This article is about the effects of "gendered" toys on children.
There are a variety of toys in every corner of a toy score. Toys are piled and grouped according to sizes, prices, colors, types, and most especially according to “gender”. From those displays, one can easily distinguish which ones are for boys and which ones are for girls. Gender-stereotyped toys usually differ in terms of colors, sizes, and nature. Traditional toys for boys have bold colors such as black, blue or green, whereas clean and “soft” colors like pink, yellow or orange are for girls.
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Some toys can be educational, sports-related, recreational or a combination. For instance, dolls, dollhouses and sets of miniature kitchen wares are designed for both educational and recreational purposes for girls. Same thing with planes, spaceships, and robots are for boys. Most sports-related toys like balls are often associated for boys. These toys mainly suggest the typical social gesture for boys to be masculine or “tough-looking”.
This gender typing in toys is very important. According to the Colley’s theory, self-awareness, which is yet to be developed in children, is greatly affected on what they often see and get in touch with. The kind of toys they play somehow affects them. Girls playing dolls and other “girly” toys would develop their awareness of themselves as feminine. The same manner also applies with boys. Children’s self-perceptions are also learned through their consistent contact with others especially the ones they often play with. Role-playing, which usually happens during playtime with playmate, reflects to the children’s development in social gestures. Playing with peers sometimes cause pressure. By playing, kids would have to learn to adjust and adapt in differences of one another. Self is also built through the particular attitudes of the other people toward the developing individual or toward one another. According to an author, “self-consciousness is developed through action in the social domain that is completed in personal reflection.”
Toys play a vital role in the development of young children. They stimulate the development of one’s awareness through play. With toys, children explore relationships and practice skills they might need as adults. Playing with toys in general is an important part of the process of learning about the real world. It is part of growing up. Both young and adult boys and girls use toys to help discover their own identity, skills and strength. Boys and girls generally have different toys because both differ in their development needs. Social relationship of a child towards others also may be moulded with the props of toys.
Through the years, toys have evolved. But the fact that children play with toys remained as it is. From the typical gender-stereotyped toys, lots of toys nowadays are made unisex. The colors of toys have also been opened to both genders. However, the effects of toys on the child’s development are the same according to studies. This kind of development does not depend on the toys alone but rather much on how the kids reacted towards them. Like for example, a boy who would give keen attention to every detail of his toy car may grow up studious. Also, a girl exposed and engaged to her brothers’ toys may tend to imitate boyish gestures and attitudes. Other factors that influence the development of a child are the parents, environment and peers. Although toys affect on the child’s being, still these are only portion of the total development.
Published in: Family