An Australian daycare is discouraging the children who attend their facility from wearing Superman, Barbie and Thomas the Tank Engine to school.
Fitzroy’s John Street Community Early Childhood Co-op has removed commercial characters from its toy and book collection.
They are hoping this step will encourage the children to interact and utilize the equipment they provide to ‘enable them to explore and develop natural play skills rather than repeating things they have seen on television.’
The centre’s assistant director said superhero outfits could encourage rough play in boys and girly characters like Barbie and Bratz were unrealistic portrayals of women.
While she didn’t object these characters at home, she believes that childcare should encourage children to use their own imagination.
“We’ve done away with all commercial characters,” she continued. “We have been doing it for quite a while. They (the children) interact with each other more positively. If it’s superheroes its the goody versus the baddie.
“We do find that it changes their play. They need to portray the characters, whoever they’re dressed up as. Our theory is that the kids get enough of that sort of stuff at home.”
I think it’s good for kids to have a break from their cartoon friends. Having a ‘hero free’ zone may give them the chance to be introduced to new skills they may have never learned.