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Nature Or Nurture And Toys

There is a lot of question as to why boys and girls choose the toys they do. Although there have been strides towards equality, the expectation of society is that boys are loud, dirty and stronger than girls. The toys that are geared towards boys (guns and cars) encourage that behaviour. Girls are supposed to be nurturing and passive and the toys geared towards girls (dolls and tea sets) encourage that behaviour.

It is interesting to look at where the division between the genders and toy selection happens. When a baby is born, already there are choices to be made based on gender; a little girl is in pink and a little boy is in blue. You can purchase teething rings and rattles based on colour. You can buy a plush doll in pink or a plush truck in blue. For infants, however, you can also find many gender neutral toys, with jungle or arctic themes.

By the toddler age, there are less gender neutral toys. You can buy a simple brown rocking horse, but you can also find a pink or blue rocking horse. You find toys based on television shows geared to either gender. Bob the Builder for boys and Dora the Explorer for girls. I have a daughter in this age group. While I try not to buy her toys based on her gender, I find myself gravitating to the Barbie aisle. Left to her own devices, she chooses playground balls and colouring crayons.

By the time the child is school aged, there are definite gender differences when it comes to toys. When perusing the aisles of any big box retailer, the toys are divided between what a boy would want to play with and what a girl would want to play with. For example, when walking down the aisles in the toy section at Wal-Mart, you will find action figures, guns, balls and trucks. The signs advertising the various toys are dark and masculine. In the "girls" section, however, the signs are pink and feminine. There are frilly dress up clothes, plush animals, soft toys and dolls. Why are there so many differences?

Some sources (such as Parenting Science) suggest that it starts in the womb and the amount of testosterone a foetus is exposed to. The more testosterone, the more aggressive or "rough and tumble" play. The same article also looked at the toys a boy chooses. He is more likely to choose a masculine toy, say a truck or a gun, then a gender-neutral toy (markers) or a feminine toy such as a doll. Girls, on the other hand, do not choose feminine toys over any other type.

As a parent, you ask yourself whether or not to be gender neutral with toy selection and whether you are buying into the stereotypes put on gender by society. Even if you buy gender neutral toys, your child is going to want to make their own choices based on the adds on Nickelodeon, the toys their friends play with and how much noise the toy makes. Should my daughter want a truck, I would be fine with that choice.


They Will Always Keep These Favorite Kid Gifts

When a baby is born, we all know that every personalized gift received will be cherished for years to come. It becomes more challenging to purchase items that hold a similar value as children age. However, there are those special gifts for kids that become keepsakes, just like personalized kids gifts, that will be treasured in adulthood after many years of use. The key is to find those favorite kid gifts.


• A baby doll is a sure hit for two to six year olds. Some of the dolls available today are interactive and lifelike. Even a typical baby doll could become the closest companion for a younger girl. The same is true for stuffed animals. When my sister was about four years old, she forgot her stuffed duck named "Ducky" at a hotel. We had to turn around to go pick it up after we left and had already driven about 200 miles. This is a perfect example of how important stuffed animals can be to a young child.

• For girls aged three to eight, consider a dollhouse. Today, there are so many miniature pieces of furniture available that the decoration possibilities are endless. In fact, some adults have made a hobby out of decorating dollhouses! Just think you may be introducing her to her very first hobby!

• A special gift for girls who are ages nine to thirteen is a music box. Some will really enjoy music boxes that have a tiny ballerina twirling to the music, while other girls will prefer music boxes that are more sophisticated. When deciding which to choose, try finding one that plays a recognizable song. She will absolutely love this gift!

• For girls aged ten to eighteen, think about giving them a luggage set. Some sets are solid colors while others have patterns. Luggage sets are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and quantity of pieces, too.

• Another fantastic gift is a beanbag chair. This is a good gift for boys or girls aged seven to seventeen. There are many different designs and colors available. Be sure to find one that is durable.


• A train set for boys aged two to ten. Boys find great joy in watching trains circle a track. There are sets that have lights that blink, puffs of smoke exiting the funnel, and even bridges that collapse! Just like the dollhouses, there are adults who collect extremely detailed miniature trains to run on the tracks they build.

• Boys adore cars. Boys aged three to ten enjoy diecast racecars. A racetrack to accompany the cars is a plus.

• Remote control cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats are a hit with boys aged five to sixteen. These vehicles have sound, lights, ability to drive over rough terrain and some are able to spin around.

• Remote control helicopters or airplanes are geat for boys aged ten to seventeen. Remote control flying objects are tons of fun outside or in a place that has high ceilings!

These are some of the favorite kid gifts that will carry special memories. You will be right on track if you refer to this list the next time you are looking to purchase special gifts for kids!


Ideas For Family Game Night

For a family game night to be successful, everything should be well prepared and well planned. All the members of the family should agree with a specific date when the game night will be held and make sure that they will not have any other commitment during the set date. If you are the one in charge to take care of everything, then you can consider some useful and wonderful ideas for the family game night. These ideas will help you come up with some activities that would make the game night more fun and memorable to everyone.

Preparing different types of games would definitely be the highlight of the party. So, you have to prepare a large variety of games that can be suitable for different age stages. You carefully decide on this because kids may not love the games that intended for adults or the other way around. Pick the games that can be both fun for kids and adults. Board games can be entertaining and fun for everyone but you can also take a look into some modern games like video games and computer games. These games would be great if everyone has to stay indoors because of the bad weather. But if the weather if perfect, outdoor games and other outdoor activities are also great for the whole family.

Most of the time, family game nights are just held indoors but you are not limited to this idea. As mentioned above, if the weather is great, the family game night can be held outdoors, in the garden to be specific. Then you can consider other types of games that require everyone to be physically active. For instance, you can consider the Charade game. Everyone would really enjoy this game and everyone will end up laughing. Traditional outdoor games like hide and seek will also be a good idea to look into.

Aside from the games, activities and the venue, you also need to consider creative ideas for the foods that you are going to prepare. After playing, evidently you can't avoid the fact that someone will be hungry or thirsty especially if there are kids. Thus, you have to prepare delicious snacks for our family. So when someone looks for something to eat, you will be able to instantly provide something. And of course, because every game has a winner, you can also prepare some rewards for the winners. This will make the event more exciting - even simple and small rewards will do.

With all these ideas, the family game night will turn out to be very successful. After the game night, everyone will really have fun and enjoy. They will never forget the fund that they had during the event and it is all because you have really exerted a lot of effort. Through this, the bond of your family will sure be strengthened and this is very important. Great family game night experiences will definitely make the family stronger and more attached to every member.


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