For years, society has had gendered toys, and it was common to walk into any popular toy store like Toys R Us and see aisles decked out in pink with tons of Barbie dolls lining the walls while other aisles were decorated in either black or green to match the G.I. Joe figures that were up for sale.
According to the popular Mommy site, traditional girls’ toys such as the Barbie Doll help socialize little girls into more passive forms of playing, such as brushing their doll’s hair and trying to come up with creative hairstyles for them to wear.
In contrast, the traditional toys for boys encourage them to use their imagination, explore the depths of their creativity and help them build up their motor and engineering skills.
It is important for boys to become socialized to more passive forms of play, such as brushing the hair of a toy doll, and learn that care work isn’t just for girls—boys too can take care of and nurture others, especially since more and more parents are jumping onto the gender-neutral style of parenting and want to try and teach their sons to be more compassionate.
Underneath is a list of 20 toys that are traditionally believed to only be enjoyed by girls but that boys will go gaga for too.
Who says Barbie dolls are just for little girls to play with? In an age where many parents are choosing to raise their child in a gender-neutral fashion, S. Mommy notes that it is a great idea for a little boy to have the opportunity to play with them too.
By being able to braid Barbie and her friends’ hair in elaborate styles and playing games where Barbie has to take care of her pals or her pets, it gives little boys a chance to become socialized to care work and helps to make them more compassionate as they grow older.
Heavy notes that another popular toy that boys will love is the Fingerlings brand. There are smaller items, such as the interactive dinosaur toys that latch onto a child’s finger and can respond to motion, sound and touch as well as larger plush animals that a little boy can snuggle up with when his mom or dad reads him a bedtime story before he goes to sleep.
This toy is perfect for little boys that are fascinated by wild animals and can’t get enough of watching the various animal-related television shows and specials on Animal Planet and the Discovery Chanel.
Let’s face it, what child doesn’t wish that they had a pet dragon? Long before Game of Thrones or Eragon hit the pop culture scene, I grew up watching the original Disney version of Pete’s Dragon and always wished that Elliot was real and would decide to move in with me.
Heavy adds that if your little boy is a huge fantasy geek, then he’ll adore the My Blazin’ Dragon toy. Not only can he hug it to his heart’s content, but there’s a water tank that comes with this toy that allows the dragon to breathe a flame-colored mist and says cute phrases when your son touches his nose.
Kids in general love collecting action figures and re-creating their favorite scenes from their favorite movies; when my cousin and I were little, we adored The Lion King and he and I spent many hours with our figurines re-enacting that flick.
Heavy writes that even though Disney released Moana back in 2016, the movie is still a huge hit with both boys and girls alike. If your son loves all things Disney and re-enacting his favorite Disney movies, then he’ll go gaga for the Moana Adventure Collection since it contains incredibly detailed figurines of Moana, Maui, Pua and Hei Hei.
Brostick writes that parents should also consider purchasing a LOL Surprise! Bigger Surprise kit for their son because it is a great way to keep him entertained for hours on end.
The kit comes with not one, but two limited edition dolls, pets, hair styles for said dolls and a ton of accessories. This isn’t a kit that has a doll and a few rinky-dink accessories—this thing is packed to the brim with items that will keep your son’s attention for hours as he eagerly unwraps the bag to find out which limited edition collector’s item he received and to look through all the neat add-ons that come with the dolls.
Pleasant Company Dolls have been all the rage for years. I remember when I was a little girl how I begged my parents to take me to the library so I could read all about the adventures of Felicity Merriman or Samantha Parkington and re-enact the stories I’d just read with the corresponding dolls.
AZ Central points out that the Pleasant Company Dolls are still popular even today and these toys are a great way to introduce your child to different historical periods and foster a life-long love of learning, especially if you purchase the books associated with each character.
EZ Bake ovens have been in toy stores since 1963 and even I remember fiddling around with one when I was a little girl back in the day. Alas, even then I didn’t have fantastic culinary skills and my efforts at baking something scrumptious often fell flat.
The Daily Dot writes that giving your son an EZ Bake oven is a wonderful way to introduce him to the art of cooking and it also allows him to play with a messy toy in a safe environment without having to fret over whether or not he’s going to wreck your kitchen with his culinary experiments.
Candyland was one of my absolute favorite board games to play when I was a little girl and I remember pestering my parents to play endless rounds with me on the weekends. Even as an adult, I still have vivid memories of the game’s layout although I can’t recall much, if any, about the rules of Candyland.
Speech Science points out that playing Candyland can help teach your young son learn basic colors and counting skills, which will make things a bit easier on them when they finally start school. Plus, having to take turns while playing this game also helps them learn how to be patient.
S. Mommy notes that more boys should be socialized to play with dolls due to the fact that it teaches them to be more compassionate and gentle, especially if they have sisters of their own and they can watch them play gingerly with their own dolls.
Brostrick adds that the LuvaBella doll can help teach your son how to properly interact with infants and increase their care-taking skills due to the fact that these toys are incredibly lifelike to the point they almost look like a real child and they can laugh, learn new words, eat, and they are programmed to have realistic facial expressions too.
Heavy adds that the Compose Yourself Music Card Game is the perfect gift for your son that loves music and is thinking about signing up to take classes on how to learn how to play either the guitar or the piano.
This game allows users to create their own musical composition by using the cards that come with the game and a computer with Internet access. All you have to do is arrange the different cards, type in their codes online and voila! You now have created your own musical composition that you can edit and tweak as you see fit.
Furby toys have been around since I was a little girl; I remember my sister and I each had one. Those furry little things were utterly adorable and we used to play with them for hours downstairs in the basement turned playroom.
Heavy writes that Furby recently released an upgraded model known as the Furby Connect, which allows your child to connect their new toy with the corresponding app on their device. Every time the Furby’s antenna glows, that means that the cute furry critter has downloaded a cool new fact or a fun new song to sing from the app that he can’t wait to share with your son.
I’m Bringing Blogging Back notes that the Hairdorables Mystery Doll combines the two things that every child loves: collectable figures and cool surprises.
Once you purchase a Hairdorables Mystery Doll, there is no way for your son to figure out which one that he got until he opens the tab to see for himself. Each of the Hairdorables dolls comes with surprise fashion, hairstyles and accessories that are unique to their style and will keep your son occupied for a bit as he mixes and matches the different items. Plus, there’s 36 dolls that he can collect if he gets bored with the first one.
I’m Bringing Blogging Back adds that if you have ever wished that you could wean your son off of playing video games like Fortnite and given them a chance to play with some messy toys that won’t make your house look as if Walt Disney threw a party there, then the Kid Made Modern ultimate arts and crafts set is the toy for you to buy.
This gift set comes with over 1,000 different items that range from hilarious googly eyes that they can glue onto a homemade sock puppet, beads to create their own jewelry, felt, pom poms and of course, plenty of shiny things like sequins and fake jewels.
According to I’m Bringing Blogging Back, the Scruff-a-Luvs rescue pet can help teach your son that appearances can be deceiving and that they should not judge a book by its cover. It’s also a good way to test out their pet care skills to see if they are ready to help pitch in for the dog or cat they keep begging you to adopt from the local rescue.
The Scruff-a-Luvs doll comes out of the packaging as a tangled mess of matted fur and it is up to your child to care for them by giving them a bath, brushing their fur to perfection and dry them off so they look like a typical dog, cat, rabbit, etc.
What child doesn’t enjoy playing with toys that glow in the dark? I got a big kick out of Lite-Brite when I was little because I thought it was so cool that I could draw something using the black board and the colorful pegs and it would glow in the dark the minute I turned the lights off.
According to The Toy Insider, Lite-Brite is a good toy choice for parents whose son is a bit more artistically inclined or that have a child that gets easily restless during long car rides. Lite-Brite will keep him occupied and also allow him to explore his creativity.
Being a veterinarian is a grueling job, even if you love animals. If your son really wants a pet but you’re not sure if they are ready for the daily chores and the yearly vet visits that come with it, gift them with the Melissa & Doug Examine And Treat vet play set.
I’m Bringing Blogging Back notes that this toy will allow your child to learn empathy for animals and how to gently pet a dog or a cat. The kit comes with two stuffed animals (one of a cat and one of a dog), thermometers, tweezers, a roll of bandages, a syringe to administer liquid medication and a stethoscope.
Hatchimals are very popular amongst children today, which isn’t too surprising. Kids have always loved taking care of toys based on animals; look at the popularity of the Tomagotchis back in the ‘90s. Everyone had one of those things, even though only a dedicated few managed to keep their critter up and running after the novelty wore off.
I’m Bringing Blogging Back points out that your son will enjoy eagerly awaiting the day his Hatchimals’ “Hatchibabies” are ready to leave their cozy little egg and can announce whether it is a male or female creature. The doll also comes with a few accessories like a bottle to feed your new baby Hatchimal and a hair brush for their fur.
Today’s Parent writes that if your toddler is being a bit obstinate about following the rules for potty training, one way to entice him to follow your methods is by giving him the Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll.
This interactive doll allows your son to let her drink from a water bottle and after her bladder starts to feel small, she’ll let him know that she needs to find a toilet ASAP by performing a potty dance the minute he holds onto both of her hands. The toy reinforces good bathroom habits for your son to mimic because she only goes to the bathroom once she’s sitting on her potty.
Polly Pocket has been around in one form or another since 1991, although the franchise received a big boost in popularity last year. I remember I had dozens of different kinds of Polly Pocket toys when I was growing up, although I always lost the dolls that came with it because they were just so tiny and difficult to keep track of.
Good Housekeeping writes that Polly Pockets are a nice gift for parents that have fond memories of playing with their own set as children and helps them connect with their children because it allows them to bond over their shared love of the exact same toys. Plus, it will keep your son entertained during a long car ride or when he’s feeling restless when you’re out at a restaurant.
What’s better than LEGOS? Disney’s Frozen and LEGOS, of course! Frozen is one of the House of Mouse’s most popular recent animated films amongst boys and girls alike. Now your son can re-build Elsa’s glittering ice palace out of LEGOS and help Princess Anna unlock her sister’s cold heart.
According to I’m Bringing Blogging Back, the Frozen Magical Ice Palace For Elsa kit comes with adorable figurines of everyone’s favorite ice queen, Olaf and Princess Anna. The kit is also compatible with other LEGO toys and kits so your son can let his imagination run wild and build a cool palace for Elsa far beyond what Disney dreamed up in the original film.