The 101 on Paintball for Kids

The 101 on Paintball for Kids

Paintball games can be incredibly fun. For young kids, however, playing paintball can be too painful and difficult to enjoy the sport. Sometimes it’s better to start with easier games than jump right into working with a complicated device such as a paintball marker. That’s where gel blasters and other toys come into play. 

Gel blasters, nerf guns, airsoft guns, and gotcha guns are a great substitute for paintball, especially for younger kids. These projectiles don’t require as much preparation or leave as big of a mess as paintballs do. In fact, they can feel less painful as well. Young children can still have fun playing games similar to paintball without risking injury or confusion on the field. 

Paintball Alternatives For Kids

Gel blasters aren’t the only paintball alternative for kids. Indeed, many of the same dynamics and mechanics can be practiced with airsoft, nerf, and gotcha. While the rules of the game might be the same, the risk of injury is less with these paintball alternatives.


Airsoft guns are one of the more prominent alternatives to paintball. Many paintball fields also host airsoft events. Airsoft guns typically use similar functions as a paintball marker, except the air feeds a small plastic pellet, or BB, rather than a paintball. These BBs can do damage to sensitive spots such as the eyes and sting quite a bit. As such airsoft is often reserved for older kids from the ages of 10+, though this is at their parents’ discretion. It takes a bit more mechanical knowledge to understand what an airsoft can do and how to operate it, at least in contrast to a basic Nerf gun or gel blaster. Many airsoft guns also use compressed air or C02, which requires safety precautions at all times. 


Foam darts take the sting out of playing Nerf. These toys are sold in nearly every store and offer small children a chance to role-play without a lot of risks involved. The shape of the Nerf darts and the short puff of air required to propel them in flight mean they lose energy quickly. Plus, it’s a relatively cheap pastime to get into and can be a great way to have some fun with friends and family; adults often find nerf to be a great way to play with their kids as well! 

If you want to introduce your child to the world of paintball and airsoft, starting with Nerf can help them understand the rules of the game. At the same time, this type of gameplay should be supported with discussions about safety and intent. But with any Nerf gun, the risks are relatively low. 

Gel Blasters

Many consider gel blasters to be the link between paintball and airsoft. Gel blasters use small gel balls as ammunition. Games can be played in a small space with family members or in larger settings with bigger groups. Most gel balls are biodegradable and don’t leave any lasting damage. However, players should still avoid shots to the face and wear face protection during gameplay. 


If your child has grown into paintball but you want to start them out with a simple marker, check out gotcha. This type of paintball is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. You can easily wash it away with water. Many people play gotcha indoors because it’s practically just as safe as Nerf. Plus, some munitions are reusable, making them an affordable pastime as well. 

Benefits of Paintball for Kids

Playing paintball-like games can offer kids several benefits. These include learning how to work together, getting some exercise, and relieving stress. 


Working as a team to accomplish a task is part of gameplay, especially when it comes to paintball. Kids can learn how to communicate with each other effectively, strategizing on how they want to win the competition. Competitiveness is also a skill they can develop in a healthy environment. 


There’s no better exercise for kids than running around a field chasing after each other. In addition to getting out their energy, kids can also gain inspiration to get outside and interact with one another in a physical environment. 

Stress Relief

The benefits of being in nature and relieving stress are undeniable when it comes to paintball and its alternatives. Kids can play with each other and focus their minds on what’s going on in the game, rather than what’s happening in their lives. This can be a great way to deal with emotions in a healthy way and bond with friends and family at the same time. 

Safety Equipment for kids

These paintball alternatives we’ve been talking about are safer than paintball. However, safety is still a priority, so you should invest in and use protective equipment

Face Mask

Targeting your opponents with a projectile means that said projectile can often end up in a bad place, such as your eye. That’s why it’s important to protect your face and eyes with a face mask and goggles, whether it’s during a paintball match or when playing with Nerf, airsoft, or gel blasters. 


Even tiny bones in a small child’s hand are vulnerable to injury with paintball alternatives. The best way to avoid these injuries is to invest in gloves they can wear. These gloves often come with additional protection for knuckles to prevent any mishaps on the field. 

Chest Protectors

With harmless projectiles used during gameplay, it may seem like overkill to wear a chest protector. However, many games played outside or even in a gymnasium can involve the risk of injury. In this case, it’s better to invest in a quality chest protector than fret over torn clothing, bruises, or other injuries to the ribs and chest. 


No matter which type of projectile you use for your paintball alternative game, you’re going to need clothing that will help you along the way. These games are still physically intense, sometimes requiring you to move about quickly and slide or dive. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a quality pair of pants to rely on. 


You can have just as much fun with paintball alternatives as you would with the popular sport. Airsoft, Nerf, and gotcha games can all help young kids learn how to play the game and have fun at the same time. Plus, these alternatives are safer and don’t require as much expensive gear. 

If you’re looking for a place to get your paintball alternative gear, check out Lone Wolf Paintball. We offer gel blasters, protective equipment, and more alternative accessories and gear to fit you and your kids out for battle, whether it’s using gel balls, Nerf darts, or anything in between. For the best selection of gel blasters and paintball guns, visit Lone Wolf’s online store.