How to choose toys without falling into genre connotations

For many years, toys have been a reflection of society. Catalogs and brochures abounded with home and child care products for girls and science, technology and sports products for boys. Fortunately, this paradigm has changed. A change to which we can join by making a correct choice in these toys.

One of the aspects that our society can be proud of today is that we are changing with respect to all those aspects related to gender connotations and the discrimination they cause. The negative response to sexist attitudes is becoming more and more intense, sexist advertisements are denounced and any violence against women is condemned with greater intensity.

However, much remains to be done. One of the most important points of this pending work is to train the new generations so that they do not fall into the gender stereotypes of the past. Something that we can achieve through a good choice of toys, which goes beyond the classic and more stale patterns.

This is one of the aspects where much remains to be done, since certain toys are still being associated with a certain sex or photos and designs are presented that maintain theoretically outdated patterns, such as girls cooking, cleaning and caring for babies, while children play with cars, play sports or use tools and workbenches.

Fortunately, with a little common sense and the guidelines that we will give you in this article, you will not have to worry about falling for these sexist toys and leaving gender connotations aside.

breaking stereotypes

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing one of these products is that there are no toys for boys and girls. Toys as such do not have a specific sex, unless society or the manufacturer wants to fix it. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with a girl playing with a ball or a racing car, just as there is no problem with a boy having fun with a kitchen or a doll. By the time we take on this first approach, we will have a lot figured out.

Another element that has traditionally been used to establish a certain sex for a toy is colours. Everything that has pink in any of its shades is intended for girls, while blue toys are focused on boys. Something absurd in the eyes of the little ones, but with the passage of time and age it even serves as an element of ridicule, especially against children who commit the “crime” of riding a pink bicycle, for example. Therefore, it is worth teaching our little ones that colors are nothing more than that, simple colors.

What matters are your preferences

The game is so important in the development of the personality of our little ones that it can establish their future tastes in order to choose a profession. Toys are elements with which the little ones can develop their personality, being a fundamental tool for the physical, cognitive and even social development of the little ones.

Therefore, it is obvious that above sexist biases and other elements that are not related to what our player is interested in, the concerns that he presents should always be. A boy who wants to cook or a girl who wants to build buildings with blocks are not anything out of the ordinary, but simply free people in a process of personal construction and who require these specific tools for their own preferences.

It is true that a boy who wants to do ballet can be as shocked as a girl who wants to play soccer, especially in the eyes of the old paradigm that we have been commenting on. But if we have taken the precaution of eliminating these biases from our own minds, then we will be in the perfect position to satisfy that curiosity of our little ones. Once this mental cleaning is done, the choice of that toy is much simpler, because it has those personal preferences as a reference.

And what about STEM toys?

STEM toys are those linked to the development of skills in fields such as science, engineering, mathematics and technology. Among these toys we can find Lego Technics kits, BQ robots and a wide range of technological kits, with which it is easy to develop all kinds of designs, according to the nature of each of these products.

Let us think that the field of technology and science in general is already a section in which women have a reduced presence, being a entrenched problem the way in which action should be taken to promote these vocations. The problem is that these connotations are sometimes carried over into the products themselves. As an example, if we take a look at a comparison of Lego Technics sets, we will find many models to make high-end vehicles or construction machines, generally linked to children. However, the range also offers more and more open kits with which to do everything, as well as other approaches different from the more classic ones.

This is precisely the aspect that we must bet on. As we have been commenting, the more neutral the approach of the STEM toy that we plan to give away, the better it will be for it to be accepted and useful in its mission, beyond having fun, of course.

An idea in which generalist robots, open kits or laboratory and experiment games fit perfectly. All these toys must be free of the “gender” colors that we have discussed and have a neutral approach in all its elements. All this without forgetting the most important thing: to adapt the toy to the age of the recipient and also to her preferences, within the options available in these STEMs. A simple solution to execute and perfect for our little ones to always play as they want and not as the old archetypes tell them.

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