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Teachers have described the play of many children who bring the violence they have seen in the
media into their play as looking more like the superficial and imitative rather than creative,
imaginative kind of play. They say children repeat the violence over and over as if following a
script with little evidence of variation, elaboration, or resolution. It is worrisome that when violent
messages are repeated through this kind of imitative play, they are more likely to be incorporated
into a child's repertoire of behavior instead of being transformed as they might be through a
healthier, fuller play process.
The Impact of Toys
Toys have a very big influence on play. Some kinds of toys tend to promote higher quality play
than others (Bronson, 1995; Carlsson-Paige & Levin, 1990). Multipurpose and unstructured toys
like clay, blocks, generic toy figures, and baby dolls, encourage play that children can control and
shape to meet their individual needs. Highly structured or realistic toys, like action figures that are
based on TV programs and/or movies, as well as many video games, can have the opposite
effect. They can take co...
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- Fall '14