This blog is to log any good gender neutral toys that I come across. I am one of three girls myself, and now that I have 2 children, a boy (5) and a girl (3), it is very interesting to see how their interests overlap and differ in the games they play, the toys they choose, etc. That was the same with my sisters and me, of course, but in the case of a boy and a girl, there seems to be more gentle pushing behind it, or things are read into their behaviour more.
I have no intention to completely exclude anything pink or blue, wheels or dolls in our house or on this blog, but I want to find a balance. Everything in moderation: I don’t want everything to be done along gender lines. Not more Hello Kitty things for my daughter (easter eggs, shoes, lunch boxes, magazines) and more Cars things for my son (suitcase, coats, bedding, cups), but things that they both feel they can play with. We have plenty of gender specific toys, and they have a place in play: many of them I and the children love. But it is almost the norm now: not just in terms of pink and blue, but pirates or fairies, Peppa Pig or Postman Pat, flowers or trains. Everything is assumed to be for either girls or boys, not just for a child. Not only is it wasteful (things can’t get passed on as easily for instance), but it is also unneccessarily limiting for everyone!
I want to give others, family members, friends and myself a place where we can quickly find present or play ideas that offer an alternative to this. There will be links to toys that my kids both play with, or that I’ve seen both boys and girls play with at playgroups, toys or books that would be good options for a birthday or Christmas present, but I also hope to include observations, research, into gender differences. I’m also interested in toys and books that challenge the gender stereotypes: books like Meggie Moon for instance, which we recently found in our local library and we all love!
Due to my children’s age, it’ll probably start out with things for babies/toddlers/preschoolers, and grow with them. I’m finding it out as I go along, as with all the parenting issues.
So if you have any ideas, especially for older children, I would love to hear your suggestions!