There are sharp gender associations with our interests starting the second we’re born. For example, even before your actual birth, most newborn toys or clothes are geared towards either a boy or a girl. The pink clothes and toys with colorful little flowers and butterflies on them are aimed at girls, while the blue clothes and toys with race cars and sports balls are made specifically for boys.
This does not stop as the years go on. Once children hit their toddler years, the separation and associations are no secret. Just go to any store with a toy section: The aisles glazed with pink and purple that sell dolls and playhouses are marketed towards only girls. On the packaging of many of these items, there are no boys. The same goes for “boy” toys: How often do you find toy race cars and building materials for girls?
For that reason, I’ve gathered up a couple of brands and toys that either flip the gender stereotype or are simply aimed for the use of both boys and girls.
The Pattycake Doll Company is not your normal doll manufacturer. This company actually sells dolls for everyone and even dedicates a section on its website specifically to boy dolls. Some of their boy doll products include Aquini-Boys Potty Training Doll and Play Time Prince. Finding male-oriented dolls is difficult and quite unusual. This company is creating the spark to help make that change.
While the first product I mentioned was meant to flip the gender stereotype for boys, this one does the same for girls. When taking a trip to the toy store, you rarely find building toys for young females. If you do, it’s a rare occasion to find something that promotes math, science, and technology. Roominate however, does. It’s a building toy for girls that allows them to be creative and build whatever they may desire. From making a doghouse to a basketball court, the possibilities are endless. This product also supports engineering and scientific skills, since many of these fields are generally male-dominated.
So I encountered this toy in Toys Я Us and it caught my eye for two different reasons. The first was that it had both a little boy and girl on the packaging. The second was that it was geared towards toddlers. Although this product does not flip any stereotype, it simply offers a toy guitar that both girls and boys could play with. If you have more than one child around the same age when they are young, it is nice to have toys that both can enjoy. Music is a universal language, and toy musical instruments should not be differentiated based on gender.
If you know of any other toys aim to be gender-neutral, sound off in the comments below!
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