Children like toys most because toys are fun. Toys provide seemingly endless entertainment for the child. They are more than just fun and games for kids. Most toys provide at least some opportunity for children to learn. Even the best toy engage a child’s senses. Babies are eager to learn about the world around them. Giving your baby toy that is safe and stimulating will help him discover his senses. But, as a parent or guardian, you should consider the child’s interests while buying a toy, not their gender. Some people consider the gender of kids while buying a new toy. For example, dolls for girls and cars or robot man for boys. But, a new research by California State University suggests limiting the choice of the toy according to gender can fuel stereotypes.
Some parents think a toy that develops spatial skills or is devoted to science are for boys only. And the toys that develop empathy and verbal skills are for girls. This thinking severely limits how children develop.
Sociologist Elizabeth Sweet said, “Clues to the continued dominance of men in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields—and the reason nurturing often comes more easily to women—can be found in the children’s toy department.”
“If kids aren’t exposed to the kinds of toys and play that help them develop those skills, they may not be as good at them over time. But even more insidious is that it reinforces the stereotype that boys are good at science and math, and girls are not. It pushes women and girls out of that field because they think it’s not for them,” she added.
Making STEM toys pink would not help much. This is the wrong approach.
Sweet said, “I think that plays up the stereotype that girls are so different that they need a special kind of STEM toys.”
Different types of toys offer many opportunities for children to learn. Such type of learning makes education enjoyable. It also helps your child retain the things and develop their positive attitude toward learning. For instance, building blocks are great for building spatial skills. Playing with dolls is really good for developing language skills and nurturing abilities. All of those skills are essential for a fully functioning human.