These gender-neutral toys are welcoming to all kids.
- Amanda Bindel, Toca Magazine Writer
The best toys — toys that inspire kids to create, to be active, to imagine — aren’t bound by gender. Here are some of our favorites for kids from toddler to tween.
1. Musical Instruments
Musical instruments, either purchased as a boxed set or chosen individually, are great for kids to play together or with Mom or Dad. Kids can sing and make a joyful noise to favorite songs or make up new ones. Toddlers will learn cause and effect, too, as they see how their motions impact the sounds the toys make.
2. Doctor Kit
Go for a classic doctor kit rather than a character-themed kit to appeal to kids across genders. Kids can pretend they are the doctor, treating their stuffed animals, friends or parents. Role playing can ease worries about doctor visits, too, for kids who may be anxious.
3. Stomp Rocket
The Stomp Rocket makes a great go-to birthday gift for preschool birthday parties, but the beauty is that it’s fun for all ages. The simple toy — a burst of air generated by stomping on the pump blasts a foam rocket across the room — is literally a blast!
4. Craft Kits
Arts and crafts are for everyone — boys and girls of all ages — despite the tendency of some toy makers to target girls for crafts. Choose a gender-neutral craft kit or just keep lots of art supplies on hand.
Really, all building toys are genderless, but marketing attempts to appeal to girls have divided some brands. Brightly colored MagnaTiles are one option of many for building.
6. Science Kits
Most science kits will appeal to boys and girls, though some are glittered up to appeal to girls. (Some girls prefer the “gross” themed science kits!)
7. Play Silks
This favorite is pink and blue — and all the colors of the rainbow! Play Silks are a must for any dress-up trunk. Unlike character-specific costumes, the options are limitless and genderless. Play silks can be worn as capes, headdresses, sashes or skirts — anything kids can imagine. Or they can be used as props in play — using blue as a body of water or green as grass.
8. Geo Dome Climber
Outside toys are a great example of gender-neutral — from trampolines to monkey bars to bicycles and swing sets — boys and girls can play it all. The Geo Dome Climber is a favorite for its versatility. Kids can climb it, swing from it or play underneath it. Bonus benefit: All that gripping and grasping bars strengthens hands.
9. Snap Circuits
Encourage girls and boys in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with Snap Circuits. These kits are designed for kids 8 and up, but kids 5 to 7 may enjoy playing them with adult supervision.
10. Walkie Talkies
Tweens don’t have to have a phone to stay in touch with their friends. Walkie Talkies are great fun for boys and girls — from chatting with neighbors to playing spy. Spy gear, in general, is a fun and smart choice that appeals to both girls and boys without reinforcing gender stereotypes.