It’s maybe not your first port of call when you need to think of a present, but I’m always impressed with how IKEA manages to have such genderneutral toys! The same goes for their children’s bedroom furniture, morrors, lights, etc: all round a good one for gender neutral-ness.
On their website, they describe how their dolls were designed:
Gender, too, was a consideration with LEKKAMRAT. The decision between IKEA and Annie was to make the dolls gender neutral. “The children will give them a gender,” she said. “It’s nice if one doll is a girl and for another child it’s a boy.” Annie gave the example of her daughter, who had a ‘very pink’ baby doll – ‘Everything was pink’ – but called him Olle. “I think that will happen with these dolls, too,” Annie said.
As we don’t have an IKEA nearby, I tend to buy in bulk the times I go there. I make a list of birthdays that are coming up, to see if any of the toys there would suit the birthday boy or girl. Or the fingerpuppet packs can be split up and used for party bags, for instance. I also buy by age: we get invited to birthday parties all year round, so I’ll buy toys for children of a similar age to mine, store them out of sight for nosy children, and they always come in handy!