The little Rambo in your life is about to be another year older. You have been stepping on Nerf darts in your house for years, you helped him design and build his Nerf wall, and all he wants for Christmas is the latest Nerf blaster. If your child’s bedroom looks like the Nerf aisle at your local Toys “R” Us, chances are he’ll appreciate a Nerf-themed birthday party.
Where to begin? How do Nerf parties work? What kind of supplies do you need? As lifelong Nerf enthusiasts, we’ve got you covered.
photo credit: catchmyparty.com
5 Tips for Throwing a Nerf Themed Birthday Party
1. Make sure you have room to run and places to hide.
If your backyard is lacking in trees and patio furniture, make it more conducive to a Nerf war by parking some cheap beach umbrellas on their sides to create barriers to duck behind. Another option is to hoard Amazon Prime boxes or buy cheap moving boxes online and have the kids build their own defenses. If your yard is short on space, see if you can hold the party a local park, rec center, or gym.
2. Buy Nerf darts in bulk.
For a party with a Nerf war, you’re going to need roughly 30 darts per kid. Of course you can buy more if you’re willing to make that kind of investment, but the kids will have just as much fun scrambling for darts if they run out. It adds an extra challenge for the players and keeps cleanup to a relative minimum.
3. Have an extra Nerf blaster or two on hand.
Unfortunately, not every kid that your child invites to his birthday party is going to be as into it as he is. Try to communicate with the parents beforehand to see if they will be bringing their own Nerf blaster or would like to borrow one. Tell your son or daughter that they need to be open to sharing with kids who don’t have blasters of their own. If there’s still a shortage, you can usually connect with parents who are selling their kid’s old blasters for cheap on Craigslist.
4. Announce the rules.
Talk to your child about how long each match will last (usually around 20 minutes) how many rounds they plan to play, and what the rules are. This way you can plan for things like birthday cake and arrange for a specific end time for the party, when the kids are picked up.
Announce the rules before the kids start playing, so you can keep the bickering to a minimum. There are many different ways to have a Nerf war and the rules tend to change. Here are two basic sets of rules:
- West Coast Rules: Each player has five “hit points.” When someone is hit, he loses one point. He then counts down from 20 slowly with his gun held up in the air. He may pick up ammo and walk around, but is not allowed to fire and cannot be hit during this time. He counts down the last five numbers loudly and says, “I’m in,” and is back in the game. He leaves the game permanently if he is down to zero hit points.
- East Coast Rules: Each player has ten hit points, and loses one each time they are hit. There is no 20-second invulnerability period, but if several darts from the same automatic weapon hit you at the same time, this only counts as one hit. You leave the game when you are out of hit points.
5. Make sure the kids who are out of the game are still having fun.
Designate an area for kids to go once they’ve been hit out of the game. Keep it near the action so they can still watch, cheer, and laugh. Make sure there are chairs where they can comfortably sit and hang out, snacks and drinks, music, and other games like a bean bag toss or a plastic dart board to pass the time until they can get in on the next round.
For Nerf war strategies and Nerf gear, check out Ray Squad. Remember to have fun out there and check out our VIP Club for amazing perks for Nerf lovers.