The most recent issue of the Playcentre Journal has my article on the history of the War Toys policy in Playcentre (issue 149, pp. 20-22 – see http://www.playcentre.org.nz/journal.php for subscription details). It was the editor Marama Mataparae’s idea to revisit the policy and its relevance in today’s Playcentres. I enjoyed researching the history, trying to find out what the context was for previous discussions, and what the policy actually was – we can often be vague on such details. I found out that the policy is that Playcentre bans “commercially produced war toys” rather than the use of war toys in general. This means that the making of swords at the collage table and subsequent outside play using them is not against the actual policy. However, Playcentre also promotes non-violent play, so there is room for discussion here – both amongst the parents and with the children.  I am hoping the article might spark such discussions.

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