Are you looking for a toy gun for your kid to help curb their obsession with pointing objects at people and pretending to shoot?
Toy guns are one of those purchases that can be challenging for parents. You don’t want a toy gun that looks so real it’s frightening. But your child wants one that’s convincing enough that it doesn’t require a huge stretch of the imagination to play with.
We’ve been there, and we understand the struggle. So we researched what science has to say about gunplay, and when we felt a little better about the whole scenario, we hunted (no pun intended) for the best toy guns for kids. These guns meet our standards of being age-appropriate, safe to use, and fun to play with.
Whether you’re looking for a Nerf dart gun, laser gun, water gun, pop gun, rubber band shooter, or something totally unique, we’ve found some great picks for you! We’ll also go over the research on the psychology of imaginary gunplay so that you can decide what is appropriate for your kids.
- Top-notch quality
- Safe infrared signal emission
- Built to last
- Rotating 6-dart barrel
- Shoots darts up to 90 feet
- Motorized speed-load technology
- Comes in a pack of two
- Classic water gun
- Easy to use
- Made in the US
- Camouflage design
- Moneyback guarantee
- Epic accuracy
- Can shoot up to 60 feet
- Cute, soft dart gun
- Can be enjoyed by a team
- Great value for money
- Comes in two sets
- Great value for money
- Safe and durable
- Fantastic quality outer space alien blaster
- Lights up and makes noise
- Great value
- Ergonomic and original
- Semi-automatic loading
- Eco-friendly material
- Long range
- Certified eco-friendly material
- Great value for money
The Best Toy Guns of 2023
These are our favorite toy guns that actually look like toys.
Kidzlane Infrared Laser Tag
Best Laser Gun
If your family frequently hosts your kids’ friends, you’re probably always on the lookout for entertaining games. This toy gun comes in a pack of four to make sure your child’s friends can play too.
The toy guns recoil when shot and vibrate when hit, so kids can even play in the daytime. The signal reaches up to 130 feet, which makes outside play even more fun. Plus, no need to worry about cleaning up or losing darts.
Nerf N-Strike Elite Blaster
Best Dart Gun
This Nerf gun will have your kids playing for hours. The chamber holds six Nerf darts, which automatically fire one after another. When the darts are gone, the child flips open the chamber and re-loads — no buttons or latches to struggle with during battle.
For more blasting power, extra darts and other accessories are sold separately. Nerf has you covered there.
2-Pack Super-Squirt Water Guns
Best Water Gun
This toy gun is the classic water gun, like the ones we all played with as kids. They come in a pack of two, which is great for parents with two kids or for friends to play together.
To set it up, just fill the tank with water and close the lid. The kids push and pull the pressure pump on the front to shoot the water. These toy guns are great for the beach, the lake, or just a hot day in the backyard.
MyPopGun Duck Hunting Rifle
Best Toy Hunting Gun
If someone in your family likes to hunt, your children will probably want to be a part of it in some way. This gun will get them in the mood for duck hunting. They can practice in the backyard and train for the actual hunt someday.
This gun has a great camo design that’s perfect for a real-role playing experience. This will help your child associate the toy gun with hunting.
BoomCo. Halo UNSC H-295 Blaster
Best Video Game Gun
If your child plays video games, they might be into the extremely popular game Halo. If so, they will immediately recognize this gun.
Made by the company BoomCo., the toy gun perfectly matches the team guns in the video game. It comes with five darts, and the gun can fire multiple darts at a time.
The darts can fly up to 60 feet, so if the kids play indoors, nothing in the house is out of range!
Liberty Imports 6-Pack Mini Foam Dart Blasters
Best Beginner Toy Gun
If you have more than one child, you know that the younger one can sometimes feel left out. Toy guns are getting more sophisticated, and little ones can’t always keep up with their bigger siblings.
This gun is easy to use and can help your toddler join the fun. Shaped like a gun in a multifarious colorful way, it comes with 36 foam darts but holds one dart at a time. By learning to load the chamber themselves, little ones can develop hand-eye coordination with smaller objects.
GoSports Official Foam Fire Blasters - 2 Pack Toy Blasters
Best Bazooka Style Gun
These long toy guns can hold and shoot in rapid succession. Your child can carry the gun or aim it from the ground like a bazooka. Two toy guns are included in this pack.
To load the gun, you stick the foam balls into the open part of the tube. Your kids can control how far the balls go by pumping the handle quickly or slowly. Because the balls are so soft, the guns could also be used for indoor play on a rainy day that can be enjoyed by toddlers as young as five.
Rhode Island Space Ray Gun
Best Gun for Space Play
If you have shared the joy of Star Wars with your children, they might want an out-of-this-world gun to play with. This space blaster gun will make your kid feel like they are waging an intergalactic battle.
After loading it with batteries, the kids pull the trigger to unleash a variety of lights and sounds. You will receive six guns per pack, so your children have plenty to share with friends.
iSottcom Wooden Rubber Band Pistol
Best Rubber Band Gun
Rubber band guns were all the rage back in the day, and now they’re making a comeback. For parents wary of plastic, this wooden gun is made of eco-friendly material.
It can fire up to four bands back-to-back and comes with around 50 in the set. This allows for tons of fun before your child has to go out and find the rubber bands again. Because it’s a handgun style, it’s really easy to use. Simply load the bands and pull the trigger to shoot them into the air.
Swirlline 2-Pack Water Blaster Toy
Best Gun for the Pool
These guns come in a pack of two pencil designs with shades of blue and pink — to make it easy to distinguish teams. The water range can reach up to a 40-foot range.
To fill them, all you have to do is completely immerse them in water. Then pull the arm of the pencil-shaped water gun back to fire. Perfect for lighthearted pool play the whole family can enjoy.
Kids Pirate Halloween Costume
Best Pirate-Themed Gun for Halloween
If you’re already thinking about Halloween, you may want to plan your child’s next Halloween costume around these toy guns. Dress them up like a pirate with the included pirate hat, eye patch, pirate hook, and plastic toy gun. Both genders can enjoy the design, so siblings can also wear it, or it can be handed down to playmates.
The guns do not actually shoot anything. This one is a great option for kids who want a gun to play the part but don’t have time to clean up bullets while doing the serious business of trick-or-treating.
Nerf Disruptor Elite Blaster
Best Training Gun
Nerf is most kids’ favorite gun brand. This monster blaster gun comes with six rotating drums, Elite darts, and an instruction guide to help your children practice their aim.
Loading is easy. Stick the darts in the holes on the front of the gun, and they’re ready to go. The darts will fire up to 90 feet, so your kids add to the challenge by stepping further back.
BamGo Bubble Gun Blower
Best Toddler Toy Gun
Every baby I know loves bubbles. However, when they are young, it can be tough for them to get the whole “blowing” thing down. My kid struggled for so long.
With this electric bubble gun, they can easily make their own. You don’t have to worry about filling a tub. Simply dip the wands in a tray with bubble solution. All your little one has to do after that is hold the trigger and enjoy.
Police Costume Dress Up
Best Toy Police Gun Set
If your children love to play dress up, this toy gun and police gear set is an excellent option. The set comes with a toy handgun, handcuffs, a policeman’s hat, a badge, and other fun pieces of toy police equipment.
When your kids’ friends come over, they can create an entire world around this set. When they’re done, the set includes a bag that will store all of the gear until the next time.
Fun-Here Water Gun Party Favors
Best Gun Party Favor
These tiny toy guns come in a pack of six, so they make a great party favor. It can also make for free entertainment if you break tradition and give it to the kids before they leave.
They’re nine inches long and use a tube of water to keep them going for a while. These are designed to be used by kids ages three and up, meaning even your toddler can get in on the action.
Parris Doc Holliday Set
Best Cowboy-Style Gun
If your child is really into Westerns, this replica of the gun from “Tombstone” is the toy for them. It looks so real that the manufacturer placed a bright orange tip on the end to inform bystanders it’s fake.
The chamber holds 12 shot ring caps, and replacements can be found at most toy retail stores. After loading, your kids just aim and pull the trigger.
ArtCreativity Toy Machine Gun
Best Toy War Gun
If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood full of kids, summer battle nights might be a thing. If your child likes to participate in games like these, this toy machine gun can bring something unique.
The gun can be set up on the ground or carried in their arms. It doesn’t shoot anything, but it does light up and makes sounds when they pull the trigger. The gun even has a real scope to help your child aim better.
Do Toy Guns Make Children Aggressive?
Research conducted in recent decades shows the importance of play. Play helps kids develop physically, mentally, and socially. It offers a safe space for children to test social norms and learn how to interact with others.
This same concept carries over into gunplay. Research suggests that gunplay is one form of play that may serve as a teaching tool. It might help them learn how to work out and overcome aggressive impulses rather than give in to them (1).
In one study, kids who played aggressively tended to behave with less real-life aggression in the classroom (2). This finding supports the idea that play allows kids to test which behaviors will suit them best in the real world. In other words, gunplay may give them a safe outlet for feelings instead of expressing them in real life.
However, like most forms of play, gunplay is best when parents supervise. If structured correctly, gunplay can be about sportsmanship, teamwork, and the morality of good versus bad.
Researchers suggest parents should intervene if the game becomes less about strategy and more about hurting and violence. Parents should also discuss with their children that real guns are not toys and can hurt somebody.
To learn some tips on how to educate your child about toy guns, check out this video.
How to Choose Toy Guns for Kids
If you’re looking for toy guns, it’s a good idea to consider your lifestyle and your children’s likes and dislikes. Doing this will increase the likelihood that both you and your kids will like the toy gun. Here are a few things you may want to consider when looking for the best toy guns.