I've never approved of getting toy guns or swords for the children because I do not want to promote senseless violence. There are already enough healthier games, activities and playthings to occupy them.
However, Joash has recently been very inspired by what he learnt in school about how policemen and soldiers protect the innocent people against "bad guys". Also, he wants to be like Joshua and Gideon of the bible who fought against the enemies of God to claim the promised land. His ambition at the moment is to be a soldier or a black-uniformed STAR (Special Tactics and Rescue) Officer.
He has even roped his sisters into role-playing with him and ingeniously used the building blocks to make weapons like guns, rifles and swords. Soon, we all realise the cons in doing that: they fall apart easily and they tend to hurt badly when one of the kids accidentally hit another with them.
I thought that it is actually a good thing for them to role-play such positive real life scenarios and so I was racking my brains for a way to get weapons that are safe for them to play with. I couldn't find foam ones in the shops, so I decided to make them myself after I remembered a photo of ones made from recycled materials by a cell group mate.
Armed with paper, anti-slip mats, silver tape, sticky tape, mounting tape and a pair of scissors, I made toy swords and guns for my three older kids. I even used ribbons in the children's favourite colours to indicate who the weapons belong to.
Even so, this is considered an activity that needs parental guidance. I caught Joash shooting himself in the head with his gun and I had to explain to him that it was no laughing matter. I cautioned him against playing that way. They need also to know that soldiers and policemen do not lightly fire their weapons. May they be continuously reminded that they should always remain on the right side of the law.
|The toy guns|
|The fake swords|