Nerf N Strike Elite Firestrike Blaster

Best Nerf Guns for 3, 4, 5, and 6-Year-Olds

by Sarah Stockett |

At my house, we have a particular love for Nerf guns. As a child, my husband and his siblings used to get a cheap Nerf shooter as the final Christmas present. Everyone would open their uniform presents at the same time and then run around and shoot each other amidst the chaos of new presents and shredded wrapping paper.

I have always loved that tradition and, when we started our own family, I wanted to carry it forward. Now that we have two boys and several years of Nerf experience under our belts, I have some strong opinions about Nerf guns. In my opinion, the best overall Nerf gun that is appropriate for every age is the Nerf Fire Strike Elite. Here’s a guide to the best Nerf guns for 3, 4, 5, and 6-year olds. Also, keep reading to find out which Nerf gun I’d pick for myself.

Image of the Nerf N Strike Elite Firestrike Blaster

What I Won’t Recommend

You’ll notice as you read through that I haven’t recommended any of the larger Nerf guns with clips. This is because I have personally removed so many shredded Nerf bits from fancy-looking guns that I will never buy (or give) any of those again. The level of frustration over a jam and the technical difficulty to clear the jam have always outweighed any benefits of rapid-fire action.

Another reason why I don’t like to have the larger guns is because I don’t like to store them. Right now, almost all of our Nerf guns and Nerf bullets fit into a cheap plastic hamper that sits in the corner of my son’s room. The only guns that don’t fit are the large, bulky Nerf guns that have clips.

Although storage of these Nerf guns shouldn’t seem like a big issue, having just two bulky guns takes up a lot of space. Inevitably, this space is on the floor somewhere, and I’m not a fan of stuff all over the floor. So, be aware that all of my recommendations in this article are for smaller Nerf guns.

Best Nerf Gun Overall

Image of the Nerf N Strike Elite Firestrike Blaster

Whether you’re shopping for a little one or yourself, you’re going to like the Nerf Fire Strike Elite. It’s the first Nerf gun we got, and now we own three of them.

Features

  • This comfortable grip fits hands of different sizes.
  • Single-action shooting means that you won’t have to clear jams.
  • A laser helps you aim for your target.
  • Two storage slots below your shooter means that you can carry three Nerf bullets at a time.
  • Although this model comes with regular Nerf bullets, it can also shoot the Nerf suction cup bullets.

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  2.4 x 9.4 x 5.6 inches
  • Item Weight:  5.6 ounces
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  12 months and up
  • Batteries Needed:  2 AAs
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  No

Possible Issues

  • You might have issues with other Nerf bullets staying loaded. (We haven’t, though.)
  • After some unsupervised use, you may find that your child has somehow gotten the cocking mechanism off the track. It can be fixed, though. You may have to open up your gun to get it completely fixed, though.
  • Nerf doesn’t normally make weak guns, so make sure that no one gets shot in the face or at close range because it can hurt.

Best Nerf Gun for a 3-Year-Old

Image of the Nerf N-Strike Double Down Blaster

My 3-year-old’s favorite Nerf gun is the Nerf Double Down Blaster. He can easily work the gun by himself, and he loves that it’s a double shooter.

Features

  • This Nerf gun is comfortable for hands of various sizes.
  • Young children can pull back the slide to operate the gun.
  • This double shooter also offers storage for four bullets beneath the barrel.
  • Although this model comes with regular Nerf bullets, it can also shoot the Nerf suction cup bullets.

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  1.7 x 13.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Item Weight:  10.4 ounces
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  8 year and up
  • Batteries Needed:  No
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  N/A

Possible Issues

  • The second bullet may come out at half-strength.
  • Both bullets may come out at the same time but at a weak power.
  • The shooter may misfire or jam.
  • Make sure that no one gets shot in the face or at close range because it can hurt.
  • Your child may not be able to run the slide.

Best Nerf Gun for a 4-Year-Old

Image of the Nerf N-Strike GlowShot Blaster

Although I have the Nerf N-Strike GlowShot Blaster listed as the best Nerf gun for a 4-year-old, it’s really great for any age. This small pocket blaster allows for spontaneous sneak attacks.

Features

  • This single shooter lights up and glows.
  • It’s one of the smaller Nerf gun models. This means it can kind of fit in your pocket, which makes it great for sneak attacks.
  • This is a great entry-level Nerf gun that’s very easy for young users.
  • Although this model comes with regular Nerf bullets, it can also shoot the Nerf suction cup bullets.

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  1.5 x 8.5 x 7.4 inches
  • Item Weight:  3.84 ounces
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  8 years and up
  • Batteries Needed:  2 AAAs
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  No

Possible Issues

  • As with many Nerf guns, there may be some issues with the slide or trigger over time.
  • Make sure that you don’t fire at close range or shoot the face. Nerf guns pack some power, so people could get hurt.

Best Nerf Gun for a 5-Year-Old

Image of the Nerf N-Strike Elite DualStrike Blaster

With two sizes of bullets and a top and bottom shooter toggle switch, the Nerf Dual-Strike Blaster is a little bit trickier than the previously mentioned models of Nerf guns.

Features

  • This Nerf gun fires one bullet at a time, but it holds 3 Elite bullets and 3 Mega Whistler bullets.
  • Use the toggle switch to change between the two different bullet styles.
  • The Mega Whistler darts “scream” through the air.
  • Although this model comes with regular Nerf bullets, it can also shoot the Nerf suction cup bullets.

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  2.3 x 7.3 x 15.3 inches
  • Item Weight:  1.15 pounds
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  8 years and up
  • Batteries Needed:  No
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  N/A

Possible Issues

  • Your child may not be able to run the slide.
  • The bullets may sometimes fire two at a time with half the power.
  • Sometimes, the bullet may fire out with a weak power.
  • Make sure that you don’t fire at close range or shoot the face. Nerf guns pack some power, so people could get hurt.

Best Nerf Gun for a 6-Year-Old

Image of the Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow Blaster

My 6-year-old’s favorite Nerf gun is the Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow Blaster. He likes the coolness of carrying a crossbow with the ease of using a Nerf gun.

Features

  • This is comfortable and easy to carry for small and large hands.
  • The slide is relatively easy to work.
  • It fires 4 shots.
  • Shooting a crossbow looks so much more impressive than a regular dart gun.
  • The crosshairs allow for you to aim at your target.
  • Although this model comes with regular Nerf bullets, it can also shoot the Nerf suction cup bullets.

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  2.5 x 16.5 x 12 inches
  • Item Weight:  1.63 pounds
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  8 years and up
  • Batteries Needed:  No
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  N/A

Possible Issues

  • Because it’s a crossbow, there’s a possibility that the string may break.
  • The bullets may sometimes fire two at a time with half the power.
  • Sometimes, the bullet may fire out with a weak power.
  • Make sure that you don’t fire at close range or shoot the face. Nerf guns pack some power, so people could get hurt.

Best Nerf Gun for Adults

Image of the Toy Story - Buzz Lightyear's Foam Nerf Gun Blaster w/ Lights & Sounds

If you’re shopping for Nerf guns for your kids, you better prepare yourself. My personal favorite is the Buzz Lightyear’s Nerf Foam Gun Blaster. Personally, I love that it makes a “pschew pschew” noise when I pull the trigger. Also, this gun slide is a lot harder to run than any of the Nerf guns. This means if your gun gets taken by your kids, they may not be able to use it against you.

Features

  • This gun is a tripple shooter.
  • Beneath the revolving tripple shooter is storage for two more Nerf bullets.
  • There are fun lights and sounds when you shoot.
  • The Nerf bullets have suction cups.
  • Although this isn’t technically a Nerf product, many Nerf darts will also work with this blaster.
  • It shoots up to 20 feet!

Technical Information

  • Product Dimensions:  9 x 8 x 3.7 inches
  • Item Weight:  15.5 ounces
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age:  6 years and up
  • Batteries Needed:  2 AAAs
  • Are Batteries Provided?:  No

Possible Issues

  • This gun is powerful so make sure that no one gets shot in the face or at close range because it can hurt.
  • If you’re buying this gun for a child, they may not be able to operate the slide to work the gun.

Overall

Nerf guns are a fun way for families to bond. If you think that it will annoy you to be shot with Nerf bullets, be sure that you buy the best shooter for yourself. It’s also a good idea to buy a pack of extra Nerf bullets.

The standard Nerf bullets are great, but my family is partial to the Nerf bullets with suction cups. You should be able to buy foam bullets from other companies that aren’t Nerf. However, if you want to be sure that your bullets will work, I’d stick with Nerf. In my opinion, it’s worth the couple of extra dollars to ensure that your 200 bullets will work with your new gun.

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Sarah Stockett
After graduating from TCU with a degree in English, I took a break from writing. After accumulating some life experiences and children, I returned because I finally had something to say. I'm passionate about helping people be their best. Whether it's giving advice for success in parenting or information about how to improve your personal health, my top priority is to give you the best information possible.

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