Pilar over at Montessori Matters (which I just discovered) has been pondering the issue of kids playing with toy guns. She linked to this fascinating article in Mothering magazine about the psychology of war play. I haven’t read any of the books or studies cited there, so I can’t really judge the validity of any of Knuth’s arguments, but it provides interesting food for thought.
Meanwhile, Pilar’s Montessori school has a “no gun play” policy, and she’s been struggling with the best way to enforce it. Here, she realizes that she’s been approaching the gun play issue without considering the child’s perspective. And here is her wonderful tale of how she helped a child understand the trouble with gun play. Was an extra two minutes worth it? I think so.