10 ways to avoid gender stereotypes and encourage creative play

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Avoid the status quo with these 10 steps
Avoid the status quo with these 10 steps

Recent findings revealed that harmful gender stereotypes hinder children from achieving their full potential and developing all the necessary skills from exposure to various creative stimuli. 

Below, LEGO Group shares 10 easy steps to inspire creative play

1. Encourage variety: By encouraging your child to try new activities they may begin to find new hobbies and skills. This can range from artisitic and performance activites to physical play.

2. Introduce new activities: It can be easy for children to fall into gender stereotypes when they're so normalised. Encourage your children to express themselves through varied activities, such as cooking, painting, gardening and construction games. 

3. Flip the script: Show your child that they can be in any role they want by having your child choose their characters in books. 

4. Present them with options: Show them varieties of role models that they can look up to. For example, If your child loves airplanes, read together about inspirational pilots such as Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart and Marina Raskova. Presenting them with a range genders, ethnicities and fascinating career paths. 

5. Applaud creativity: Give your child a judgement-free space to explore different creative interests. Applaud and encourage their interests and avoid redirecting their attention to other activities. 

ALSO SEE | Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey

6. Encourage mixed-gender friendships: When encouraging a range of acitivities, also encourage your child to socialise with children of all shapes and sizes as this helps them build perspective.

7. Challenge stereotypes: Given that stereotypes are normalised in everyday life, make sure to keep your kids curious and allow them to challenge and question the norm. 

8. Screen their content: Make sure that you are aware of what your children may be exposed to through books, shows and films, as harmful or sensitive content may cause them to develop a distorted view of themselves.

9. Be the change: Children look up to the adults in their life, so make sure that you also try a mix of activities that others may not perceive to be traditionally associated with your gender and show them they can do and be whatever they want. 

10. Step outside your comfort Zone: Make a conscious effort to try new activities with your child while you knock down gender stereotypes as these also create an opportunity to bond.


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