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Breaking Gender Barriers with Toys

toys-585 I didn’t find out the gender of my kiddos for a couple of reasons. One was that I really wanted the surprise of finding out on the baby’s birthday. The second was that I knew there would be plenty of opportunities to wear all the pink and all the blue that their little hearts desired. For a time, I just wanted to enjoy the fact that I was growing a baby and enjoy all of the endless speculation about who that little person might be. I liked the freedom of their being without a gender for awhile.

As much as I can, I like to give my kids the freedom to choose what they want to play with, regardless of what gender a toy is meant for. I encourage creativity and outdoor play for all of my kids; I encourage nurturing and imaginative play for both genders. I never pushed pink and princesses on my daughter, but she gravitates toward all things sparkly and pink. She likes to be fancy. You know what else she likes? She likes to run all over the house, knocking things down and tackling her brother. She likes collecting rocks and splashing in puddles. She likes playing with sticks and digging in the mud. She likes taking care of her dolls, but she loves her black stuffed dragon. She likes Legos and drawing and will build and create for hours at a time. My son loves cars and trains and planes. But he also likes to watch Sofia the First with his sister. He loves Legos, but he also loves cooking in the toy kitchen and feeding me creative concoctions. He’s got a fireman costume, but went through a period where he wanted to wear all of his sister’s fancy dresses.

Kids are kids, and they want to play. It’s only now at almost 5 that my daughter has taken to saying that toys are “boy toys” and “girl toys.” And each time she does, I correct her and say that anyone can play with anything. I’m so glad to see that toy manufacturers are getting in on that philosophy, too.

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Can’t see the video? Click here to see toys breaking the mold. 

Did those Go! Go! Sports Girls dolls look familiar? They should, because we’ve featured them here because they have such a good message. I want my daughter to be a master builder if she wants to be. I want my son to be a kind, nurturing human being. I want them to be kids, first and foremost. Give the kids toys, and let them make the rules.

Do you encourage your kids to play with toys that are stereotypically popular with the opposite sex?Erin

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