MAKE A GENDER NEUTRAL TOY BOX FOR KIDS THAT IS NOT PINK OR BLUE

MAKE A GENDER NEUTRAL TOY BOX FOR KIDS THAT IS NOT PINK OR BLUE

Since my child turned three years old, I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about gender stereotypes and their implications. I want my 4 year old son to literally break the norms of our patriarchal society. So I tried to introduce a lot of “girl based stuff” in his routine like playing with a doll, cooking meals, wearing pink, tying his hair etc etc.

But despite my best intentions, the boyishness characteristic seems to rule over. Cars and Dinosaurs seem to be flying around in the house, Sports seems to be never ending love and to top it all peer’s statement like ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘boys are stronger then girls’ seems to find its way in his little mind.

The knack of categorising starts when kids realize their gender and the world around them keeps sending cues and signals telling them what to do. You walk into a toy store and there is an aisle of pink and blue. Even the salesman enquires are you looking out toys for boys or girls. The books, the cartoons, the clothes etc keep giving a distinct message which my son has adopted to really well.

My idea is not to ban him from playing with his favourites, but my idea is to break the stereotype that has been prevalent for ages and also if he desires to play with toys that are considered ‘gender specific’ he should be willing to play with it. Also, research has stated the Traditional masculine toys like blocks and puzzles encourage visual and spatial skills while traditionally feminine toys encourage communication and social skills. If children play with one, they are missing out on other skills.

To stop this debate going on in my house or rather in my son’s mind, I have started introducing gender-neutral toy box for my child that is not Pink or Blue but has an array of toys and even books which he and his friends can play with without getting into the argument like this is for boys or girls. Also, it is a great process to question the stereotypes which exist in our society.

 

The gender neutral toy box

My gender-neutral toy box contains

  • 1 toy
  • 1 board game
  • 1 book
  • 1 DIY and
  • general stationary 

So far I have made 3 gender-neutral box and will share what each of these has.

Books

  1. Ammachi’s Amazing Machine – Interesting book which introduces the concept of simple machines to kids in a very cheerful and happy way and the amazing part is these machines are owned by Amma ( grandmom)
  2. Clive and His Bag – Interesting book about a boy and his useful bag that challenges gender stereotype. Clive share his collection of toys like dolls, nursing equipments and more in the most gentle and affectionate manner
  3. Pattu’s Dosa – The story focuses on a Father making a variety of Dosa’s for his family and also for his fussy eater. It breaks the norm of mom being the cook ( in the traditional households) and focuses on gender equality and ethnic diversity

Board Games

  1. Spot it – As the name says you have to spot the symbol or object with one card with another and be as fast as possible to win the game
  2. Kids on Stage – If you have a drama loving child, this is the perfect game where the kids have to enact different characters mentioned in the card
  3. Fun Magnetic Shape Board Game – There are various shapes in the box which when aligned can make a bird, car, fruit or anything your little one desires to make

Toys

  1. Karaoke Mike – This is a super fun toy I feel helps them to explore their imagination. They can either sing or talk and enhance their communication skills
  2. Hopscotch Activity Mat – Since it’s a lockdown in Mumbai , I arranged an activity Mat that he could use to jump, run and channelize his energy. The idea is to start from point A, complete various task and reach point B.
  3. A Giant Colouring Sheet – Anything that is huge, large and life-size is very attractive to kids. Keeps them occupied for long hours and helps build their imagination too

DIY Activity

So Far, I have done simple DIY activities which can be done using household products and one would not need anything additional that is purchased from the market. I did a sensory activity of touch, smell and tastes making my little one identify the difference between bitter, sour, sweet.

Another DIY activity was when we made a bird feeder using coconut shells which we had used to make the coconut chutney.

Another DIY was a flame-free cooking activity where I had just given him a simple apron so whenever we make something he wears it with a big smile on his face. My little one till now has made oreo balls, watermelon popsicles, roohfza juice, buttermilk and cookies. Hopefully, this is and will be a continuous learning process for him.

This Gender Neutral Box is a perfect reminder for me to break down the unwanted stereotype that has been prevalent in society. For example, cooking is mostly my job in the house and this is the first DIY activity I had put in the box where we made Buttermilk together and he was so thrilled with the outcome he never stopped and also realized cooking can be done by anyone. Similarly, when I see him arguing with his friends I am a boy and you are a girl, I assure him an activity or book goes in the box which solves the stereotyping issue and helps him build a better understanding of the term ‘gender’.

Hope you liked the gender-neutral box for kids that is not pink or blue and do share it with me on my Instagram handle where I will share it with everyone out there. Also I had written an interesting article on house husbands and their acceptance in modern parenting. Curious to know more, click here.

This blog is a part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter‘ . For more interesting content on the Mental Health Causes, you can click here



26 thoughts on “MAKE A GENDER NEUTRAL TOY BOX FOR KIDS THAT IS NOT PINK OR BLUE”

  • When it comes to activities, I believe in giving kids a rage of activities to explore. It should not be gender specific. Their toy box should foster their curiosity and not be restricted to which toy they are playing with.

  • This is really a great idea. This DIY project looks so amazing and perfect way to teach kids. I am looking for similar activities. Many thanks to you for sharing this.

  • Such a beautiful post. It is important to teach the kids not be gender biased. And to tell them that pink is not only for girls and blue only for boys. They should be able to like and cherish any colour without thinking much. Also these are some amazing toy box ideas.

  • I fully support the thoughts to let the childhood free from gender specific toys. These Gender neutral box concept is amazing. Hopscotch Activity Mat is new to me will check it!

  • We as a parent should promote gender neutral parenting, it is need of the society. I love the concept of gender neutral toy box. I am gonna try it out

  • thats a lovely idea of DIY toy box, would try with my daughter. I like the other ideas of gender neutral board games, Toys and books .

  • That’s a beautiful idea. I am definitely trying this with my kids. The book suggestions are so apt and a toy box can be a great surprise to keep our lil ones entertained

  • Wow I loved the concept of gender neutral toy box. indeed it is best way to create a gender neutral environment at home. loved DIY activity as well, and it has reminded me the time, when my kids were young.

  • I hope all parents should follow this. If this stereotype is broken at an early age, future generation will have more gender equality.

  • I think this is a really welcome step to have a gender neutral toy box. Let the kids choose their games based on their personal inclination and interest rather than be dictated by their gender.

    • This is such a great idea to have a gender neutral toy box or a gift box. The books and toy suggestions are so good plus a great way to make it useful for the kid and the sibling if any. Gender neutrality is such small things also will make a huge difference.

  • When ever it comes to creativity I always let my daughter do what she wants like she likes cars and she keep drawing cars and colouring… Kids should be left free to explore…

  • I believe in gender neutral parenting. These are great suggestion’s for making a toy box for a girl or a boy. I would love to get my son a hopscotch mat for sure.

  • I’ve a daughter and a son so dolls and cars both rule my house. Best part is since my kids play together, I see my son playing with my daughters doll hse and mu daughter playing with this cars. There are tmes when one of them wil say u play with ur toy this is for girls/boy, I tell them all toys are for everyone n u both have to play with it.

  • I totally agree with you, it’s high time to select and gift kids the toys according to its cover blue or pink. There are a couple of toys I bought for my kids which are netural!!

  • I absolutely hate it when in a gift shop, we are asked if we want the toy for a boy or for a girl. Even for gift wrapping paper. I strongly believe that a toy doesn’t need a gender. Loved ur post.

  • What a lovely idea! I have two kids – a boy and a girl – and I won’t hesitate in gifting a gender-neutral toy box to both my kids. They would love it that is not Pink or Blue box but a gift that I’ve personalized for them with love and care!

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