Wondering what toys to buy your children, nieces and nephews this Christmas that won’t send a stereotyped message?
We’ve come across lots of suggestions to help you out, thanks to Lisa Clarke, community engagement and project manager at Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre in Peterborough, Ontario— toys like card and board games; Spirograph, an old favourite; science kits; art supplies; kids’ musical instruments; and role play and small-scale theatre activity-based sets.
There’s also ideas for great children’s book that encourage kindness, peace and justice.
Why does it matter?
As Scholastic.com points out, “Kids learn about the world through play, but what does the toy store’s all-pink and all-blue aisles teach them? Probably not what you’d hope: “They signal to girls that femininity is all about commercialism and appearance, and masculinity is about action and aggression,” says Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. And that’s a problem since “toys are a way to communicate to our kids what our expectations are of them as adults,” says Orenstein.
And from lettoysbetoys.org.uk: “. . . the stereotypes we see in toy marketing connect with the inequalities we see in adult life. By late primary age, research by Welsh organisation Chwarae Teg shows that children already have very clear ideas about the jobs that are suitable for boys and girls; ideas that are very hard to shake later on.
Check out the websites below to find some great ideas – and have a fun and happy Christmas!
And this: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/ideas-from-the-trenches-the-dangerous-game-1.3874259 This is an interesting CBC show on video games (that we buy our kids for Christmas)
And these children’s books: