72. Gender-Neutral Toys

Where do you stand on gender-neutral toys?

I’m a firm believer in equality of opportunity. I want my daughters to believe they can be anything they want to be.

And I also believe that toys shouldn’t give children gender-stereotypical ideas. A girl’s dressing up box should contain a doctor’s outfit, even though it’s equally honourable to be a nurse.

But after teaching for so many years – and then having four of my own – I’m also certain that boys and girls naturally have different preferences.

Children learn through play. But what are they learning? How to build with blocks and how to co-operate, sure. But they’re also learning about society and people’s place within it.

What do our choices of toys tell our children about who they are and what they could become?

What are your assumptions around gender stereotypes as they relate to play?

What is the mix of toys in your toy box? It’s OK for boys to play with cars and for girls to love dolls. But should they only play with toys that they’re drawn to?

What do you think? What does your toy box look like?

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