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02nd Jul 2018

Lots of preschools are now banning toy guns over fears of ‘aggression’

Do you think kids should be allowed toy weapons?

Anna O'Rourke

The majority of preschools in the UK have banned toy guns.

Almost four in five (79 per cent) of Britain’s preschools don’t allow child to play with toy weapons, a new survey has found.

The main reason for such bans is because of concerns that they encourage children to behave aggressively, the survey of 1,125 British preschools by website found.

Susan Learner, the site’s editor, believes that preschools shouldn’t be limiting physical play.

“There is this fear toy guns and swords encourage aggression and violence and create a noisy, chaotic atmosphere,” she told Metro.

“I realise many nurseries are under pressure from parents due to these perceptions.

“Yet playing cops and robbers or baddies vs goodies are physical games involving running, crouching and hiding.

Lots of preschools are now banning toy guns over fears of 'aggression'

“We should be encouraging open-ended physical play, not limiting it and shutting it down.”

The question of allowing young children to play with toy guns and other weapons is a contentious one.

A study last year showed that watching media which included gun violence made children more interested in guns.

In an experiment at Ohio State University, a number of kids were shown edits of two PG13-rated films that had gun action in them, while others saw versions with the gun violence edited out.

Afterwards, the children were brought into a room which contained toys and a real disabled gun in a cabinet.

The kids who had watched the more violent films were more likely to want to play with the gun in the room.