All posts tagged toyshop

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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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10 Things

11 fantastic toys and books to foster STEM skills – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

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

Of course we all know science is for everyone, but gender bias means STEM toys are often targeted squarely at boys, (or else given a dusting of pink glitter and lipstick as if that’s the only way to get girls interested). We’ve chosen eleven toys and books to help curious children everywhere develop an interest in science and discovery.

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

“Let nature be your teacher” – William Wordsworth.

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. Wrap them up this winter and let them breathe fresh air whilst running, climbing, jumping, skipping, balancing, splashing, swinging, and getting dirty!

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.

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PetitChou

Focus on… Petit Chou

Petit Chou is an independent toy shop nestled away in the peaceful St Christopher’s Place area, just a stone’s thrown away from the crowded department stores on London’s Oxford Street. Read more…

  • ToysRUs_Dreamdazzlers
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_scienceScience toys at ToysRUs. The heading 'Let's discover Science', and images of boys and girls are appealing to all. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_CreativeCreative play for all. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_costumesDressing up clothes are grouped together. You might be surprised there aren't more dresses... (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_dreamdazzle... that's because they're in the Pink Zone, under the heading 'Girls Girls Girls Dream Dazzlers'. Girls may dream and dazzle. But within a very limited colour palette! (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_dreamdaDream Dazzlers sparkly dressing up is only for 'Girls girls girls'. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_makeupThe Dream Dazzlers range includes make up sets. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_girlzSylvanMassive 'Girlz' signs make it clear who is supposed to like Sylvanian families... and who is not. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_umbrellasAnd, bizarrely, same goes for 'umbrella's' [sic] (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_GirlzcollecAnimal collectables, including Zhuzhu pets for 'Girlz'. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_Girlz_FrLego Friends displayed under 'Girlz', away from the rest of the Lego (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_construcSo if Lego friends is for 'Girlz' the rest of it would be for...? Only boys appear in the construction section. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_construWith powerfully branded 'Girlz boutique' and 'Girls girls girls' aisles, the implication that the rest of the store is for boys won't be lost on children, especially when all the children in the signage are male. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_DisneyprincAnd while the featured boys are active, all the girls seen in signs are passive: standing still, maybe showing off a tiara. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Reading_GirlzMore smiley Girlz (Reading, JUne 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Reading_BarbieGirls' play is shown as focused on appearance and display: being, not doing. (Reading, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_woodenWe'd like to see more signage and organisation by theme and type. Here, wooden 'small world' play is grouped together. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_boxgamesBoxed games grouped together and organised alphabetically. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_jigsawsYes. Jigsaws are for kids. So why are so many of the toys in store labelled for 'girlz'? (Enfield, June 2013)

ToysRUs toyshop gallery

ToysRUs claim that their stores are ‘gender neutral, really’. And it’s true that many of the displays promote toys well to girls and boys alike. Our photos from stores around the UK show some of the things we think ToysRUs are doing well, and highlight some of the problems.  Read more…

  • Only boys play in the bath? (Entertainer Westfield Stratford, March 2013)
  • Lego is for boys?Lego under 'boys toys', including the girl-targeted 'Friends' range. (Entertainer, Bluewater, March 2013)
  • No daddies then? Dolls under 'girls toys' (Entertainer Bluewater, March 2013)
  • No creativity for boys? Crafts, including badge maker, dough animals under 'girls toys' (Entertainer Bluewater, March 2013)
  • Games for boys? (Entertainer Westfield Stratford, March 2013)
  • Ent_Reading_1303_boyssciencScience sets, including 'make your own perfume' categorised under 'boys toys' at the Entertainer, Reading, March 2013
  • Step away from the glue, boys! Creative crafts, glitter, glue, filed under 'girls toys' at Entertainer Reading, March 2013
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_boysmagicMagic sets under 'boys toys' (Entertainer Cardiff, April 2013)
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlscookiHenry Hoover has a boy on the packaging, and the cooker and shopping trolley are in a cheerful, neutral red. Does The Entertainer really think cooking and shopping are just for girls?
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlsmusicMusical instruments labelled as girls toys. Entertainer Cardiff, April 2013.
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlsolympNice to see some cars under 'girls toys', but were the Olympics just for girls? I could have sworn I saw some male athletes...

Toyshop gallery – The Entertainer

We think toyshops should stop categorising toys by gender because it limits children’s choices and imaginations.  But it also doesn’t make any sense. Read more…