Should nurseries ban toy weapons and superhero costumes? Role play has been around for a long time; cowboys and Indians, goodies and baddies, superheroes and villains; do we really need to get rid of all that fantastic imaginative play? I don’t think we do, and here’s why.
Children learn so much through role play; and having plastic guns or wearing superhero outfits actually really does help their development. Role play builds confidence; it develops problem solving skills and creative communication; the children are able to be somebody else and can act out fictional scenarios. Putting a ban on superhero costumes could definitely have a negative impact on children’s overall development. Role play can be purely child led or children may ask adults to join in too; children are able to take risks and challenge themselves during role play; and they may even find skills and abilities that they haven’t attempted before and then build upon them.
The EYFS curriculum also encourages role play development for children, putting it into one of the main areas of learning called expressive arts and design. We mustn’t forget that children are in a safe space to play within a nursery with multiple members of staff observing and extending the children’s role play. Practitioners may introduce alternative storylines or characters into the children’s play too; this enables the children to enhance their decision making and negotiation skills. Concepts such as good and bad, identity and gender, weaknesses and strengths, life and death can all be explored whilst using superheroes during role play.
It doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
Violence is everywhere
So should nurseries ban toy weapons and superhero costumes? In my opinion, no. Nurseries are stating that it ‘encourages violence’. I don’t think it makes a difference; there are many influences all around us that include violence of some sort. Unless parents are also willing to get rid of the children’s tablets, never let their children watch TV, and keep the children under lock and key and not let them socialise; then violence still exists in our day to day lives.
My boys have many superhero outfits, nearly every Marvel and DC Comics hero to be exact. I actively encourage their role play because it gives them confidence, improves their speech and enables them to act out scenious that we wouldn’t come across in our normal lives.
Here’s a few photos of my boys in their costumes:
So what do you think? Should nurseries ban toy weapons and superhero costumes? Or should we let kids be kids and explore their imagination through a fictional universe?