All posts by jess

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The Gender Police: A Diary

Through their Twitter account @GenderDiary Ros Ball and her partner James have been cataloguing the drip-drip-drip of gendered messages their children receive. With the e-book of the project out today, Ros explained to us how the project came about, and what they hope it’s achieved.  Read more…

composite of images of preschool TV

Girls on TV – who’s watching?

Campaigner Jess Day looks at the links between toy marketing and children’s media, and why discussion of how girls are represented in media needs to talk about boys too.

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Girl saves goal in front of goalposts in a garden

Football fun: Let Toys Be Toys Gift Guide

The Women’s World Cup kicks off in Canada this weekend, proving that football fun isn’t just for the boys. Check out some great toys and books that footy fans – boys and girls – will love.

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pirate and princess party bags

Princess or Pirate – what’s wrong with mixed parties?

Princess or Pirate? Deborah Nicholls-Lee looks at the pink-blue divide in the children’s party market and asks why shops seem to think boys and girls aren’t friends?

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Care2 impact prize

Care2 Impact Prize for Let Toys Be Toys

We’re thrilled to have been recognised for innovative and high-impact campaigning in the Care2 Awards.

The Awards, presented at the annual eCampaigning Forum event in Oxford, recognise campaigns and initiatives with an outstanding impact on the field of online advocacy, online fundraising, or both. The winner receives a cash donation of £1000 from Care2. Read more…

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Scholastic responds to petition from Els, 8

Good news that young campaigner Els has heard back from publisher Scholastic, in response to her petition asking them to stop promoting books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in their school book fairs. Read their response, and find out what Els and her friends have to say. Read more…

Five Princess Leia figures and two Han Solo toys from the original Star Wars

Star Wars: where is Princess Leia?

This Star Wars Day (May the Fourth…) lifelong Star Wars fan and stay-at-home-Dad-blogger Simon Ragoonanan senses a disturbance in the force, and asks… where are all the women?

When I was a child in the seventies, the first fellow Star Wars fan I knew was a girl who lived round the corner. Together, we played with our Star Wars toys and her way into it was her beloved Princess Leia figure. There wasn’t anything odd about a boy and girl playing together, let alone a girl being into Star Wars. Read more…

Children hold up Let Books Be Books written on pieces of paper

WIN: Scholastic agrees to let books be books

Following a petition from 8-year-old Els, Scholastic has become the ninth UK publisher to agree to drop ‘for girls’ and ‘for boys’ labels from books.

Els has written to Scholastic asking them to stop stocking books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in the book fairs that regularly visit the school. Says Els in her letter, “No books should be ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’… Books should be for everyone and we all like different things.” She gathered support from friends at school, getting over 80 signatures for her petition. Read more…

Child's drawing of a person holding a book that says 'Let Books Be Books' on the cover, surrounded by children's names

‘No books should be ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls” Els, 8, tells Scholastic

Eight-year-old Els was really annoyed to see books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in the range brought to her school by the regular Scholastic book fair. Annoyed enough to want to write to the publisher, and get her school friends and their grown ups behind her. Read more…

Girl and boy with giant construction bricks

Science toys – which toys really spark science learning?

Play is how children learn about the world, so the toys on offer to them really matter. This British Science Week, science educator Wendy Sadler looks at how toys can help develop the scientists and engineers of the future, and offers some ideas of what to look for. Read more…