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How to encourage 4 yo to play age-appropriate games, less Ninjas, Star Wars etc???

(6 Posts)
Roaming Tue 11-Oct-16 12:04:37

My 4 year old loves to play imaginative pretend play games, but lately his play has been taken over by franchises I feel aren't right for his age, especially Ninjago, Nexo Knights, Star Wars, Ninja Turtles and superheroes. He does not watch any of these shows, but he picks up the ideas at his preschool. He just started there this September. (We don't live in the UK.) Until then he was at home with me and his younger brother. He does get a little exposure to some of these things also at home - we have a few Ninjago pieces in his lego collection, and a few spiderman t-shirts, that kind of thing. Because he enjoys it I sometimes play 'ninjas' with him by just making it a kind of exercise game where we do jumping and climbing and so on. I can see these sorts of games are fun and appealing, but I am sad at how fast he's moving into games that I don't think are right for a 4 yo, and then his 2 yo brother joins in of course. Now he says all he wants to play is Star Wars or Nexo Knights, because this is what the kids play at preschool. But it's impossible to play these games in a non-violent way! Is this a common experience? Does anyone have any ideas about how to deal with this pressure to mature so fast? Or perhaps I am worrying about nothing?!

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 11-Oct-16 13:40:04

I'd say Ninja turtles and Star Wars are pretty age appropriate for a 4 year old.

Nikki2ol6 Tue 11-Oct-16 20:31:40

I'd say that's just normal play for a 4 year old. My boys are 6 and 3 and play similar games. I don't have a problem with it

Sleeperandthespindle Tue 11-Oct-16 20:50:15

My four year old plays these too, despite never having watched any of them. Like your DS, he has ended up (happily) with tshirts, underwear etc and a few toys.

He plays lots of other things too, and has an older sister who insists on schools, Harry Potter, Sylvanian Families, so if he wants to play with her then he needs to modify his superhero play (although Batman often makes an appearance in Sylvania...). Are you worried that your little boy only plays these games? I think it's fine - there's a great (oldish) book called 'We Don't Play with Guns Here' which talks about the value of this kind of play for little boys.

Roaming Wed 12-Oct-16 07:49:59

Thanks for the replies. I did wonder if this might be the answer! I guess my worry is that the play gets quite limited. I do think 4 is too young to watch Star Wars, so he doesn't really know what to do! We're all making adjustments with starting school - a lot for me to learn too ;)

mamapants Wed 12-Oct-16 08:14:11

I play superheroes with my 4 yo, we don't play violently though, we normally are working out how to save someone. Or escape the bad guys.
I'm sure he plays differently in school though.

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