How toys affect childhood development and gender roles

As a child, playtime is significant to the growth and development of a person's character and skills. Although as a kid you are happy to play with whatever toy is in sight, there seems to be a lot of stereotyping in the toy industry. These toys can potentially harm child development.

Typically, parents will buy pink toys and dolls for their girls and trucks for their boys. Even though this is how toys are advertised and sold, they should be able to play with whatever toy makes them happy regardless of what “gender” the toy fulfills. According to the Guardian News article, “Target announced in 2015 that it would get rid of signs labeling toys for boys or for girls. A UK campaign called Let Toys Be Toys seeks to get retailers to stop categorizing toys and books for one gender only.”

The toys children play with provide them with impactful and important skills that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Limiting kids to the  toys they play with can take away these skills that they should be getting. As the CBC radio stated, "We want them to be able to learn as much as they can in these early ages so that they have options for the future."

It is easy for parents or anyone to fall into the trap of “boys will be boys and girls will be girls.” Instead, kids should get to be who they want to be, not the stereotypes people make of them. It is not only parents that influence this but schools, daycares, programs, and sports do as well. While a parent can try to prevent this, what goes on behind the scenes is not always up to them. A lot of people wont do anything about this because they don’t know how. They feel that the store limits their options .One thing parents and teachers can do, is to buy neutral colors such as yellow, and red so that kids won’t have a “pink is for girls and blue is for boys” type image in their heads. As the Michigan State University Extension stated, “The bottom line is that for healthy overall brain development, boys and girls need opportunities to develop a wide range of skills – and the toys they play with can make a difference.”