Let your boys play with toy guns, British govt advises

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London, Dec 29 (UNI) Amid growing concern in India over the impact of toy guns on boys, after the Gurgaon shooting in which a boy was allegedly shot dead by his classmates, a new British government advice to nurseries and playgrounds says playing with toy weapons helps the development of young boys.

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.

The guidance, called 'Confident, Capable and Creative: Supporting Boys' Achievements, issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, said fantasy play involving weapons and superheroes allows healthy and safe risk-taking and can also make learning more appealing, the Daily Mail reported.

Some members of the Department said, ''Adults can find involvement of characters with special powers or weapons in boys' 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,'' they said.

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said, ''Imaginary games are good for their development as well as good fun.'' However, teachers' leaders disagreed with the guidance.

Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said,''The real problem with weapons is that they symbolise aggression.'' UNI XC SKB RN1723

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