Are boys and girls different players? Should you select various toys for them? And should certain toys be avoided altogether? Any parent, friend, or member of the family who is trying to pick the best toy for their child out of the many options on the market might think about these questions.
While most girls seem to prefer playing with dolls or soft toys, domestic toys like kitchens, and sparkly dressing up clothes, few people would dispute that the majority of boys enjoy cars, trains, guns, and action-packed games. Is there a problem with this? On the surface, no, but if play is restricted to only games and toys that strongly reinforce gender stereotypes, then things may take a different turn. It could imply that girls will learn that being attractive and acquiring strong domestic and nurturing skills are essential. Boys may also learn that aggression, violence, and competition are both exciting and fun because their toys and games are often more competitive and often involve risk, danger, or aggression.
Do you set a good example for others?
Numerous studies have examined how boys and girls play with toys and what motivates them to do so. When children observe adults interacting with toys during shared playtime, they receive strong messages about gender-specific behaviors, which is one of the most important influencers. Children frequently imitate the adult they look up to. In fact, research has shown that parents tend to play with their children’s gender-identical toys longer, like a boy’s train or a girl’s doll. Additionally, parents frequently dismiss cross-sex toys and appear more at ease with gender-identical toys (2). Instead of watching your child play with toys, you might want to watch yourself play with toys and think about how you are influencing them!
What is your opinion of comfort toys?
Numerous youngsters might become connected to a specific toy or item like a cover. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case, despite parents’ concerns that it is unhealthy and should be discouraged. In point of fact, children who adopt familiar objects of comfort frequently have a better chance of falling asleep and adapting well. When a child is ready, the obsession with a particular toy or object will typically fade away.
Life is full of variety!
In the end, both boys and girls will benefit most from a wide range of play experiences that support their full development from an educational development perspective. Every child will learn about shapes, colors, and the names of objects through shape sorters and puzzles. Additionally, regardless of gender, playing with toy kitchen equipment, dolls, cars, fantasy figures, and computer games will benefit all children. Toys of this kind encourage creativity and teach new, useful skills. It’s possible that this is the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a toy for a child: education begins at a young age, and each child will gain a solid foundation for a more balanced perspective on life as they grow and develop.