Category Archives: Toys

The Problem with Peter Pan

It’s been a long, long time since I watched the Disney version of ‘Peter Pan’. As a child, I didn’t enjoy it. There was something not quite right about it.

Now that I’m an adult, I can examine the problems of abandonment, racism, gender stereotypes, absent fathers and the strange strange idea of never wanting (or being able?) to grow up. As a child, I couldn’t articulate these feelings well, but I still remember being so so uncomfortable.

And therein lies the point of today’s post. Continue reading

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Easy Craft 1: Bottle Shakers

I am not a craft-y person. Paint makes me shudder. Mess brings me out in metaphorical hives. But since BabyBoy and BabyGirl appeared on the scene, I have been taking (baby) steps to make art and craft part of our lives.

Enter a new series of posts – easy crafts. For me, the simpler the better!

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These bottle shakers are unbelievably easy to make and provide a new toy for your little ones.

Continue reading

Advice, Guns and….Gender

There are a lot of throwaway comments that have ‘gender issues’. ‘Boys will be boys’ is a classic – used to explain all kinds of behavior from a love of toys cars to sexual harassment.

Today, however, I was present during a conversation when a concerned mother asked a pre-school teacher for advice. Her 4 year old son had some playmates who had recently become interested in pretending to use guns (using props if no toy guns were around). The son was not showing any interest in this sort of play, and the mother was concerned that he would lose friends if he didn’t play these sorts of games. Continue reading

Pirates and Princesses

Wondering around toy stores nowadays, especially when looking at the 0-3 years age bracket, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are two types of people in this world: pirates and princesses.

There’s a lot written about ‘princess culture’. But something that strikes me is….why the emphasis on pirates?

Continue reading

The Colour Puzzle

From the front lines of the gender divide in Toyland, I bring you this new report.

Recently, I wanted to order some personalized puzzles for BabyBoy and BabyGirl. There are several companies out there which will make a puzzle out of the letters of your child’s name, which I thought was both cute and mildly educational. Continue reading