Dear retailers - Let Toys Be Toys four asks of retailers presented graphically.

Dear toy retailers… #Just4Asks

Let Toys Be Toys is calling on the toy industry to market toys in a more inclusive way. Here’s what we’d love to see from retailers in their catalogues and promotional material:

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Let Toys Be Toys 2018 Silliness Awards

maths times tables gender stereotypes primary school ofstedSo folks, it’s nearly 2019 and there’s no doubt that lots of progress has been made in terms of fewer products on the shelves labelled ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. But we still get sent plenty of examples of gender stereotyping and unnecessary labelling and, in time-honoured fashion, we take this opportunity to look back, not so much in anger, but in disappointment at the silliest examples to come our way in the past couple of years.

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Great gifts to foster STEM skills – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

As well as being fun, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) toys and books are a great way to build skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness and critical thinking.

We’ve chosen a range of toys and books to help curious children everywhere develop an interest in science and discovery.

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Toymark turns 5!

2018 marks the five year anniversary of the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark – our good practice award recognises toy retailers and booksellers who are marketing inclusively to all children, without ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ labels or colour-coded signage. Over 50 retailers throughout the UK have received our award since 2013.  Read what some of our retailers have shared about winning the award.

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Whirligig Toys becomes first multi-branch winner of the Toymark award

On the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Toymark scheme, Whirligig Toys has been awarded with the 2018 badge for good practice for all four locations of their shop, making them the first multi-shop recipient of the award.

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Raising children without gender stereotypes

By Dr Finn Mackay, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of England

You can now download, display and consult your very own guide to raising children without gender stereotypes, all in an A3 poster! The 20 tips introduced on the poster are a summary of a much longer article and they will hopefully be useful, practical, informative and probably provocative, for parents and educators alike. The tips are only a beginning, and they are intended to start reflection and discussion: everyone could probably add their own to the list.

What?

Firstly, let’s start at the beginning, what sort of stereotypes are we talking about? Anyone with children in their lives, perhaps especially young children, cannot have failed to notice gender stereotyping: in children’s clothes; in children’s toys; in leisure activities aimed at children; in children’s programmes on TV… basically, everywhere. Read more…

Why no stories for rebel children? Don’t divide young readers by gender

By Tricia Lowther, originally published in the Guardian.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, and its more recent male equivalent Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different, are among a clutch of bestselling children’s books that supposedly break down gender stereotypes. By sharing tales of inspirational women and men who succeeded against the prevailing stereotypes of their time, these books aim to challenge ideas about what it means to be a boy or a girl. But could they actually be reinforcing the problem? Read more…

Could a new rule make advertisers dump stereotypes?

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is consulting on a new rule, aiming to tackle gender stereotyping in advertising. Here’s how we’re planning to respond – you can submit your own thoughts to the consultation until Thursday 26 July (tips below).

The CAP and BCAP codes set out the principles that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) uses to judge advertising. Following the ASA’s report last year, which gathered evidence of the damage caused by gender stereotyping, ASA now intends to come up with a workable new rule and supporting guidance to act against ads that cause harm or offence due to stereotyping.

While we welcome the proposed new rule, we feel the proposed supporting guidance can do more to promote better practice. And we recognise that the real solution lies in more creativity from the ad and toy industries. Read more…

Yes, we do like Dear Zoo

Many of us have copies at home and have enjoyed reading it to our children (yes, even when it was for the 179th time!). So if you read the pieces in The Sun or the MailOnline linking us with calls to get rid of it, please be reassured that this isn’t the case, and that the quote from one of our campaigners was manufactured.

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Do we need more female villains in books?

Lesson plans – gender bias in children’s books

Recent research found just one female ‘baddie’ in the top one hundred best selling picture books. These ready-to-use lesson plans for World Book Day look at gender bias in children’s books as a way of opening discussion on everyday sexism in books and films.

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