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Turning gun play into fun play


When it comes to toy guns, in which camp do you belong? Do you see them as inherently evil harbingers of future aggressive behaviour? Or do you view them as a harmless and indeed normal part of childhood, especially for testosterone-fueled boys?   If you’re in the latter camp, you might be of the opinion that gun play actually builds on age-old themes of life and death and good versus evil, which are fundamental to a child’s developing morality and sense of empathy.   Early childhood development expert Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, a lecturer at Macquarie University’s Institute of Early Childhood, says there is and always has been a fascination with war play, with boys “just gravitating towards toy weaponry from a really early age”.   However, she says there has not been a single study that has linked pretend gunplay with futu...(sign-up as a member to continue reading this article)


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