INFOGRAPHIC: How to tell if a toy is for a girl or a boy

Can you tell if a toy is for a girl or for a boy? (Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels)
Can you tell if a toy is for a girl or for a boy? (Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels)

When I first heard I was pregnant with a girl I immediately decided to avoid the pink stereotype and encourage instead a more gender-neutral approach to parenting.

It went well at first, as I stuck to grey, white and green baby accessories. But over time friends and family offered beautiful hand-me-downs from their girls, and excited in-laws bought everything in pink.

I appreciated all their gifts, but had little say in the colour theme, obviously.

Then she was born, and she looked so cute in frills and lace.

As she grew up I was pretty good at keeping her in practical denim shorts and t shirts, and providing a range of toys - from a mud kitchen to wooden cars and train tracks to a wide variety of dress-up options. 

She played with them all.

My son was born and I followed the same parenting methods with great success. His favourite plaything has always been the vacuum cleaner, and he loves playing dress-up with his big sister as much as with his building blocks. 

Also read: Would you pay R30 000 for a doctor to remove a shoe from your toddler's nose? This couple did 

Parenting against the tide

Then school started and suddenly I was being asked for fluffy pink dresses and sparkly shoes. One day I heard the dreaded "But that's for boys" and I knew my daughter was heading down the 'girl' track.

It's tough, parenting against the tide of gendered clothing, toys and expectations. It's also hard to explain to a well meaning and beloved grandparent why buying one child a sparkly pink tiara and the other a dragon-slaying sword isn't ok anymore.

Christmas and birthdays can be particularly challenging, as we try to balance the over-the-top gendered presents with inspirational and realistic gifts. 

So when I first saw this infographic, which quickly went viral for good reason, I was relieved.

Thanks to this handy one-step flow chart, designed by Kristen Myers, now anyone can immediately know if a toy is for girls or for boys, and buy accordingly.  

See for yourself:

For girls or for boys?

The chart asks: Do you operate the toy with your genitalia?

If yes, then this toy is not for children.

If no, then it is for either girls or boys.

Simple, right?

Share it far and wide, and let's put an end to pink ironing boards and blue science kits. 


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