Without saying so, manufacturers develop specific toys for girls and toys for boys. Through their marketing and packaging of toys, they are demonstrating which gender should play with each toy. Barbie is seen with blonde and brown-haired young girls playing with her in advertisements and comes packed in her own little pink box. Hot Wheel cars have a blue box and have young boys racing them around in ads. Gender specific toys are nothing new, but today’s parents are questioning their viability. Should little Tommy only be given diggers and trucks to play with? Is little Jane only allowed to cuddle dolls and play dress up? As a Mum of three boys, I’m confident I can share my two cents with you about gender specific toys for girls and boys.
Dolls Are Toys for Girls Only, Not Boys!
Growing up as a girl (surprise, surprise), I had my fair share of dolls, pink dresses and books about princesses. I played with other girls pretending to iron, cook and feed my family, just like I’d seen Mum do at home. There were plenty of gender specific toys available for me to do this too. Toy irons and ironing boards were the coolest ever, then the little bowls and cutlery in the play corner were marvellous for feeding my baby dolls with.
Should a boy ever come along and show interest, he was given a manly role, like going out to work or mowing the lawns. He wasn’t allowed to feed the baby, do the dishes or dress up in strings of bead necklaces.
Nowadays though, there’s a hashtag parents are using to point out the ridiculousness of gender specific toys – #NotAnAprilFools. After all, why should a girl only have the choice of wearing a beautician’s dress up costume and not a doctor’s coat?
#NotAnAprilFools – Parents Take on Gender Specific Toys for Girls & Boys
Both myself and Mr Squoodles are strong believers in equal opportunities for our boys. This means that if they want to take Barbie for a drive in her camper instead of digging in the sandpit, that’s fine with us. We believe, like many other parents today, there’s no reason why boys can’t play with dolls and girls can’t play with cars.
Roo was a young boy whose only desire was to wear a tutu. He was shamed by society and his Mum labelled a bad mother because she let him wear a tutu out of the house. This is so wrong in so many ways! No child should be subjected to any negativity because of their toy or clothing choices. You can find our more about Roo by reading the article When a Boy Wants a Tutu, and check out our gender neutral toy range here in our online toy shop. We’re mighty proud that our toys are gender neutral!