Monday, 16 February 2015

Playing with things girls aren't supposed to play with

I promised I'd write something about children's toys, so here you go:)
Some of you may remember my post about the Pink Stinks! campaign, which campaigns against the differences in the toys boys and girls get to play with in the UK, and there are similar initiatives in other countries as well now.

When my partner and I had Momo, we gave the whole boys' toys and girls' toys question some thought and we decided that we wanted to encourage her to play with what are traditionally considered "boys' toys". Because we knew that most other people were going to do the opposite. By encouraging her to play with boys' toys, we're redressing the balance. Or trying to, at least.

We want Momo to have the same chances in life as a boy. So I try to build a lot of cube towers with her, because research suggests that girls might be less good at understanding three-dimensional space (which isn't handy for maths) because they don't play with things such as cubes so much. So again, this is about trying to redress the balance.

So when our parents asked what they could get her for Christmas, we deliberately suggested things like a workbench with a hammer and a drill, rather than dolls or a play kitchen, because she gets to play with those a lot when she's with her minder.

One thing we definitely want to avoid however, is to make her feel guilty or bad about playing with "girls' toys" (see Sheila's post about the dangers of doing this).

Momo's 20 months old now, so a bit over a year and a half. She's enjoys playing with all kinds of toys. She likes her workbench, though she's not playing with it that much. I think that might be because neither my partner nor I are taking the time to show her how to really use all the accessories. And because she doesn't see either of us work on an adult workbench or with things such as drills. When my brother was building his house, he used his drill a lot, and I think it was quite natural for his son to want to use his toy drill as a consequence of that. Because my feeling is that children like to imitate what their parents are doing.

Anyway, that's all I've got to say for now about toys! Cheerio!

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