Hello Weasel-ers *(new name for all our followers, its a work in progress!)
We know we haven't updated our blog for a few months as we have been a little busy here at Weasel Towers!
This month we want to talk about "Boys toys and Girls toys" as its a pretty hot topic of the moment and something popped up on my social media about a social experiment where they dressed boys in girls clothes and girls in boys clothing. Then they had a bunch of volunteers come in and play with the babies (10-13 months). Anyway the volunteers choose toys based on genders, dolls for girls and cars for boys. One Volunteer stuck out in my mind the most, was a lady who said "she thought she was a gender neutral person". Subconsciously she went too pick up "boys toys" for the "little boy" she was playing with and was seriously shocked at her decisions.
So this got us thinking!!! Why are there Boys and Girls toys?? i
After doing a bit of research for our curiosity and this blog it turns out its "just" marketing. Many people feel uncomfortable buying a barbie doll or a pink pram for a boy, yet one day they may grow up become a dad and will need to push a pram or wear a sling. The same can be said for a tools for a girl, one day she will need to fix things or change a plug.
Play is a massive part of childhood. It allows children to learn about the world and develop skills ready for the grown up world. Take pouring water from a teapot to a cup, this helps them to understand a little about gravity, hand eye co-ordination, where they need to pour the water in order to get it into the cup and not on the floor. As well the language and social side of play. There is a lot to be learnt to be a grown up!
Toys that are more focused on movement and construction will help to develop gross motor skills (keep them active), problem solving, spatial awareness, engineering and language development, these are predominately marketed to boys . While toys based around role play encourage social and life skills as well as language development as well as arts and crafts these are great for fine motor skill development and can offer a sense of achievement once they are finished, these tend to be marketed towards girls. Children need the chance to develop all these skills and limiting there play will only hinder there opportunities to develop and experience. Children are taking these messages as this is what I should like/be playing with as they are navigating life, looking for social rules and patterns.
It turns out that the inequalities we are seeing in later life is due to the stereotyping that we are seeing from the toy industry!! . By late primary age, research by Welsh organisation Chwarae Teg shows that children already have a very clear idea about what are "girl and boy jobs" that are very hard to shake later on.
To help tackle this gap we offer toys that are for babies and children, suitable for the schemers of play, their likes, abilities (we do not want to set them up to fail), age but most of all they are FUN!! If you come in store the first thing we will ask is if you need a hand, the second thing we ask is how old are they. We will never knowing ask the gender of the child, after all it doesnt really matter!
So lets tackle this gap and buy toys that are toys for all children. After all a toy is fun.
For those interested I have popped the link onto the video ttps://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/10156318097005659/UzpfSTUzNzMxNzg4ODoxMDE1NjUwMzI2OTc2Nzg4OQ/?q=bbc%20gender