Teaching and learning from preschoolers.
This discussion has been the basis for over three hours of staff meetings this term-should we or shouldn't we allow children to use pretend weapons and also play 'rough and tumble' games. I personally feel that children know it is play-it is our judgments that cause the problems-and that children need to learn their limits in play when they are young, rather than play when they are older and can access 'real' weapons.Our problem as a staff body,(with others who take the view that all weapon or rough play is bad and somehow indicative of future psychopathic traits) is how do we agree what is right for the children in our care?!Our staff talk started with the title 'Sticks' and we ended up discussing our whole school philosophy and values!!Valuable conversations but as yet we are still sending inconsistent messages to the children-such as if Mrs X is on duty at break-you have to hide the stick play away!
Such a good post for what is going through my head at the moment. I have a 4 year old little man who is weapon-obsessed, despite me vigilantly not allowing toy weapons of any sort into the house. However, until recently (he was given foam pirate swords and water pistols for Christmas - we are in Australia, so water play is very popular at the moment!), every time we finished the roll of paper towels he would commandeer the cardboard roll and make it his cannon/gun/sword. We still have no life-like weapons, and I will continue that mantra for as long as is conceivably possible. However, I too have noticed it seems to be a good guy/bad guy team-type play whenever he gets together with cousins/friends, and I remember the cap guns and toy bows&arrows that we used as children and figure that we haven't turned out too badly... so at this point I'm with you, Teacher Tom, as long as it is not physically or emotionally hurting someone, I'm letting them be :)
That last scenario is exactly what happened in our house. My 2 kids were doing the same thing with their stick ponies and when I brought up my concern they said the same thing. Love the way kids think.
You might like to take a ;look at this book: We don't play with guns here: War, Weapon and Superhero Play in the Early Years by Penny Holland.
Ahhhh weapons...I used to get kids to park their weapons at the door. We'd all ceremoniously troop out to back door, drop our weapons in the basket provided, solemnly say, "See you later," and head back to play inside. The only problem was every time I came into the room, the kids would all stop playing.If they happened to be holding a tube in a defensive- like stance, they'd offer up, "It's just a spy glass, see Sarah," as they peered cautiously down the tube. Well after a while it started to get to me. I felt like I was driving the kids underground and forcing them to be feel bad about what they loved to play.The epiphany came when I saw a group of boys chasing another with their shovels in full attack mode, and they were all shouting with glee. A minute later they were firing away at kid who was crying, so I stopped them. I said,' I have a rule, you can't shoot anyone with your shovel unless they have a shovel too, because that means they're playing the game."Peace has reined ever since, it's simple, if you want to play you can, if you don't want to you don't have to have to.
Post a Comment
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner