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knocker

Questions for those that Nerf as a business

After selling used Nerf bits and pieces on ebay for the past 18 months and having regular Nerf battles with my 3 kids I decided to go down the route of offering kids Nerf war parties.

I'm using Strongarms and for cover I found a company in Wales sell inflatable paintball bunkers (they're inflatable cylinders about 6 feet long and 1 metre diameter) I also bought a PA system and a load of disco lights just to add a bit more to the experience.

I've run a couple so far but would like to pick the brains of people who've been doing it for a while if I may.

I've had a party today which had a larger number of young children  even though the birthday child was 8.  Normally i'd just play Freeze Tag, Humans vs Zombies capture the flag etc etc.  Today though pretty much all the kids really struggled at sticking to the rules and a great many of them just didn't bother altogether which made it a bit crap for the kids that did, I also found that most of the younger ones couldn't operate the Strongarms with me spending most of my time pulling chewed up darts out of them and showing them how to cock their blasters etc.

In the end I just turned the music right up and let them have a complete free for all with no rules as such and this seemed to go down quite well with a few of the parent joining in aswell.

To those that have done these type of events for a while - what sort of games do you find work best for the younger kids and how do you deal with kids that either won't stick to the rules or bully some of the others?  There were quite a few parents in attendance today but they seemed more preoccupied with propping the bar up rather than keeping their kids in check.

For the future I'm tempted to put the minimum age up and stay away from working mens clubs as all the tables and chairs around the edge of the room proved a bit of a nightmare today.

Any pointers or tips would be greatly appreciated but I completely understand if you're not wanting to give away you're trade secrets Smile
Supercollide

I've found that strongarms are very difficult for under 8s to prime, even my 9 year old struggles and dislikes top primers.

My boys and I found 2 solutions:
1 - my 6 year old runs a strongarm with a rubber wristband hooked in the priming loop which he can then pull to prime - it's made the difference between him being able to use it or not.  He did initally have a hairband in there but the force is eventually too much for it, the rubber wristband is much better.
2 - my 9 year old has a zuru x-shot Bug Attack Rapidfire and I actually rock an x-shot rapidfury. Both are reshells of the same 6 shot front loader with a pull back primer like a firestrike. Dead easy for a young kid to prime. Also fires further and harder than a stock strongarm.
About 11.00 for a two-pack at Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/produ...ailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 or 7-8 individually at the Entertainer.

I feel for you pulling a Working Mens clubs event, adult engagement is much, much harder there (read that as nigh on impossible!)
Rab

I find the young uns are better with pull back primes and simple stuff and go front loaders. Those x-shot ones are good as are jolts and firestrikes.

Simple games usually work best and I'd stay away from capture the flag type games, I don't think they work.

Make it quite clear from the start that games only work if you take your penalty but don't play any perma death games that mean long periods of sitting out, which might encourage cheating.

Bullying? Never actually had this, sometimes you get the odd wideo but  if it got bad I'd go the following.
1. Verbal warning
2. Time out / miss a game ??
3. Cheerio

Yeah, you want empty halls. Sports halls are good. It's a physical activity. I reckon if you wouldn't play a game of fives in it , then its probably not suited to what your after.
knocker

Cheers guys.

I won't be taking on any more events at this place or similar venues.  

As I was letting the inflatables down at the end of the party one of the dads put his 8 year old on the end of one and then jumped off a table onto the other end launching his kid about 7 ft in the air onto a concrete a floor - this is a calibre of people I had to deal with.

As for the bullying, it was more one particular child constantly going after this young girl even though she was on his team.  He refused to listen, wouldn't wear glasses (being told he couldn't play made him put some on) and was basically a bit of sh*t bag.

It's all a learning experience and I've another one this Saturday so onward and upwards.
blindgeekuk

I wouldn't call what I do a business, I use the parties to subsidise the monthly events, and to pay for darts, maintenance, new blasters. I've yet to make a profit!

I take about 50 blasters to a party with 20 kids - a mix of strongarms, hammershots, rebelle bows, speedswarms, and some easier to use old dart tag and buzzbee stuff.

For cover I use camo nets on pvc pipes. I'm impressed you managed to find paintball bunkers at a affordable price. Make sure the area isn't too covered, you want areas to encourage people to move, and barriers/bunkers increase the risk of head shots.

Game wise, I stick to fairly simple ones - freezetag, hvz, flux, a few rounds of each fills up an hour.

Make sure you do a good briefing at the start and reinforce it constantly. If they are misbehaving, stop the game, get them lined up against a wall and re-explain the rules. And keep the rules simple!

As for troublesome players, don't be afraid to pull them out of the game.
FDT

There's not much I can add to what the guys have said above, but the one thing I would say to anyone is the last thing you want to hand the kids at the start of the event is their blaster.

You want them paying attention for all the rules and if you tell them half the rules, get them kitted out then try to explain anymore, you wont get anywhere. They'll already be be mucking around with the blaster, pretending to shoot their mates etc.

I learned this through months of frustration, tweaking the events as I went. We all learn as we go and you'll find somethings that work and some that don't.

I'd also advise a "safe zone" to place the blasters in between games. If they're grabbing a drink in between rounds, or you're sitting them down to tell them the next set of rules they can't be fiddling with blasters in case a random dart goes off and someone has taken their eye pro off.

Good luck and let us know how it goes this Saturday Smile
Justajolt

I'd say come to some Nerf wars to see what works! FDT, Wolfpack, Grim Up Nerf... spoilt for choice ^_^

I use Strongarms and Rebelle Speed Stripes etc with smaller blasters in reserve for smaller hands.

I use pop up mobstacles which I imagine are much easier to use than inflatables!

What the above have said is very true! Watertight safety briefings!

https://www.gumtree.com/p/other-e...dersfield-fully-mobile/1233362421

Is this you?
knocker

Justajolt wrote:

https://www.gumtree.com/p/other-e...dersfield-fully-mobile/1233362421

Is this you?


That is indeed me.

Just got back from the one I did today and It went a lot better.

It was only a small venue but there were only 14 kids so it wasn't really a problem although they were all knackered near the end and starting to flag a bit.  Pretty much a solid 2 hours of play as they'd already eaten before we started so there was no break for food in the middle although we had fairly regular water / toilet breaks as it's scorching hot today.

I am finding the kids tend to prefer just having a bit of a free for all rather than organised games so i've started switching between them whenever they seem to be losing interest.

I did come to the first two FDT events at the Works in Leeds to see how you ran things but you're right in saying I need to get along to a few more, i'm planning to drag the kids to some as soon as I get the chance.
NerfNoob

The X-Shot Micro is the only blaster my two year old can prime on his own, if that helps. You can pick those up for 2.50 from Tesco.
Davidov

I saw way back (I think on nerfhaven) someone downgraded springs in blasters so that their very younf children could use them, not something we usually think about, but doable if the best/most cost effective blasters are not suitable otherwise.

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