Babies need things to simulate their senses. They should involve colors, shapes, sounds and textures.
The seat swiveled so Miranda (2007) could enjoy those experiences
As a baby grows and matures their world expands. They become more mobile, making it easier to explore that world. Everything is of interest to a toddler. They don't really need toys. They can be happy with pots and pans to bang, magazines to tear up, the outdoors with it's grass, leaves and dirt.
What's black and white and read all over? (Rex 2008)
At some point most parents will note their child becoming fixated on one or two things. For awhile Rex loved vacuums and garbage trucks. Now if you want to stereotype you could say the vacuum was female and the garbage truck was male. Rex didn't care about any of that, they were just some things that interested him.
Rex helping Daddy vacuum
More important than toys are experiences. Just going for a walk can be a learning experience for a child. But play is an important part of childhood. Play is a child's work, it's important for their development. So a child should be exposed to many different types of toys. They probably will show a preference at some point. And if a girl likes dolls and a boy likes trucks or vice versa, so be it.
My grandmother, "Canny", was ahead of her time. In 1955 when my brother Vince turned 5, children received very gender specific toys. Vince wanted a toy eighteen wheeler for his birthday, which he did receive. Canny thought he needed to develop his nurturing side, she gave him a doll. It was a boy doll in red footy pajamas. My brother was very offended by this gift. He got angry and started crying and saying he didn't want any ole doll, basically having a little fit. At the mature age of 8 I was appalled at his behavior, you didn't act that way when given a gift. On the other hand his behavior didn't phase my grandmother. She just smiled and asked him what he'd like to name the doll. With a scowl on his face Vince crossed his arms and angrily said, "anything".
Of course he meant nothing, he wasn't going to name it at all. Still unphased my grandmother said, "Anything, that's a lovely name for your doll." So that is how the doll "Anything" got his name. I don't remember how long it took but eventually Vince decided he rather liked "Anything". He wouldn't go to bed with out him. If he couldn't find him he would run around the house in a panic, "where's Anything, where's Anything?" My grandmother knew what she was about, boys and girls need to be exposed to all kinds of toys even the so called opposite gender ones.
My son Vincent 1973, receiving his doll. He named him Sammy.
A thought to ponder: We've begun to raise daughters more like sons, but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. Gloria Steinem
Participating in:No Rules Weekend