Airsoft Guns and Kids: Everything Parents Should Know!

kid playing airsoft

Airsoft guns are becoming more and more popular, but relatively few parents understand exactly what airsoft guns are and how they work.

You probably have your kids asking about airsoft guns, which may lead you to ask what the heck an airsoft gun is. 

Read on to learn more about these guns and the ways in which they are used.  

What Is an Airsoft Gun? 

An airsoft gun isn’t exactly a toy, buts it’s not a firearm or an airgun, either. It’s a gun that fires small, close-to-harmless, plastic BBs. They can be battery powered, spring powered, and CO2 powered.

Even the most powerful models are non-lethal. They can occasionally break the skin when used improperly (hence the “mostly harmless” label), and obviously, you can put your eye out with one, kid. 

Airsoft itself is a dynamic sport that includes a variety of game types and playstyles. This includes traditional games such as King of the Hill and Capture the Flag, as well as military simulation games that utilize military tactics. 

 

The Benefits of Airsoft Guns: More Than Just Fun Toys 

Airsoft can provide a wealth of benefits for your child, as it is more than just a fun way to pass the time. Some of the most important benefits include: 

Exercise 

Exercise is one of the biggest benefits for kids playing airsoft.

The sport forces you to run, sprint, jump, dive, bend and flex in all sorts of crazy ways. It gives you a full body workout, and if you aren’t sore the next day you didn’t play hard enough.

Few people realize they are getting such great exercise while playing, and these physical benefits are not the main focus of the sport. This kind of exercise is sneaky and effective. 

 

TeamBased 

Most airsoft games are team-based activities that have specific player roles, and those who play as individuals tend to lose. Losing is a painful experience and most people learn quickly that teamwork makes the dream work, as they say.

It also means that teamwork will allow you to finish with a lot fewer welts.  

Kids who learn team-based sports form a solid foundation for other team-based sports, school projects, and their professional careers. 

 

Teaches How to Lead and How to Follow 

Because airsoft is a team-based sport you’ll have more experienced players taking the role of leader and less experienced players having to learn to follow.

Learning to follow can be a critical skill that many miss out on with other team-based sports. The only way to be an effective leader in any capacity is to learn to follow.  

Kids who keep playing the sport will see themselves becoming leaders, and sharpen their leadership skills. 

 

You Can Play Too 

Unlike baseball, soccer, football or other youth sports. Airsoft has no age, size, or gender requirements. Since you aren’t tackling or blocking shots your size isn’t an advantage.

In fact, adults are bigger targets. Obviously playing against 10-year-olds isn’t superbly challenging, but it can be quite fun.  

You can still play, and have fun and, if you have older kids, you may find it hard to keep up. 

 

Safety First: Tips and Guidelines 

OUTGEEK half face mask

Hopefully, after seeing some of the benefits airsoft provides, you may begin considering buying an airsoft gun or two for the kiddos. That’s great, but they need more than just a gun and BBs.

The most important pieces of gear are those related to safety. 

Face-area

Some folks try to get away with just a pair of eyeglasses, which, if you’re an adult, is okay. However, my kids play in nothing short of glasses and a face mask.

You can purchase a face mask with built-in goggles, or a mesh-mount mask to which you can add your own glasses. Whichever style you choose is fine.  

The mouth, nose, and eyes need to be covered and protected. I wear a ball cap as well, just because shots to the head sting like there’s no tomorrow, even though they rarely break the skin. 

Body

I also suggest gloves and long sleeve shirts for new players. Since you are often holding your airsoft gun in front of you, you are exposing your hands to fire.

It’s not that hard for BBs at close range to break the thin skin around the knuckles, which is very painful. A long sleeve shirt provides a little extra protection from the BBs. 

Rules

Additionally, after they have the safety gear you need to have rules set up regarding the minimum safe-engagement distance — 15 feet is typically the Golden Rule.

So, if someone is less than 15 feet from you, you yell “bang bang!” instead of shooting them.  

Also, they need to learn a good sign to signal other players that they are out. This will prevent shot players from being shot repeatedly. The standard is to hold your gun over your head and yell “I’m out!” while leaving the play area. 

 

Airsoft Gun Selection: Selecting the Right Model for Your Child 

 

Crosman Stinger P311
Crosman Stinger P311 – best airsoft pistol for kids.

 

Gun selection can be challenging, and to properly choose a gun you need to consider a few things.  

The first thing to consider is the physical size of the child versus the size of the gun.

Some guns are too large and unwieldy for kids, such as sniper rifles and machine guns. They are best avoided for smaller players, and a simple sub-machine gun or airsoft M4 is a better choice. 

The next part of airsoft gun selection is going to be based on the child’s maturity level:

  • Are they ever going to try and even pretend the airsoft gun is a real gun?
  • Are they going to take it to school to show a friend?
  • Would they even leave home with it for any reason without you knowing? 

If this is the case, you need to consider purchasing a fluorescent colored airsoft gun or a clear one. These are airsoft guns that cannot be mistaken for a real gun by any stretch of the imagination.

These airsoft guns are common, and they function like regular airsoft guns but look like toys.  

Where are they playing? This is another consideration. Are they playing at home, on a stretch of property, or a facility for airsoft? If it’s a local area and someone sees a realistic looking airsoft gun police are likely to get called.

If you aren’t playing well away from the public eye or playing in a facility dedicated to airsoft you should go with the clear or fluorescent airsoft guns. 

Also, never let the orange cap disappear. It’s dumb and causes some serious harm. It’s inexcusable.  

 

Airsoft Guns Are Safe and Fun 

For some the word “gun” in a kid’s gift that’s doesn’t have the word squirt anywhere near it is intimidating.

However, rest assured, airsoft is a popular and growing sport made up of nice and normal people. It’s a thrilling, team-based sport that is nowhere near as dangerous as something like football.  

If your kids are interested in airsoft it’s easy to get started and get involved. Just always remember the safety component, and to exercise a little common sense.  

 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes

2 COMMENTS

  1. thanks for this information. Ive been looking to buy an airsoft gun for me and my friends to use and shoot each other but i am a big baby so I wanted to know they were safe. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for this well written, considered and balanced article. I am a mother to two boys aged 12 and 16 who are expressing different levels of interest in starting airsoft as a hobby and physical exercise outlet. The younger one had spent many hours watching players on you tube the older one might be keen as long as his brother doesn’t shoot him… a fair and realistic concern after watching them play with nerf guns. My boys are both interested in military or public safety careers in some form (perhaps the Navy or Coast Guard)… As their mother I know how much they complain if they scratch themselves falling over or stub their toe on furniture and how they have difficulty following fair rules and safety guidelines (brush your teeth twice a day for example, put away your dirty dishes and pick up your clothes off the floor, get good grades)… or don’t follow rules and safety guidelines, hygiene standards and expectations (don’t leave your skateboard where someone could trip over it, hang your school shirt up ready for the next day). Can they manage the responsibility of having equipment and paraphernalia related to yet another sport… or will I end up with more work picking up behind them. Also the cost involved. I’ve asked them to wash my car or hose down the front concrete driveway to earn pocket money and they couldn’t handle that… yet they ask me to spend a few hundred on gear, protecting clothing, decorative items (badges?) and storage containers … hmmm… any how so I stumbled across this article. It’s the start of my research into the topic and I’m happy to have found your page.

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