Do You Buy Toys for Your Kids Based on Gender?

Posted by Debate Mom

As you flip through store ads this holiday season to find that “perfect” toy for your little one, how many pictures do you see of boys playing with dolls or girls revving up the engines of a race car? If you’re looking at the same ones I have, then you haven’t seen one. These days more and more people are questioning the reasoning behind it all, and that includes kids.

Take the Easy Bake Oven for one. It’s a classic. But, who is it marketed toward? Girls, of course, because girls are the only ones who belong in the kitchen and like to bake. Right? Wrong. In fact, one teenager has cooked up a campaign to make the popular toy gender neutral after her four-year-old brother put it on his wish list. She says the toy only comes in pink and purple, which are typical "girl" colors.

I think it’s great that this teen is taking the lead and standing up for her little brother and all other little boys who want to play in the kitchen. And this now-classic  video of a little girl named Riley questioning why all girl toys are pink echoes the same sentiment. We tell our kids they can be and do anything they want to, so if a little boy wants to put a play kitchen on his wish list, he shouldn’t feel weird about doing it because the toy only comes in pink and purple. If a little girl wants to ask Santa for a race track, she shouldn’t feel like she’s doing something wrong either. Although it’s almost 2013, sometimes it still feels like the 1950’s. Pink, purple, blue, or green…it’s time we all play in the same sandbox. Do you agree?

How does gender influence your toy buying habits? Do you buy the typical “boy” and “girl” toys?


3 back to preschool



Comments (5)


Amanda  -  02/02/2013 08:33 AM

I have 2 precious girls 4 and 3. One of them is a complete girly girl, the other a tomboy to the core. That does not always mean my girly girl always wants girl things nor my tomboy boy things. We homeschool so a lot of the workbooks and crafts that I do for them they pick out themselves. As far as the toys I dont buy gender specific at all, I feel a kid should be able to play with whatever kind of toy the like.


Misty  -  12/17/2012 12:09 PM

I used to buy my children gender speicfic toys but now I buy my them what they are interested in. My little boy kept stealing his big sister's baby doll and stroller, making her upset so I bought him his own. He wanted to take the baby doll to preschool with him so I let him. A little girl in his 3 year old class asked him in front of me, "why did he had a baby doll, he's a boy". I smiled and told her, you play with dolls to practice because you might be a mommy someday, he might be a daddy someday.


Tiffany mcbride  -  12/16/2012 14:23 PM

I encourage my son to play with what he wants. He likes to brush the hair on the doll of one of his friends toy and his father is always taking it away and yelling at him. My little man is getting a baby doll for Christmas with long brown hair and a brush, curling iron and blow dryer.


Tracey  -  12/11/2012 19:12 PM

I try to encourage my daughter (2) to play with all sort of toys. She loves cars, trains, dinosaurs, dolls, kitchens, balls...the list could go on and on. I actually get really frustrated with ask the ads geared toward one sex or the other. As my daughter gets older I will continue to encourage her to look beyond what is suppose to be for a girl or a boy and choose things that she is really interested in. the same will be true if I have a son one day.


Jessica  -  12/11/2012 16:25 PM

My kids play with all kinds of toys an we are not gender based at all. My son loves to play dolls and the kitchen set and my youngest daughter plays with my sons play tool set and bench and trucks. There is nothing wrong with them playing with opposite sex toys. There is no harm being done and they can use their imagination to play and do role playing. It does not sway me to buy my girl all girl toys and my son all boy toys.