Selecting Toys to Avoid Stereotypes

Do the toys we buy our babies end up influencing how they grow up seeing themselves as girls and boys? An article published online by the National Association for the Education of Young Children gives some insights into which toys are best for all kids and which just foster stereotypical behavior.

The article quotes from an interview with Judith Elaine Blakemore, a professor of psychology at Indiana University−Purdue University. Her primary research interest is the development of gender roles.

Blakemore says that boy toys tend to be “fighting” toys while girl toys are more about “appearance.”  She says that toys that avoid these gender stereotypes are much better at developing children’s “physical, cognitive, academic, musical, and artistic skills.”


As parents and educators, we can gear our children toward netural gender based toys to foster their development and try to teach them that toys are playthings based on the love of play. At an early age, creating a non-gender bias can enrich your child’s whole development and raise them as individuals that learn understanding toward each other.

In what ways would you like to see your children understand gender differences without stereotypes?