All posts in Blog

Changing our stories to #redrawthebalance

Katrina Encanto is part of the team behind the campaign about gender stereotypes and childhood role models, #redrawthebalance. In this guest blog post she looks at gender bias in media and why lack of representation for women and girls matters.

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Book Review: ‘Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of our Gendered Minds’

The belief that humans have evolved into two distinct types of people with very different natures – competitive, risk-taking males and gentle, empathic females, is widespread and powerful, but is it true? In her latest popular neuroscience book, Professor Cordelia Fine takes us through the science that led to the idea of ‘Testosterone Rex’.

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David as Santa

Santa’s end of year review

David Kinnaird has been a professional Santa in Scotland for over 20 years. Here he reflects on how children’s toy choices have been changing in the last few years.

I’ve spent two decades ‘Behind the Beard’ – performing as and training Santas for sites around the UK. One of the first things I seek to instil in those entering the National Elf Service is that there is one question they simply Do Not Ask of the tiny travellers passing through their grottoes.

“What do you want for Christmas?”

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The Let Toys Be Toys 2016 Silliness Awards

To say 2016 has been a turbulent year is something of an understatement, but we at Let Toys Be Toys have been able to take heart from successes including  Buster Books becoming the 10th publisher to agree to #LetBooksBeBooks back in January, and being awarded the BRIO Prize in February in recognition of our work for the benefit and development of children and young people. Most encouragingly of all, our research at the end of this year found that boy/girl signage in the toy aisles seems to be well on the way out. We’ve also had plenty of media coverage and ever more engagement from our fantastic supporters. So in a nod to everyone who has tweeted us and contacted us with pictures and stories of sexist and stereotyped toys, we bring you our annual silliness awards…

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Girls and Boys toy labels on the way out – survey results

Our survey of toy stores and websites has found ‘girls toys’ and ‘boys toys’ signs and website navigation options are on the way out. But what more do retailers need to do to allow children to choose their interests for themselves?

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Covers of toy catalogues

Progress from toy retailers – time for manufacturers to catch up

Our research this year shows that retailers have made big strides forward in letting toys be toys, with boy/girl signage on the way out, and more imaginative adverts and promotional imagery. It’s another picture from toy manufacturers, whose packaging, ads and catalogue images still rely on stereotypes.

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Magazines that kids 8+ will love

A magazine subscription is a great gift that will keep giving all year round, but many, if not most of the children’s magazines on the shelves fall back on tired old pink/sparkly and blue/camo stereotypes. We’ve picked out a few publications which appeal to boys and girls with different interests.

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Let’s Play Outside! – Let Toys Be Toys Gift Guide

Children learn through playing and often love nothing more than exploring the freedom of the great outdoors, developing healthy bodies and a spirit of adventure along the way.  The following toys can all be played with outside and offer something a bit different to children who might seem like they already have a full toy-box.

All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys ‘Toymark award’ – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right.

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Toys for under £10 – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

Avoiding gender stereotypes doesn’t need to be expensive. Check out our guide to great gifts and stocking fillers, from £1.45 – £10.

All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys ‘Toymark award’ – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right. Read more…

Early Learning – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

Early learning toys are a fantastic way to introduce fundamental understandings and encourage creativity in very young minds. Sadly, even at this early stage, several toy makers and retailers are sorting their products according to the all too familiar pink and blue division.

In this gift guide, we’ve picked out toys that help babies and toddlers grow their minds without restricting them according to gender.

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