All posts tagged education

Elsa doll and Baymax toy

Setting the children free: parenting without stereotypes

When Rebecca Asher was researching her book Man Up, she found one message consistently came through loud and clear: the commonalities between boys and girls far outweigh the differences. She outlines for Let Toys Be Toys how the way we raise children and the gender stereotypes we bring to our parenting create and magnify any differences between the sexes.

rebecca-asher

I have never put much store by parenting manuals. Eight years into my career as a parent, I have turned to them on only a handful of occasions. Yet at the same time I have always been baffled by folksy advice to ‘rely on my maternal instinct’. I am not convinced that I have that instinct – maternal, parental, call it what you will. I love my children but I don’t believe that this love translates into always knowing exactly how best to meet their needs. Read more…

boybuggymegan

Book review: Man Up, by Rebecca Asher

Rebecca Asher has charted the one-dimensional view of boys and men throughout their lives, from ‘boys are like dogs’ to teenage troublemakers to non-communicative breadwinner and on to isolated older men in her latest book, Man Up: Boys, Men and Breaking the Male Rules. 

Read more…

Screenshot of @genderclassroom twitter profile

Boys and girls in the classroom: @genderclassroom project

Children come to school to learn – what do they pick up in school about gender? Newly qualified teacher @genderclassroom tells us about their first year in the classroom, how children are learning and applying the ‘gender rules’, and how boys and girls are treated differently, even by staff who believe they’re even-handed.

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…

Chwarae Teg - Agile nation

Fair Foundations – fair play in the classroom

Laura Davies of Welsh organisation Chwarae Teg (Fair Play) explains the importance of their work with schools to promote gender equality in the classroom.

“A father and son are out cycling together. Suddenly a lorry thunders past, knocking the son off his bike. He is rushed to hospital. In the operating theatre, on seeing the boy the surgeon exclaims: “I can’t operate on this child, he is my son!”

Did you have a moment of surprise? And did you feel a little foolish afterwards? Read more…

Two children in school uniform walking holding hands with a man.

Let Toys Be Toys launches resources for schools

As a new term starts, Let Toys Be Toys are launching resources for teachers who want to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom.

Children are keen to fit in and quickly pick up ideas about what’s supposedly ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’, but stereotyped ideas can limit their aspirations and opportunities.

Many toys and books are marketed as being for one sex or the other and children may worry if their favourite toys or hobbies challenge these stereotypical ideas. Parents and carers are often concerned that children who challenge these norms will be teased or bullied.

The Let Toys Be Toys campaign has been approached by parents and teachers highlighting problems in this area. So we’ve worked with teachers to develop resources to help schools tackle these issues in the classroom.  Visit the new Let Toys Be Toys schools pages. Read more…

Plate with paints and finger painting Photo by Mark Baylor

Toys and learning

In education, it’s recognised that children need access to a range of play opportunities to support their development. Early Years practitioner Leanne Shaw looks at how toys support learning through play, and why it’s important that boys’ and girls’ choices aren’t restricted. Read more…

Sandpit

Toys in the early years

Nursery worker Leanne Shaw reveals what really happens when boys and girls are offered a range of toys, and reflects on the importance of toys and play in the early years.  Read more…