Nerf guns are a ton of fun but sometimes parents tend to forget that they can be even more fun when used outdoors. You have a wide open space and tons of different things to work with outside rather than being strapped for space indoors.
If your kids love Nerf guns as much as mine you are going to love this fun outdoor games that you can play with all different types of Nerf guns.
You can find use any type of Nerf gun (or any brand dart gun) or you can check out my recommendations for the best Nerf guns for playing outside. We have used a lot of different Nerf guns and there are some that work much better than others for these games.
Remember that you can take any of these games or activities and make them to suit your child better. Makes things easier or more difficult according to your kid and just see how much fun both you and your child can have.
Capture the Flag
You have most likely played some sort of capture the flag game before in your life so you should probably know the basic rules. You can improvise depending on how many players you have as well as how much space you have.
Split up the players into two teams and have each team be one color depending on what color flags you have. You can use all sorts of things for flags from bandanas and scarves to a towel or simple piece of cloth.
Place the flags for each team in the middle of the yard in a basket or on some sort of platform. Then simply have each team start on their side of the yard and start playing.
If you get hit with a dart you are out for 1 minute or you can do something like count to 30 for younger kids.
Whoever can get the other team’s flag first wins the game.
Capture the flag using Nerf guns is probably more appropriate for older kids and even teens as it is more competitive and takes more skill to hit the other players. I would recommend this type of game for kids ages 8 years and up.
Target Nerf Game
When it comes to outdoor targets for Nerf guns there are all sorts of great options you can make for your kids.
If you have younger kids you can make larger targets out of paper plates or poster board. For older kids you can use things such as tin cans and even shooting ping pong balls off the top of pop bottles.
I have had my boys make their own Nerf gun targets out of an old large box and then nailed it to a large stake that was put in the ground.
There are really countless ways to make targets for dart guns.
To give you an idea of targets you can make check out these fun spinning targets that you are super fun to make and shoot at.
A fun way to play target games is to start out close to the targets, maybe only a few feet away and then start moving back farther each round. You can keep score to see who has the most points or for younger kids just simply play for fun.
Nerf Gun Freeze Tag
Freeze tag is always a fun game but the addition of dart guns make it that much more fun for kids.
You will need at least 4 players to make really be able to play the game. For out game we usually don’t have an “it” person, but instead everyone is “it” and tries to shoot other people. If you have more than 4 people you may be able to play differently and make one or two people “it”.
Each player has their own Nerf gun and if you are hit by another person you are frozen. This means no moving at all or shooting your gun. To be unfrozen a person must hit you with a dart again. If you are playing teams you would need your team member to hit you with the dart to be unfrozen.
Nerf Gun Water Balloon Challenge
There are a few different ways that you can play this with Nerf guns depending on how wet you want to get.
To make it harder for older kids you can do more of a water balloon toss were you toss the balloon in the sky and see who can break the water balloon open. This takes quite a bit of accuracy to hit the balloon as it is tossed in the air.
For younger kids you can hold the water balloon off to the side or if you don’t want to get wet place it on a table or raised platform to see who can hit the balloon and break it open. We have actually hung the balloon from a simple PVC pipe pole we made with and then had the kids try to shoot it open that way. This way no one has to get wet unless you want to.
Defend Your Base
For this game you will need two large baskets or containers that can’t easily be knocked over. You could use something like a laundry basket or large cardboard box but just make sure that they are stable enough to stand properly and not be knocked over all the time.
Divide the kids into two teams. Each team has a base, which is the basket that they must defend but also try to score their darts into the other team’s base as well.
You can set a certain amount of time for the game such as 5 minutes to get the most ammunition in the other team’s base or you can play until everyone runs out of ammunition. The game can be played with regular Nerf darts or even with the guns that launch larger missiles or balls.
Kids can block the darts that are shot at the bases but there is no touching the other teams or any type of shoving or tackling to prevent them from getting the ammunition in the container.
This game is another one that is geared towards older kids and would recommend ages 8 and older because it does require more accuracy when shooting.
There are so many fun outdoor games and activities for Nerf guns when it comes to getting kids acting and playing outside. Get creative with what you have and get your kids involved in making the games.