With real Army heroes regularly in the news, the number and assortment of army toy guns available on the market today is no surprise. If your kids like to play army video games, consider equipping them to play army out in the backyard. It will get them away from the computer or game console to expend some of that energy and exercise without even realizing it.
Ideas for How to Play Army
Unfortunately, children who play video games don't always know how to "play" army outdoors. If that's the case with your children, you can tell them how you played as a kid, or equip them with toy army or Nerf guns and have them try out some of these game scenarios to get them started:
- If you want to keep army playing less graphic, buy DVD sets of older TV shows such as Combat for the kids to watch. Older shows are less violent and bloody and so are more appropriate for stimulating younger viewers' army role playing.
- Have the kids take turns attacking and defending.
- If you have enough children involved for two teams, the standard Capture the Flag game works great.
- Another team game is called Number Your Days and requires choosing a captain for each team. That captain is assigned a specific number of lives depending on how long you want the game to last. The first team to eliminate the captain of the enemy team wins.
- Play futuristic army with laser guns.
Playing Army with a Few Soldiers
If the group of children playing army is small, have them create a re-spawn area where dead soldiers can come back and join the platoon. You may be surprised to find your children already know this term as it is often used in video games.
To make this work, re-spawning should take a pre-determined amount of time. Have kids count to 60 before they can rejoin the fight. You may also want to make it against the rules to kill soldiers as they step from the re-spawn area. This can make kids feel like quitting the game because they spend their time in re-spawn instead of in battle.
Toy Gun Regulations
While kids like their toy guns to look like the real thing, it's important to note that the bright orange plug at the end of the barrel of toy guns is there by law. This means the orange tip cannot be painted black or green or any other color to make it look more like the real deal. This is a safety regulation enacted after two teens were shot in separate incidents when their toy guns were mistaken for real guns.
Army Toy Guns
If your kids are ready to play army, they probably have an idea of the type of gun they want. Army toy guns are designed to look fairly realistic except for the bright orange tip and even play soldiers will have preferences. This partial list shows the vast assortment of toy army guns available today:
Toy Army Sets and Other Equipment
Some manufacturers put together army sets that include guns and other equipment. If you're interested in buying everything you need at one time, this is a convenient option:
Keep Plenty of Batteries on Hand
While kids tend to love guns with sound effects and flashing lights, if you buy toy guns that require batteries, be sure to stock up. If you don't, kids will lose interest in their new toy gun, because dead batteries make modern toy army guns no better than the sticks kids used as a gun in the 1960s. Keep toy guns charged and your kids active.