This is a collaborative post.
Last year, Oliver’s Godfather bought him a NERF gun for his 3rd birthday. He loved it, but myself and R weren’t too impressed. I’m not sure if we were being a bit precious, or if it’s actually OK. However, now that Oliver is about to turn 4 I’m wondering about getting him a NERF gun myself. Oliver’s ‘Cousin H’ actually got a small NERF gun for his 4th birthday. So, it made me wonder, is it OK to buy a NERF gun for a 4 year old?
The NERF gun that Oliver was given was the NERF Mega. I have no doubt that specific model of NERF gun was not appropriate for Oliver. It was too hard to load and the bullets could be really painful. They even whistle when they fly through the air because they go so fast. However, the NERF gun that ‘Cousin H’ got for his 4th birthday was much smaller. Oliver and H could both load it, and the smaller bullets didn’t hurt anyone when they hit them. Which was tested out mostly by R and Uncle T. Of course.
Are we mad for even asking if it’s OK to buy a NERF gun for a 4 year old?
I completely understand that there are people out there screaming of course its NOT OK to buy a NERF gun for a 4 year old at the computer screen. But I love how Oliver has learned to hit a target with his gun. He learned to aim and that it takes a bit of concentration and thought, instead of just rushing in and pulling the trigger. We’ve explained the goodies and baddies concept too. He kind of gets that because of his love of Spiderman. But the guns thing is pretty new. He had no idea that in America guns are normal. As far as he was concerned, only the police and very very bad people have guns. So we addressed that issue. That toy guns like NERF guns are fun, but real guns are bad and they are not for playing with.
There are loads of things I feel like he can learn with his NERF gun, but I’d need to find a gun that was more appropriate for his age. I don’t know much about NERF guns. I never had one growing up, nor did my brothers. We really loved the one Cousin H had because it was so easy to load – and only came with 3 bullets. H’s one would be more appropriate for Oliver than the one he has now. You definitely need to do your research on NERF guns before you buy one for a child that’s younger than recommended.
And you should probably ask the parents too…