All posts in Perspectives

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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…

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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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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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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…

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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…

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Pink and blue – who cares?

Are parents really that bothered about pink/blue marketing? Jim Wilson, owner and manager of independent toy and gift retailer Born Gifted wasn’t convinced. So he asked his customers – and the answers surprised him. We asked him to explain more about why he commissioned the research, and what he found. Read more…

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Raising the issue of stereotypes in school – case study

It can be daunting to raise a question with your child’s school. Will the teacher be angry or offended? Might you get labelled as a nuisance? Megan explains how she went about querying the language of a homework assignment which reinforced stereotypes about who can be an inventor. Read more…

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V Day – counter violence against women by fighting stereotypes

14 February marks V Day – an international movement to end violence against women and girls. Let Toys Be Toys campaigner Tricia Lowther explains why she feels that countering stereotypes, and looking at what we teach children about girls and boys, men and women, is a central part of countering gender-based violence.  Read more…

Pink and blue buckets of Meccano

Meccano – for boys?

Meccano have been in the news recently for their marketing of their new toy ranges at ‘boys 8+’.  We think it’s a shame that so many creative toy companies seem to be unable to think outside the limiting pink and blue boxes and imagine ways to market toys that don’t exclude boys or girls.

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OKIDO – an inclusive magazine

A magazine subscription makes a great Christmas gift, one that children can enjoy all year round, but finding inclusive options can be a challenge. Sophie Dauvois, co-founder of OKIDO magazine explains why they’re trying to do something different with their bi-monthly science and art magazine for 3-8 year olds.

Have you seen the state of the current children’s magazine selection out there? One look along the racks of the supermarket shelves or large, multinational news agencies will show the same dismal story of poor quality, gender-specific, plastic-wrapped rubbish. Read more…