What Evils are Hiding in Your Children’s Toys?

Unmasking demonic schemes so we can protect our children

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Last year, Bob and I noticed a pattern of troubling behavior from our son Connor. He is normally a sweet and joyful child, so his outbursts of anger and defiance were out of character. We tried disciplining him in different ways, but no matter what we did, nothing seemed to work. I wanted to write his behavior off as a normal stage of development, just a facet of his emerging independence . . . but it almost appeared as if something else was taking over and driving him. Something didn’t feel right, and I was concerned about what was going on in my sweet boy’s heart. I truly did not know what to do . . . so I got on my knees in prayer. I asked God to form a kind and obedient heart in Connor, to deliver him from any evil, and to give me wisdom to know how to best address the problem.

A month or two later, I woke up in the middle of the night from a disturbing dream. In this vivid dream, evil had affected Connor’s mind through a game he was playing. The evil was so strong that it would cause me severe pain in my head anytime I got near Connor. However, when I realized what was going on in the dream, I took a stand against it and said it was NOT okay. I woke up feeling distressed and concerned about Connor, but I wasn’t sure what the dream meant. As much as I wanted to forget that horrible dream, I had a sense God was trying to show me something . . . so I prayed for Him to give me another dream to help me understand. When I went back to sleep, I had two more dreams about Connor’s toys causing a demonic influence over his mind.

As you can imagine, I was troubled by the thought of evil tormenting my son. After three dreams like that, I was ready to do anything to rid our lives of these influences. I prayed for God to show me the source of the problem, and several things came to mind: Minecraft, Skylanders, and Pokemon. I began researching the premise behind these games, and as I did, I discovered some interesting information on Beyblades and Bakugan too.

I always knew these toys and games had a bit of a dark side, but I did not want to be one of those Christian extremists that prohibited my son from participating in popular activities with his friends. I had met enough hyper-vigilant parents who reeked of legalism and intolerance that I knew I didn't want to be lumped into that category. So instead, I followed the “status quo” of my Christian friends; I figured the toys couldn’t be that harmful.

However, after having those three dreams, I began to question whether the philosophies of these games could unknowingly become engrained in a child and desensitize them to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Since we empower what we focus on, are the behaviors learned and practiced in these games leading to the development of ungodly habits and mindsets?

John Paul Jackson thinks so, and even wrote a book about it called “Buying and Selling the Souls of Our Children: A Closer Look at Pokemon.” In it he writes,

Day after day, this powerful psychological process of reinforcement manipulates a child’s thoughts, feelings, and actions until his or her personality changes. A new way of thinking that emerges seems almost natural. Strongholds begin to be solidified in a child’s mind. Satan seeks to infiltrate and dominate our minds and our home by what may appear to be innocent amusement. The games are so beguiling that they become an obsession. While some toys may appear to be just innocent games, if an evil spirit is the driving force behind the game, there is a real chance of evil imprinting upon the child. The enemy doesn’t care if someone innocently opens such spiritually dark doors; he only cares that the doors to our souls are open.

In his book, “A Landscape with Dragons,” Michael O’Brien discusses the dangers found in many of today’s children’s books and games. He writes, “The imagination was originally created to be God’s territory, a faculty of man’s soul that would help him to comprehend the invisible realities.” However, “The imagination must be fed good food, or it will become the haunt of monsters.” Maybe this is why Scripture admonishes us to think about things that are pure and lovely and good (Philippians 4:8).

One day, after Connor’s blatant and disrespectful behavior surfaced, I told him to go upstairs and calm down. When I went upstairs to talk to him, he could hardly look me in the eye. He appeared mentally distressed, and was squirming as if he could not sit still. I asked him if I could pray for him and he said “yes.” As I prayed, I felt led to bind and rebuke any evil spirits troubling him. As I did, Connor speaks up; “They just said, ‘well, well, well, look at that.’” What!?!? Did my son really just share with me something he heard from the demonic realm? I was NOT expecting that . . . BUT, I had prayed for God to reveal the source of the problem, and now the details were starting to unfold. I knew we had nothing to fear with Christ, so I calmly pleaded the blood of Jesus over my son and my home, and we proceeded to rid our lives of anything that could have possibly opened a door to the enemy.

According to John Paul Jackson,

Satan will create circumstances meant to distract or prevent your child from walking into his or her destiny. Children of destiny are being enticed and lured by the spirit of the age, and some have drifted unknowingly into the realm of darkness. While it may seem as if we are living during a time of heightened spirituality, what is promoted in our culture is not Christianity. It’s a form of New Age spirituality where pagan practices such as sorcery, necromancy, channeling, clairvoyance and psychic healing are being mainstreamed into society. Those who proliferate these doctrines have chosen our children as their prime subjects. Our children’s spirits will be receptive to evil principles and occult symbols woven into seemingly harmless games. It matters not if our children understand what the symbols mean. Demonic inroads will be made into their spirits. By concealing his sorcery with cartoon characters, the enemy achieves his goals and deceives both parents and children.

My father, a Baptist pastor, was once called to a family's home to pray over a couple's son. The poor child was tormented with nightmares every night. At some point, my Dad discerned that the child's involvement with Pokemon cards had opened a spiritual door for this oppression.  He encouraged the boy to get rid of his Pokemon cards and ask God to forgive him for unknowingly dabbling with occult powers. As soon as he did this, the nightmares stopped. 

John Paul’s perspective may sound extreme, and my dad's stance on Pokemon may be unconventional, but their wisdom is much needed in our "all-accepting" Christian culture today. In retrospect, I see how my attempt to avoid legalism (and scorn from others) prevented me from using discernment and setting healthy spiritual boundaries in my home. As a result, my child was introduced to the hidden evil and idolatrous agendas of these games, and they were influencing his mind and behavior. In Hosea 4:6 it says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Instead of blindly accepting these games as harmless, I should have taken the time to research them while praying for wisdom (especially since I sensed from the start there was something dark about them). As Christians, we are not supposed to just take the path of least resistance; we need to separate ourselves from everything that is false in the world. As parents, we are the gatekeepers of our home - we have a responsibility to evaluate what we allow in our homes according to Scripture, not according to popular opinion. God created us to be salt and light to the world, which means we are called to expose the works of darkness, not blend in with them (Ephesians 5:11).

In “The Screwtape Letters,” C.S. Lewis warned of two great mistakes that people could make in dealing with the devil. Some develop an unhealthy fascination with him, and others are completely unaware of his existence and evil schemes. Throughout Scripture, we are exhorted not to be ignorant of the devil’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). Rather, we are to remain clear-minded and attentive because our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And since that roaring lion comes “disguised as an angel of light,” we must remain alert to his veiled tactics of destruction (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Some parents believe that these games are just about the battle between good and evil. However, as John Paul wrote about Pokemon,

If ‘good’ monsters are using psychic, occultic, and sadistic methods to win over ‘evil’ monsters, how do you separate good from evil? If we think that only overt evil is sinful, then we fail to realize that not everything perceived as ‘good’ is from God and is spiritually beneficial. Something perceived as ‘good’ can actually be detrimental. Remember, the enemy used the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ to entice Adam and Eve. He still uses it today. All too often, we think that if it is ‘good’ then it must be God or from God. However, there is a way that seems right or good to us, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12).

In the forward of “A Landscape with Dragons,” David Sloan writes, “The monster is being tamed. Good is no longer perceived as good, nor evil as evil; traditional Christian values are considered to be the product of a narrow-minded prejudice. A new world view is being propagated, one that attempts to convince the young that demons are friends or cuddly pets and that people can use evil means to achieve ‘good’ ends.

Though our culture propagates many evil things as "innocent" entertainment, we must be careful not to focus too much on what the enemy is doing, or cower in fear of his tactics.  When we seek the Lord first, we can be assured that our God will protect us and lead us to freedom. He is so faithful, and full of loving kindness.  In the book "The Physics of Heaven," Jonathan Welton writes, "We cannot spend precious time on the defensive against the onslaught of evil in the secular entertainment world.  I would like to present a new strategy.  Each time we see the kingdom of darkness highlighted through books movies, etc., we should ask, 'What is this a counterfeit of in the Kingdom of Light?'  As Christians, when we see that Satan has created a counterfeit, we commonly overreact to try to protect ourselves from contamination."  In other words, don't shut down all sources of the supernatural; embrace the true and pure power that comes from God as you reject the counterfeit.  As it says in Scripture, "Test everything and hold onto the good . . . and abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

John Paul Jackson offers some advice on how to approach purging these things from our home.  Of course he points out that prayer and scripture should be our foundation, but then he advises parents not remove the games from their home without teaching the child why they are harmful. He says we should ask what the game teaches about violence, and if the source of supernatural power came from God or from Satan. John Paul advises the parents to cut off funds for the addiction and then provide positive alternatives to replace these games (which may simply be your time and attention). He states, "Our goal as parents isn’t simply to monitor behavior; our goal is to cultivate godly character in the hearts of our children."

I had Connor cut up his Pokemon cards and throw away his Skylander toys himself. Of course he cried and didn’t want to, but he was more receptive when I explained why we needed to get rid of them. I then took him to the store and let him pick out a new toy to replace the old ones (which made the transition easier). A year later, I am able to see how Connor has grown in discernment from this experience.  He will now point out cartoons and library books that "aren't okay" because they practice sorcery or psychic magic, and he will tell me of games and projects at school that aren't conducive with God's truth.


Many of these children’s games are rooted in the belief systems of pagan religions. For example, Shinto beliefs are found in Pokemon, Skylanders, Beyblades, and Bakugan. They reinforce the premise that we receive power and strength from the five elements of earth, fire, water, air, and spirit. Each of these elements actually forms the five points of the Satanic pentagram, with spirit serving as the star’s top point.  Many of the games and toys use psychic powers to control or destroy the other players, enforcing evil and violent actions to gain power. I've included a few links to articles for those who want to research more about some of these games.









Our children are exposed to pagan influences regularly in today's culture, so it is crucial that we remain spiritually alert. However, the point of this article is not to define what is acceptable in your household.  Instead, I want to encourage you to educate yourself regarding what is influencing your children, and then take that information to heart and pray about it. In the end, the boundaries among each Christian family will vary because every child and situation is different. Though I am much more protective now about what Connor can watch and play, there are still certain "worldly" things I allow him to engage with lightly . . . as long as he can clearly recognize what is wrong about the premise and separate his involvement from those elements.  For example, he plays with Star Wars light sabers, but he does not pretend to use "the force." We have learned the hard way that the use of witchcraft and occult power even in play forms can still be spiritually dangerous (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).

As you seek God for guidance, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best” (Philippians 1:9-10). Together we can take back the territory the enemy has stolen and live up to our calling as the gatekeepers of our home. In doing so, we will propagate God's true kingdom light among our families and communities.

Carey McNamara

I am a wife to Bob, a mom to Connor, and a physician assistant who is passionate about beating heart disease. As a devoted lover of Jesus, I am on an unending quest for more truth, love, and wholeness through Him. I have come to a place in my life where I realize God is not afraid of my questions, and I have learned the joy of pursuing Him until I discover His heart. As a result, I created a blog to encourage others in their own journey towards Life, Liberty, and Love in Christ. I am passionate about doing life authentically in community, and am thrilled to share a bit of that with you here.

*Please comment respectfully. I welcome honesty as you share your thoughts and feelings. However, since many of these subjects are controversial, I ask that you take care to honor others in the process. I reserve the right to delete any inappropriate comments.