Is it time to diversify kids gender toys in a box? Girls see women fighting for equal pay from boys because men make more money in the workforce. Will separating gender specific toys and making the point of individualism gender identification in play harm or help children.
Many parents are deeply concerned about picking around in their kids’ toys. After all it’s generally kids who select toys, choosing to fall in love with a specific toy making a characteristic connection.
During July known as Christmas time, toy companies gather kids in a room full of toys allowing the children to factor the best toys. From the review of watching which toys are played with the most by children toy brands decide the “hottest toys” for upcoming Christmas seasons.
Sure parents need to be worried about toys because they “do matter” in the social developmental role play factor.
So QZ, explored a scientific guide for how parents should navigate gendered toys without screwing with their child’s mental development.
Purpose of Toys
Every toy teaches something: Kitchen sets teach complex sequencing; dolls may teach nurturing and promote language development; and blocks teach spatial abilities and form the basic foundation of math.
Notable, few children play with that full range of skill-building toys. Despite our best intentions to avoid sexist stereotypes, girls often end up with a substantial doll collection and boys amass buckets of trucks. And changing these habits is easier said than done.
Diversify Kids Gender Toys
This is essentially a research findings guide for how parents should not attempt to arrange their kids toys.
1) Diversify the toy box
As tempting as it might be to throw out all the princess dolls, parents should make sure all kids have access to as many types of toys as possible. If your kid loves dolls, great. But have the blocks and cars around for her too. If he is obsessive about diggers, fantastic. But leave some dolls for him too, and model how to play house.
2) Have a conversation
As children get older, they start to choose their own toys, and they may well choose very gendered ones.
When they make those choices, make sure they understand that there are armies of people at Disney and Lego and countless other companies trying to manipulate that choice. Point out that science kits for girls are about creating make-up, and not constructing levers. Or that Barbie’s physique makes us feel horribly about our comparatively “imperfect” bodies.
3) Be flexible
There’s a mantra among parents that holds true with toys: “It’s all a stage.” My daughters were dressed in princess gear 24/7 for about two years, through New York City blizzards and Washington DC heat waves. And then it ended. Now neither would be caught dead in pink anything, and both refuse to wear dresses.
When kids are in a stage—princess, Lego, Star Wars—embrace that passion, but don’t do it at the cost of everything else.
4) Go activist
Parents are in some ways limited by what toy manufacturers provide. For those who want to go further, they can start campaigns or join ones out there encouraging retailers to lighten up on pink, like Let Toys be Toys.
Let the playtime gender free rein!