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Children's Play and Military Toys Today 1049
Brandl M., Executive-Board Member, Non-Governmental Organization of Toy Expertise “Spiel gut” (Ulm, Germany), Germany
The subject of war (or force) toys in the context of children's play as the dominant activity is considered from different view point in the paper. Their place in the market of toy products and among children's play materials is described. The author examines the reasons for the popularity of this type of toys and their role in child's life. The different roles of force toys in the children's subculture and in the play, in particular, are discussed in the context of research results. The typology of military toys is given. The results of research from the Institute for Peace Education (Tübingen, Germany) experts are presented, revealing the diversity of meanings and values of military toys in children's lives. The author presents his views on the relationship between aggressive communication model and the play with force toys. The view of the “Spiel gut” experts on the issue of assessment of military toys is presented, the evaluation criteria and the conditions, under which they can be recommended for child play, are discussed. In conclusion, the author draws attention to the importance of a healthy family atmosphere and encourages adults to engage more closely and to organize the life context of their children, to create rich space for independent, diverse and creative play.
Keywords: toys, military toys and games, media-reality, masculine values and behavior models, quality label “Spiel gut”.