Playful Aggression: Superhero and Weapon Play in ECE
Playfighting and playful aggression are universal urges in young children across cultures, yet teachers and parents have long struggled with this kind of play in our ECE settings as it seems at odds with our shared desire for a just and peaceful society.
Yet research clearly shows that children’s fantasy play helps them to make sense of the world (Taylor & Carlson, 1997), and playfighting (superhero play, weapons play, rough- and- tumble play) allows them to explore their own sense of agency and power, as well as complex concepts such as social justice and the place of violence in society (Carlsson-Paige & Levin 1987, 1990; Cantor 1998; Levin 1998, 2003; Katch 2001).
This interactive workshop will look at the positive and negative aspects of playful aggression in young children, and share great real-world tips for creating opportunities to celebrate this vital
aspect of human development in a respectful and lawful climate.
Robin Christie is an early childhood teacher who designs and builds learning spaces for young children, both indoors and out. Robin specialises in creating custom-built environments that are functional, culturally appropriate, and aesthetically pleasing. He is married to Toni, his partner in love, life and work, and they are in the process of living happily ever after on ten acres on the edge of Wellington, NZ.