No more cops and rob­bers! 4 in 5 nurs­eries ban toy guns

Daily Mail - - News - By Sarah Har­ris

THE days of play­ing ‘cops and rob­bers’ are gone for most young chil­dren as ner­vous nurs­ery staff ban toy weapons.

Many do not al­low chil­dren to bring in and play with mock swords and guns for fear it will en­cour­age ag­gres­sion and vi­o­lence, say re­searchers.

Some nurs­eries are also tak­ing a hard line on su­per­hero cos­tumes be­cause they do not want young­sters to be­come too bois­ter­ous. Crit­ics warn that young­sters’ imag­i­na­tive and phys­i­cal play is be­ing cur­tailed as a re­sult.

The sur­vey by daynurs­eries.co.uk was com­pleted by 1,125 nurs­ery own­ers, man­agers and staff in Fe­bru­ary and March. More than four in five (79 per cent) of those ques­tioned said that toy weapons are not al­lowed in their nurs­ery. In ad­di­tion, 5 per cent of work­ers said their nurs­ery has banned su­per­hero out­fits.

Sue Learner, the web­site’s ed­i­tor, said: ‘There is this fear toy guns and swords en­cour­age ag­gres­sion and cre­ate a noisy, chaotic at­mos­phere.

‘Nurs­eries are un­der pres­sure from par­ents due to these per­cep­tions. Yet, if we ban toy weapons, we are con­trol­ling imag­i­na­tive play. Play­ing “bad­dies vs good­ies” are phys­i­cal games in­volv­ing run­ning, crouch­ing and hid­ing.’

Miss Learner said that some nurs­eries also take a dim view of su­per­hero cos­tumes for fear of young­sters get­ting over-ex­cited or ag­gres­sive.

‘Nurs­eries have told us chil­dren can get hyped up and take a long time to calm down. We should be en­cour­ag­ing ope­nended phys­i­cal play, not lim­it­ing it.’

The find­ings come after Prince Ge­orge was seen play­ing with a toy gun with a friend last month, at­tract­ing crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia.

Hot shot: Ge­orge with his toy gun

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