According to Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at the Toy Association, gender-neutral toys have "really become more and more prevalent" in the past five years. It's a toy trend that's "definitely going to continue," predicts Seiter. And that's good news for everyone.
Especially for us here at ThreadBear Design, as we have originated some really gorgeous and contemporary looking wooden toys that have massive appeal to both boys and girls. In fact we really pride ourselves on the fact that we can and will continue to design toys that are devoid of stereotypical gender traits.
"Toys help children to learn new skills and develop intellectually, says Lisa Dinella, associate professor at Monmouth University. Dolls and pretend kitchens are good at teachings kids cognitive sequencing of events and early language skills. Building blocks like Lego and puzzles teach spatial skills, which help set the groundwork for learning math principals down the line. “Both genders lose out if we put kids on one track and they can’t explore,” says Dinella.
Which is why we have developed our dolls houses and play kitchens to be gender neutral specifically in their colour schemes, and lack of over illustrated detailed 'girly' graphics traditionally associated with dolls and accessories.
Similarly all the furniture sets that accompany all our dolls houses have been designed to appeal to all children as we have concentrated on the details and play value instead of typical and now out of date feminine colour schemes and icons.
"Gender stereotypes hold us all back and help to drive assumptions about who does the caring, they cause toxic masculinity and hold women and girls back in terms of the career choices they perceive as being 'for them'," Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers tells The Independent.
If you would like to read more about the great work being done on smashing stereotypes in childrens' products, then please head over to Jess Day and Tricia Lowther's blog Let Toys be Toys where they have lots of wonderful gift guides and really interesting articles on the importance of childhood development.