I really hate gender stereotyping. I hate it when you go into a shop and see the ‘girl’ area which is all pink and filled with dolls, while the ‘boy’ section is chock-a-block with cars, trucks and superheroes.Why can’t boys push a pink buggy? Why can’t a little girl build a Lego dumper truck? The answer is – they can, and they should.I have 3 children – 1 girl and 2 boys. They don’t have their ‘own’ toys. We have lots of toys, that anyone can play with. Since Max was born 7 months ago, both children have enjoyed playing ‘mums and dads’ – feeding dolly a bottle and taking her for a walk in the pram. That’s just children, acting out what they see happening in real life. Dads push a pram, and no-one bats an eyelid – in fact it is encouraged. And the same principles should apply to our little ones. We should stop seeing them as boys and girls, and just see them as children with an endless imagination.
So here are my top 3 toys for girls and boys to enjoy:
Lego. Lego is a firm favourite in our house, and we build all sorts of things with it – houses, trucks, cars, swimming pools, hairdressers – the list is endless. Lego really fires the imagination, and children love it for that very reason. They can play with Lego in whichever way they see fit. You can even bring in other toys to join in – little Playmobil figures, toy animals, Hot Wheels cars – in fact, pretty much anything.
Wooden train track. This is another item that is well loved in our house. There is a huge amount of fun to be had with a train set. We have a few accessories too – bridges, turntables and tunnels. The children (and Daddy) build huge, winding tracks that run from one bedroom to another, then while away many a happy hour driving trains, carriages and wooden cars up and down the tracks – usually with a few crashes thrown in for good measure.
Dolls. They are NOT just for girls. All children enjoy acting as ‘grown ups’ – looking after their baby, feeding them a bottle, changing the nappy and heading out for a walk with the pram. Just like mummy and daddy do. Max’s newborn clothes have been stolen and re-used for dollies, and nappies often disappear from the changing table too. But I don’t mind. The children are learning important life lessons – empathy, how to care for another person, and responsibility.
So, with Christmas upon us, try and avoid the ‘pink for girls and trucks for boys’ mentality and try something different this year. You might just be surprised at how much your little one enjoys it!
|Jacob proves you can wear fairy wings and play with a tractor. And why not?!|