Should We Be Worried About Children Playing Pirates?

pirate ship toy

Should We Be Concerned About Our Children Playing Toy Weapons?

Kids love to role-play as pirates and more often than not they use props such as toy guns or toy swords to make their pretend-play more realistic. Toy guns and other weapons are literally everywhere, you’ll find them in pretty much any toy shop, even if they don’t sell them specifically then you can be pretty sure some of the little characters will have them, and most supermarkets seem to sell nerf guns or similar, so are children are often bombarded with weapons from a young age.

And even if you don’t have them in your home, even if you purposefully don’t introduce them to your children, the chances are if you go for a walk in the woods they’ll pick up a stick and start using it as a sword.

We might not want our children to be playing with guns and pretending to kill each other, but some psychologists suggest that this kind of play is actually an important part of child development and not something we should be too afraid of.

Play fighting allows children to explore and understand their aggression making them less likely to go on to use it harmfully later. Rough play helps children understand their strength and explore their boundaries and social relationships.

Of course, we need to be aware of what’s going on when our children are fighting, play fighting can sometimes turn into real fighting so there do need to be rules. And sometimes even if the play is fun children or adults if we are playing with them can get hurt. This, however, can be a great learning experience. If your child accidentally hits you really hard with a stick they’ll see that they’ve hurt you and not want to do it again.

Pretend Play as Pirates

Playing Pirates also tends to be more about swords than guns which can be easier for some people to be ok with. Swords generally are historic and thus children can also learn about history at the same time.

Sword fighting is highly skilled and requires swordmasters to be quick-witted as well as quick on their feet. It can look like a dance and is about defence as much as to attack.

There is also the argument that children shouldn’t be completely censored from violence. It is arguably a part of human nature that they will most likely encounter at some point and surely better to have an understanding of our violent history and the problems it can cause than have no idea. Violence it can be argued should be understood rather than repressed.

And it isn’t just the baddies like pirates that have swords, knights of valour were also swordsmen, protecting the kingdom and being heroic. And swordplay can be a great way to ignite the imagination.


Next Up: Our Top Five Pirate Ship Toys