Superhero costumes toy guns in nurseries

(10 Posts)
banjosoo Wed 11-Dec-13 11:40:35

Have you read this about nurseries banning superhero costumes and toy weapons?
The nursery my son goes to has done this and I am quite cross as he loves wearing his power ranger costume and he is not allowed any more. I think it is political correctness gone mad.
There is a debate on this as well at

OP’s posts: |
LucyLui25 Fri 13-Dec-13 17:17:32

Quite often the settings that ban this type of play simply do not understand it. It is no different from playing cowboys and Indians like many children for generations have done. I know some settings that ban it, as they are unable to control it. Many practitioners find it difficult to allow children the opportunity to explore these things themselves and to manage their own games. These types of play often appear aggressive, violent and loud! practitioners therefore are compelled to stop it as it breaks all the 'rules' of the setting. of course there has to be boundaries with this sort of play but many 3 and 4 year olds are able to devise their own rules and boundaries.

LeafyGreen13 Fri 13-Dec-13 17:25:25

My five year old's pre-school has some dressing up capes, that's all but my son and his friend do spend a lot of time in the craft corner making swords, super-hero belts and guns out of newspaper and origami paper.

I remember when he was 2 and made a gun out of Lego at nursery.

So, the ban wouldn't bother me per se as long as they are still allowed to play super-heros. They can get creative.

grabaspoon Tue 17-Dec-13 14:30:09

There has been some interesting writing about super hero play and gun play in the early years and in most settings it is recognised as important for personal/social development

enderwoman Tue 17-Dec-13 14:47:52

I agree with you. I see superheroes as a good vs evil play which boys should be free to explore. I think it is far better to play superhero than Princess-being-saved-by-prince which is surely much more harmful.

I think it is good when children have good adult role models like superheroes, police officers and soldiers.(I know the last one is controversial but my kids played peace keeping duties like saving animals from bombs as well as all out "fighting" bad guys.)

ZingChoirsOfAngels Tue 17-Dec-13 14:48:36

they will use their fingers as guns and make gun noises.

they all do. girls as well - in fact my 20 months old DD is getting pretty good with a light saber!

but no, it MUST stop! let's tie up their hands and gag them too, shall we?confused

drspouse Wed 18-Dec-13 16:36:02

I don't happen to think that a superhero is a good role model. They are almost as unrealistic as princesses in terms of role models.

I'm pretty happy that nobody has bought DS a superhero costume and that he's not yet aware what they are, or what guns, swords etc. are either. I know he's young and I'm sure this will come at some stage but I'd rather it held off as long as possible.


drspouse Wed 18-Dec-13 16:43:56

Pressed post too soon... I was going to go on to say that I would prefer that they didn't play anything involving "beating" one another physically, or anything involving weapons to "kill" one another - whether that's superheroes, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, soldiers and baddies, or knights and dragons.

I think at preschool level children are too young to understand things like what "dead" actually means, and that they cannot have super powers, and that being violent is not clever or fun. I think that superheroes would be OK with older children who can really understand that it's fantasy, and can talk about the rights and wrongs of the situations, but at preschool level children don't, for example, understand well enough that stories and TV aren't real.

It's interesting that they couldn't find a researcher to say "banning superhero play is bad for children's development". If they had found a researcher to say that (as well as a nursery, say, there's nothing wrong with nurseries) then perhaps it would appear there's still a debate on this. But it doesn't look like there is (the psychologist they quote is a clinical psych and won't necessarily know what's up to date in research, and surely they could find someone in the UK if it was widely thought within the UK that this type of play is OK?)

insancerre Thu 19-Dec-13 07:17:03

This is an excellent book about superhero play
Penny Holland argues for allowing it very well

SS3J Thu 09-Jan-14 13:14:02

I have just finished reading '21st Century Boys' (in preparation for bringing one up!) And the author discusses this issue of her chapters. She, while referring to supporting research, makes a good argument that banning this kind of play can be detrimental to boys' development (probably to girls too but the book is focussing on boys). Personally I don't see the point of restricting children's play like that. It's important for them and their way of making sense of the world. I wouldn't buy toy weapons for my kids because I think they are too prescriptive but if they wanted to make them out of lego, or point fingers I wouldn't worry. If this was my child's nursery I would be questioning their decision. But if you do, have a read up on the subject first so you have some research to back you up.

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