Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pink or Blue?

Have y'all seen this yet?

It cracked me up.

But was also very timely.

My son is six and has always had tool benches, trucks, cars, Legos, blocks, and other "wee little manly" toys.

And then we had twin girls.

At first they played with the typical babyish toys and puzzles which are fairly gender-neutral.

But now they are two and Santa loaded up the sleigh with an abundance of girly-girl type toys for them. Among the loot found under the tree was a dollhouse, dolls, aprons, a new kitchen (big brother had one, but it was certainly more of a bachelor pad mini-kitchen whereas girlfriends now have a deluxe pink monstrosity), tea cups, etc.

And do you know what?

My son has had a blast this week making pretend cupcakes, joining his sisters for pretend tea parties, and hanging in the doll house. I'm wondering if it is because it is new and different or if he's been missing out.

As I've purged and reorganized all the toys in the house I'm finding that the twins are loving the bat cave, the Hot Wheels and the tool box.

It got me thinking about school. I like to mount the kids' work onto construction paper when I display it. I had always avoided using pink or even purple for the boys. This year my "alpha male" LOVES pink and requests it whenever there is an option. This has made all of my other boys hope on the pink bandwagon and made me realize that I need to be careful about gender stereotyping.

As we enter indoor recess season, I find that my boys always gravitate towards the Legos and pattern blocks while my girls pick fuse beads, gimp, and art activities. I think I need to mix things up a bit and encourage them to pursue different choices once in awhile. I'm wondering if they are making their choices based on their likes and interests or if peer influence and society play a bigger role.

What do you all think? Do you do anything in your classes to encourage children to break gender stereotypes?

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