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