Thursday, August 2, 2012

P is for Pink Princess

Gosh, blogging every day is... hard.

But hey, better late than never, right? Eh. Maybe someday I will be more on top of things. At any rate, you will have to wait until next week to hear about my Striiv pedometer. In the meantime, please consider this rant - Children's Toys and the Lack of Creativity.

It seems that whenever I want to purchase an interesting toy for my daughter, I have to go on ebay or browse rummage sales to find toys that she will actually enjoy playing with. Her latest obsession has been with these Fisher Price dinosaurs, which are no longer manufactured by the company.

They're adorable and fun, and even though she's a girl, she enjoys playing with them (albeit differently than most boys do - she plays "family" with them - mommy, daddy, and baby dinos).

Why don't they make gender-neutral toys like this anymore? You know, the ones that really spark kids' imaginations?

I think there is just a lack of creativity in kids' toys nowadays. For example, you can tell when you are coming to the "girl" isle in the toys department of our local Target. Everything is Pink. And Princess. Or Dress-Up and Play House. No exceptions. If it's not Pink and doesn't have something to do with Dress-Up, Princesses, or Play House, it simply does not belong in the girl isle in the toy department.

Likewise is the "boy" isle. Their toys involve war, cars, sports, or variations thereof. At least there are more options with the color choices in the boys' section.

Which leads me to wonder, where are the open-ended toys kept? You know, the ones where the kids could choose to play "house" with (mommy, daddy, and baby dinos, for example) or race with or war with, depending on the kid's imagination and not on his or her gender? What if a little boy wanted to develop his nurturing side? What if a little girl was interested in cars? Or what if a little girl detested the color pink??? Oh, the horror!

I have to imagine that if I were a scientist from another culture studying our societal roles based on the toy choices we give to our children, I would come to the following conclusions:

1. Girls only like the color pink.
2. Girls are expected to fill one of two roles: A. be catered to by the rest of society (princess) or B. be some sort of a servant (play house).
3. No matter if you are a princess or a servant, a girl must pay attention to her appearance and try to be pretty (dress up).
3. Boys are only interested in these topics: war, cars, sports. That's it. Therefore, boys are not nurturing, nor are they interested in homemaking.
4. Neither gender is interested in topics such as math or science.

Now I know these are broad generalizations, and yes, there are many good open-ended and creative toys out there, but it just seems like there are less of them now than there were even ten years ago. At least they have become harder to find in my neck of the woods.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comments section! :)

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