Interesting article for a UK paper


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ZeSpectre
December 29, 2007, 12:19 AM
Why boys should be allowed to play with toy guns (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=504992&in_page_id=1770)

Why boys should be allowed to play with toy guns
By LAURA CLARK AND SARAH HARRIS - More by this author Last updated at 22:35pm on 28th December 2007

Playing with toy weapons helps the development of young boys, according to new Government advice to nurseries and playgroups.

Staff have been told they must resist their "natural instinct" to stop boys using pretend weapons such as guns or light sabres in games with other toddlers.

Fantasy play involving weapons and superheroes allows healthy and safe risk-taking and can also make learning more appealing, says the guidance.

It conflicts with years of "political correctness" in nurseries and playgroups which has led to the banning of toy guns, action hero games and children pretending to fire "guns" using their fingers or Lego bricks.

But teachers' leaders insisted last night that guns "symbolise aggression" and said many nurseries and playgroups would ignore the change.

The guidance, called Confident, Capable and Creative: Supporting Boys' Achievements, is issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

It says some members of staff "find the chosen play of boys more difficult to understand and value than that of girls." This is mainly because they tend to choose activities with more action, often based outdoors.

"Images and ideas gleaned from the media are common starting points in boys' play and may involve characters with special powers or weapons.

"Adults can find this particularly challenging and have a natural instinct to stop it.

"This is not necessary as long as practitioners help the boys to understand and respect the rights of other children and to take responsibility for the resources and environment."

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes says 'imaginary games are good for their development as well as good fun'

The report says: "Creating situations so that boys' interests in these forms of play can be fostered through healthy and safe risk-taking will enhance every aspect of their learning and development."

It cites a North London children's centre which helped boys create a "Spiderman House" and print pictures of the superhero from the internet.

This led to improvements in their communication, ability to develop storylines in their play and skills in drawing, reading and writing.

The guidance is aimed at boosting boys' achievement. They often fall behind girls even before starting school and the trend can continue throughout their academic careers.

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said: "The guidance simply takes a commonsense approach to the fact that many young children and perhaps particularly many boys, like boisterous, physical activity."

"Although noisy for adults such imaginary games are good for their development as well as good fun."

But Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The real problem with weapons is that they symbolise aggression.

"The reason teachers often intervene when kids have toy guns is that the boy is usually being very aggressive. We do need to ensure, whether the playing is rumbustious or not, that there is a respect for your peers, however young they are."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) union said: "Many parents take the decision that their children won't have toy weapons."

Research by Penny Holland, academic leader for early childhood at London Metropolitan University, has also concluded that boys should be allowed to play gun games.

She found boys became dispirited and withdrawn when they are told such play-fighting is wrong.

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Standing Wolf
December 29, 2007, 06:37 AM
Many parents take the decision that their children won't have toy weapons.

If I'd had children, they wouldn't have had toy guns. They'd have been introduced to real guns at an early age.

Socialism, the root cause of a great deal of the U.K.'s plunge into social, economic, and political failure, has always been adamantly opposed to everything imaginative. Soviet socialist realism is the most appallingly ugly "art" I've ever seen, with the possible exception of Chinese imitations of it.

Socialism requires drones, not men.

RLsnow
December 29, 2007, 07:12 AM
me and my brother used to play with toy guns, in fact i played like that all the time :D

i turned out allrigh :P

max popenker
December 29, 2007, 07:54 AM
Socialism, the root cause of a great deal of the U.K.'s plunge into social, economic, and political failure, has always been adamantly opposed to everything imaginative. Soviet socialist realism is the most appallingly ugly "art" I've ever seen, with the possible exception of Chinese imitations of it.
Well, i can't say much for Chinese "art" or your ideas about socialism, but believe me, during Soviet times we (me included) had LOTS of toy guns.
I can remember spring-operated PPSh, dummy plastic AK, battery-operated C96 Schnellfeuer with cartridge belt, piston-firing Nagants and many others, including roughly 1:2 scale Maxim machine gun on wheeled mount...
Add to this lots of air-gun shooting galleries, free-for-all sport shooting schools and mandatory military training in high school...
It was certainly quite different from current European "socialism", i can tell you that

I'm not trying to tell that life in USSR was really that good, but it wasn't really that bad, either.

RLsnow
December 29, 2007, 08:05 AM
any way i can get that gun play at my high school?...just, without the communism tingy?...that would be cool...it would rock in fact...

Thin Black Line
December 29, 2007, 08:33 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/29/nguns129.xml

Of course this has nothing to do with future projections showing recruiting
problems for the British military over the next generation.....

Let boys play with toy guns, Nurseries told

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
Last Updated: 3:06am GMT 29/12/2007



Young boys should be encouraged to play with toy guns and other weapons at nursery to get them interested in education, according to Government guidance.

Nursery staff are told in official advice to resist their "natural instinct" to stop under-fives playing with weapons in games with other toddlers.

A new document issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families said children should be encouraged to take part in play which "involves more action".

Last night teachers condemned the advice, warning that toy guns "symbolise aggression".

But ministers said education needed to be tailored towards the needs of boys to ensure they do not fall behind from a young age.

There is continuing concern over the gap in standards between boys and girls, which has failed to narrow in recent years.

Boys lag behind at every age, and a report published earlier this year warned that inability to read and write properly at primary school was fuelling an "anti-education culture" which became more pronounced as boys progressed through the system.

The new guidance aims for improvement by "creating the right conditions for boys' learning" before they start formal primary education.

Making use of boys' interests can help them become more interested in school, the document suggested.

"Sometimes practitioners find the chosen play of boys more difficult to understand and value than that of girls," it said.

"They may choose activities in which adults involve themselves least, or play that involves more action. Images and ideas gleaned from the media are common starting points in boys' play and may involve characters with special powers or weapons.

"Adults can find this type of play particularly challenging and have a natural instinct to stop it.

"This is not necessary as long as practitioners help the boys to understand and respect the rights of other children and to take responsibility for the resources and environment.

"Creating situations so that boys' interests in these forms of play can be fostered through healthy and safe risk-taking will enhance every aspect of their learning and development."

But the National Union of Teachers criticised the advice on toy guns. Steve Sinnott, the NUT general secretary, said: "The real problem with weapons is that they symbolise aggression. We do need to ensure, whether the playing is rumbustious or not, that there is a respect for your peers, however young they are.

"The trouble with weapons is that the toy gun is often accompanied by aggression."

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, warned that nurseries following the guidance risked incurring the anger of parents.

"Many parents take the decision that their children won't have toy weapons," she said.

"In addition to that, I think this is a clear example of gender stereotyping."

But Beverley Hughes, the Children's Minister, defended the advice.

"The guidance simply takes a common-sense approach to the fact that many young children and, perhaps, particularly many boys, like boisterous, physical activity," she said.

robert garner
December 29, 2007, 08:35 AM
I can remember spring-operated PPSh, dummy plastic AK, battery-operated C96 Schnellfeuer with cartridge belt, piston-firing Nagants and many others, including roughly 1:2 scale Maxim machine gun on wheeled mount...
Max seems like a fortune could be made here!
robert

Cannonball888
December 29, 2007, 09:06 AM
Add to this lots of air-gun shooting galleries, free-for-all sport shooting schools and mandatory military training in high school...
It was certainly quite different from current European "socialism", i can tell you that
Of course, Max, it was during the Cold War and the Soviet government was training it's citizens to repel a possible invasion by the western capitalist pigdogs ;)

Titan6
December 29, 2007, 11:05 AM
We don't have many toy guns at my house. Mostly real guns and air rifles (including BB guns). My kids are fairly mature young and don't play many fantasy games. I did not want them to get the wrong idea. There is a gun attached to a video game but it is only used on the video game. There are also water guns that come out on hot summer days. We never wanted our kids to get the idea that guns were toys since they would be learning to shoot at an early age. It is hard enough teaching things like muzzle awareness to a six year old that I didn't want any misconceptions out there.

Now that they own their own guns they don't really see much point to playing games with toy guns even though they are still pretty young. Still I don't see anything "wrong" or terribly unsafe with other people doing it. I just don't.

RLsnow
December 29, 2007, 11:17 AM
i think its sort of a "mind building" "maturing" thingy thang playing with toy guns, and police vs robber and all that, teaches a child to distinguish between right and wrong (so i hear)

then again, being thaught about real firearms and being given that responsebility and knowledge is a mind building experience as well.

but if a kid doesnt have any of them?


then again, im just 16 and just talking :P i dont have anything to back my statements up.

hopkin
December 29, 2007, 12:52 PM
Not that rare an opinion. A lot of us, both gun owners and others, think kids should have toy weapons since most kids (or boys at least) want to play with them. If they don't, they never seem to grow out of the fascination with playing with weapons and end up infatuated with guns in a childish way. Daft acts of bravado are fine with toys and dangerous with real guns.

Nolo
December 29, 2007, 03:01 PM
How does the UK expect to reproduce if they're trying to raise a country full of girls?

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