Top 3: New Toys for Girls

11 Apr
Ummm ... seriously?

Ummm … seriously?

As a progressive, free-thinking mom with a daughter, I’m always looking for girls’ toys beyond the traditional options, like Barbie and Disney princesses.

Not that there’s anything wrong with those (with some exceptions), but why limit burgeoning imaginations to such a small field of options? Research shows we shouldn’t. Same holds true for boys.

That’s why I’m thrilled to have discovered these new toys for girls.
(I expect they’ll turn a few boys’ heads, too.)

1. Goldie Blox

Think LEGOs + story book + cute animal figurines + contraption making. Actually, that doesn’t do it justice. Watch this.

Darling and smart and FUN! I can’t wait to try it…. Er, I mean, my daughter can’t wait to try it. And hats off to Debbie for seeing this need and making it happen. I want to hug you.

2. Roominate

When you think architecture, engineering, and even crafts, you probably don’t think of doll houses. But after seeing this toy, you’ll wonder why not.

RoominateHouse

It’s a series of modular room kits with (1) wooden parts to build your own doll house, (2) electronics parts to make it run, and (3) decorative parts to personalize it.

From the Roominate site:

Roominate is the first toy designed by Alice and Bettina — two engineers out of Caltech, MIT, and Stanford… They designed Roominate to get young girls to have fun with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), while building hands-on skills and confidence.

My 2 year old is a little too young to enjoy this quite yet, but I’m excited to see what’s available by the time she is. This Kickstarter project has been in production for less than a year, and I foresee lots of potential, particularly with the “club” shipments model.

LEGOFriends_InventorWorkshop3. LEGO Friends Sets

These are themed, girl-marketed LEGO sets. At first, I’ll admit, they irked me. “Why can’t LEGOs just be gender-neutral and non-exclusive?” I silently ranted to myself.

Then Szaba received a couple of “girly” LEGO Duplo sets as gifts, and I got my answer. By adding these sets, LEGO is providing a wider variety of options for kids and parents, both in the store aisle and in creative play at home—for boys and girls. It’s more inclusive, not less, by providing more diverse and creative options.

Granted, LEGO went the nail-gratingly expected route with themes like playing house, baking, and grooming horses, but they’re also giving us girls’ soccer, flight school, karate, and an inventor’s workshop. Variety is progress.

CupcakeDragonWhen you acknowledge all interests and expose kids to a wider variety of possibilities, you increase their creativity potential.

Combine Cinderella pieces with a train set and you have a magical tree house parade. Combine a zoo animals set with birthday cake pieces, and you have a fire-breathing cupcake dragon.

Those aren’t my ideas. They were my 2 year old’s. And I can’t wait to see what big ideas that little mind of hers creates next.

What’s your favorite new trend in kids’ toys, whether for girls, boys, or both?

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6 Responses to “Top 3: New Toys for Girls”

  1. Angela Taylor Hylland April 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    My friend Carey saw me post about this on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/17tyoH8) and recommended these, too: TEGU and Autoblox cars–both awesome for girls and boys.

  2. Angela Taylor Hylland April 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Another great suggestion from my friend Stephanie: “My kids could be trapped on a desert island for years with Magna-Tiles. Best. Toy. Ever.”

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