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Weapon Play


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After reading the book by Penny Holland (We don't play with guns here) and looking at the case studies on the DCFS (I think) about boy's achievement I was keen to have a policy in my setting where no particular kind of play is banned, only the usual rules about not hurting people etc.

I thought we had all agreed to this (teachers and nursery nurses in reception and nursery) but it's clear that people are unhappy about it. The staff have also told me that parents have mentioned the fighting, so I've got to tackle the problem of making the policy clear to parents.

Has anyone else done this, and what is their experience ?

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Have you looked at the other posts on here about this? If you put 'guns' into the search engine and search titles only, some good threads come up. Personally, I know what I understand and believe about weapon play (that it shouldn't be banned etc etc) but instinctively when it happens I find it really difficult to put this into practice. :o But I'm practising! xD Actually, this post reminds me that I wanted to bring this up with my teaching assistant and the rest of the SLT at school...thanks for the reminder!

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Welcome to the forum - this is one of my favourite subjects!!

Last year I had five boys and one girl (i'm an accredited childminder) and it became a real issue for me. I had one parent who was very anti this sort of play and the other parents and myself welcomed it as another learning opportunity. I decided to hold a parents discussion/drinks evening with a theme of gender and play. All the parents attended. I also invited the male head of nursery and deputy head of our local school who came too to talk about his experiences - offering a male and professional perspective. I did lots of research beforehand and backed everything up by referring to the EYFS, i gave out handouts showing opposing views to allowing and supporting weapon play. It was a lively and interesting night, everyone shared their own childhood experiences of this sort of play. After the evening I wrote up my Play Policy, including a specific part that was dedicated to weapon/superhero play. I took on board the parent's concerns and made sure that my policy reflected my philosophy yet showed senstivity to parents misgivings about this sort of play. The reassurance came from linking it to my behaviour policy, setting out how all children would be kept safe.

I think on my eyp course I watched a video clip from Pen Green early years centre of children playing with swords with another practitioner. Maybe it would be useful to get hold of something like this to share at a team meeting and for all staff to have an opportunity to share and discuss their feelings about it. It is a subject that people seem to have really strong views about but I think that embracing weapon play and transforming it into a learning opportunity will only happen if reluctant practitioners can see the benefits. good luck :o

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Welcome to the forum - this is one of my favourite subjects!!

Last year I had five boys and one girl (i'm an accredited childminder) and it became a real issue for me. I had one parent who was very anti this sort of play and the other parents and myself welcomed it as another learning opportunity. I decided to hold a parents discussion/drinks evening with a theme of gender and play. All the parents attended. I also invited the male head of nursery and deputy head of our local school who came too to talk about his experiences - offering a male and professional perspective. I did lots of research beforehand and backed everything up by referring to the EYFS, i gave out handouts showing opposing views to allowing and supporting weapon play. It was a lively and interesting night, everyone shared their own childhood experiences of this sort of play. After the evening I wrote up my Play Policy, including a specific part that was dedicated to weapon/superhero play. I took on board the parent's concerns and made sure that my policy reflected my philosophy yet showed senstivity to parents misgivings about this sort of play. The reassurance came from linking it to my behaviour policy, setting out how all children would be kept safe.

I think on my eyp course I watched a video clip from Pen Green early years centre of children playing with swords with another practitioner. Maybe it would be useful to get hold of something like this to share at a team meeting and for all staff to have an opportunity to share and discuss their feelings about it. It is a subject that people seem to have really strong views about but I think that embracing weapon play and transforming it into a learning opportunity will only happen if reluctant practitioners can see the benefits. good luck :o

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