Many of us have been spending time online or in stores shopping for gifts for loved ones lately. Much has been made of the "gendering" of toys, the color-coded packaging, the narrow boxes of behaviors that boys and girls are welcome to enjoy. The degree to which EVERYTHING is proscribed in this way can make even the most open-minded parent feel funny about shopping for their child in the "wrong" section.
Well, a Swedish toy manufacturer has done something really unusual. They published a catalog (filled with toys made by Toys 'R Us) that has pictures of boys and girls playing together with every toy. Click here to see some images. This was done voluntarily, but, according to the Wall Street Journal's blog, the toy store had been criticized by the national ad regulator for contributing to gender stereotypes with it's catalogs in the past.
Have you bought your child a toy that has been assigned by our culture to the opposite gender? How did that feel to you? How did your friends and family react? I think that changes like this one could take some of the pressure to follow "gender rules" off of us when it comes to getting toys for our children.
I wonder what would happen if we shared these photos with some of our older children. (Preschool teachers? Are you game?)