A hot topic of discussion in the media at the moment is the ongoing debate regarding gendered toys for children. Just last week Minister for Women, Jenny Willcott appeared on ITV’s breakfast news show ‘Good Morning Britain’ discussing the impact gender segregated clothes, toys and resources have on children, their self-identity and even their future career prospects.
Jenny Willcott argued that the number of women in engineering jobs in the UK is small, much smaller than our European neighbours. She is concerned that gender segregated toys cut off children’s choices for careers, and this is the fault of marketers of toys and resources that target children. Willcott wants marketers to stop segregating their offerings by gender, and make toys more appealing and more accessible to both girls and boys.
A couple of years ago we made the decision to begin tackling the gendered toy issue, particularly within science resources. Here at Learning Resources we are proud to have been manufacturing and supplying science products to schools, parents and retailers for a number of years. We wanted to help parents and educators make science more appealing to girls but without making everything pink and therefore unappealing for boys, and the result was our award winning Nancy B Science Club range!
This already popular range includes easy-to-use apparatus including binoculars, an AquaScope™, Crime Solver Scope and more, all featuring real life journaling activities which provide children with hands-on science experiences. Available from LearningResources.co.uk and The Science Museum
As manufacturers and suppliers of children’s resources, it is important for us to keep on top of what parents and teachers feel is suitable for youngsters and their development. Following this issue of gender segregated toys, I have been reading up on the campaign ‘Let Toys Be Toys’, which began as a result of a thread on Mumsnet about the gendering of toys. Campaigners are trying to convince retailers to stop segregating children toys by gender. I’m happy to say, Learning Resources are already convinced! You won’t find a girls only category on our website!
Until next time…