhere from simply shooting nerf targets to all-out Nerf War Games for parties. Their love of playing with nerf guns inspired me to come up with fun new and exciting ways to play. Let me show you my mix of awesome Nerf Games and DIY Nerf Targets to help your kids have a blast with Nerf guns too.
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Kid’s Favorite Nerf Gun Games & DIY Targets
Nerf War Games
Getting a group of kids together who love to play with nerf guns can be a great way to spend an afternoon outside playing. Instead of just having them run around shooting each other use these game ideas to add a little more structure and fun to the afternoon.
Tip – For all these games I would set a rule that there are no headshots for safety reasons.
Capture the Flag
Our go-to nerf game for big groups is Capture the Flag. It’s simple to play and the kids enjoy being on teams. Start out breaking the kids up into two teams and giving them a base. (See more on how to build bases below) Each team has a different colored flag they need to hide and guard. We usually buy bandanas to use as flags that way if they get ruined you can just throw them out.
Next, I set the 2 teams up on different sides of the yard and they hide the flag on their side. When players start they are searching to find the other team’s flag. If a player is hit by an opponent’s nerf bullet they need to go back and tag their base before they resume their search. The winning team is the one that finds the flag first.
The nice part of capture the flag is no players is ever out. This allows everyone to continue enjoying playing the game the whole time.
For Freeze Tag, you again break the kids up into two teams. If a player is hit by a bullet you need to freeze in your spot. The only way to unfreeze a player is to have a fellow teammate tag or shoot the frozen player with a nerf bullet. The goal is to freeze all of the other team’s players.
The team at the end who is unfrozen wins. Another way to play this is to set a timer and see who has the most players unfrozen when the timer goes off.
Hide and Seek
What kid doesn’t love hide and seek so why not make it into a nerf game? In this game, one team is the hiders and one team is the seekers. The hiders run out and hide. The seekers must try and find all the hiders. The challenge is the hiders can shoot the seekers from their hiding spot and knock them out of the game. The seekers shoot the hiders when they find them and knock them out of the game.
The hiders win if they shoot all the seekers and the seekers win if they find all the hiders.
Humans VS. Zoombies
For this game break the kids up into teams of Humans and Zombies. Humans get to use nerf guns. The zombies try to tag the Humans without getting hit. If they tag a human they are out and if a Zombie gets hit they are out. The winner is whichever team has a player left at the end of the game.
To make it fairer have the Humans use a gun that only holds a few bullets at a time. This way the zombies have a chance when the humans reload.
Every Man for Himself
This is the game I usually do at the end when the kids are just ready to run around and are done with all the rules. The only real rule I use is no headshots for safety reasons.
In Every Man for Himself, there are no teams. The player’s only goal is to make it to the end without getting hit with a nerf bullet. As soon as you are hit you have to sit out of the game. The last player left is the winner.
Supplies for Nerf Games
Eye Protection– I would make sure to supply all the kids with eye protection for the games. They can bring their own nerf guns but most kids don’t have safety glasses. They are cheap to buy in bulk on Amazon so I just have a supply at my house ready for a Nerf War to break out. The ones above are what we use and can be seen here.
Nerf Bullets – My top tip is to have a ton of nerf bullets ready. They will go through them like crazy! At the end of each game have the kids pick up bullets before you start the next game. If you tell them they can play the next game with all the bullets they pick up it will get done fast (: We just order generic bullets from Amazon. They work the same and are cheaper.
Tactical Vest to Hold Bullets – When you’re running around for the games it’s nice to have somewhere to put all the bullets other than the player’s pockets. Our kids really like the Nerf Tactical Vests and Nerf Elite Utility Vest to wear when playing. Another option is to buy cloth tool belts from Menards or Home Depot to tie around your waste.
DIY Nerf Targets
Nerf Targets are a great option when your child doesn’t have a big group of kids to play team games. The nerf targets can be two kids challenging each other or just one child playing on their own. You can easily set these up to play inside when the weather isn’t nice out or in the summer months set up targets around the whole yard to make a fun circuit for the kids to play.
To change the degree of how hard the targets are to shoot just adjust how close the kids are to the target and how close each target is together.
Paper Plate Targets
This is so simple and cheap to create. Just grab a paper plate you have at home and let the kids use markers to draw a bullseye. They love getting to make their own targets. This would be fun for a birthday party idea too.
Once the plate is made tape it to your wall with painters tape so that you don’t ruin your painted walls.
Water Bottle Target
Save up those empty water bottles and use them for targets. Just place a ping pong balls on the top as the target. Kids try to knock off the ping pong ball without knocking down the water bottle.
Tin Can Challenge
This is similar to the solo cups targets. Stack up tin cans into the shape of a pyramid or just a line of cans. Then place small figures on top like army men or lego figures as targets.
Pick up some pool noodles at Dollar Tree and cut them into smaller sizes. Next, you need to make a target on your noodle. Use this free printable to create the target. Once printed tape the target to the pool noodle. Then see how many you can knockdown.
To make it more challenging add a ping pong ball to the top as an extra target.
Save up your Pringles cans to use as targets. Tape pieces of colored construction paper around the outside of the pringles can to make it look like a target. Or you can spray paint the cans when you’re making your bases.
For targets outside use a ladder to make different heights. Each step of the ladder can have a different target. You can use the Pringles cans, pool noodles, tin cans or solo cups on the steps.
If you want to make it into a game or contest assign a different value to each level of targets and whoever ends up with the highest points win.
To make the games more of a challenge create nerf bases for the kids to hide behind. They are pretty easy to make and the kids will enjoy helping you create the bases.
How to Make Your Bases
- Get some different size cardboard boxes. Find them at your local grocery store, Costco or just save some Amazon boxes. Check on Craig’s List also to see if anyone is giving away old moving boxes.
- Buy spray paint from any hardware store. Chose spray paint that is green, brown, and orange. I have even found Camouflage spray paint at Menards.
- Paint the boxes outside, so you don’t get any paint in your house. I usually lay an old sheet on the grass and spray paint the boxes on top of the sheet.
- Once the boxes dry stack them up where you want your bases to be located.
- To keep them sturdy tape the boxes together for extra strength. You can also put a weight like a rock or heavy books if bases are inside to hold the bottom boxes in place.
These bases can be used inside and outside and are a game-changer in adding to the atmosphere of the game.
Tip Use Mesh Netting Instead – If you don’t have time to paint boxes try this mesh camouflage netting you can just throw over furniture or backyard play structures. It lets you make a quick base out of anything you have in your home. See it in the picture above on the play structure in the background. Or click below.
Nerf & Fortnite Birthday Parties
Nerf Gun Birthday Party
Kids love a fun Nerf Wars Party. If you would like to throw a nerf party at home it’s actually pretty easy to do. I give you all the tips, party favors, timeline and more in my How to Throw an Awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party.
Fortnite Birthday Party
Is your kid a fan of Fornite? Use the nerf guns to create a really cool Fortnite Themed birthday party. In my Fornite Birthday Party All the Ideas You Need post, I’ll show you how to add the famous Fornite Drops into the games, create simple V Bucks Cookies, make Slurp Juice and more. Everything you need for a Fortnite Party. Also, check out my Fortnite Party Supply List to find out what you’ll need.
Be ready for your next birthday party with our awesome Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist. Everything you need to remember to do.
Best Nerf Guns
There are so many different Nerf Guns to choose from but the question is which one is the best for your child. Here are a few we like to give you an idea and to learn more check out the Our Review on the Best Nerf Guns for Kids.
Nerf Strongarm – This is the gun we use at birthday parties for kids who need a nerf gun. It is very reasonably priced, easy to use and pretty accurate.
Modulus Gun – There are several different types of Modulus Nerf Guns. Our kids like them because you can get different attachments to customize your nerf gun. The attachments are scopes, stocks, extra barrels and more. They can also be used on other nerf guns too so you’re not wasting money on attachments for one gun.
Megalodon N-Strike Mega Toy Blaster – The cool part about the Megalodon is it holds more bullets with a bigger barrel. The downside side is it uses mega bullets, not the regular nerf bullets. However, I think the bigger bullets hurt less when you are hit by them. Another huge plus is a handle on top that makes it easier for the kids to hold while playing games.
Are you ready to play Nerf Gun Games now? Whether you’re looking for all-out nerf war games or just nerf targets to shoot at home I think I have you covered. Use these nerf games to add some new excitement to all those nerf guns you have laying around your house.
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More Nerf & Birthday Party Ideas
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- How to Throw An Awesome Nerf Wars Birthday Party
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- Fortnite Party Supplies – What You Need to Throw the Best Party
- 10 Most Popular Birthday Party Ideas for Boys
- 20 Fun & Easy Minute to Win It Games for Kids
- 17 Cool Gift Ideas for Boys Ages 10-12
- 8 Easy Elementary School Party Games for Room Parents
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