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Is That a Girl’s Toy?

Dolls are for girls. Trucks are for boys. And, they seem to know it.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting issues.

This week’s Moms Talk topic relates to gender-specific toys:

The holiday season has finally wrapped up and, if you have kids in your house, you probably have a few more toys in your home too. This week’s Moms Talk relates to the kinds of toys you let your kids play with, and, more importantly, whether or not it matters. Studies have shown that boys as young as nine months old gravitate toward “boy toys” like cars and balls while baby girls pick dolls and tiny kitchen sets. But, other experts say the jury is still out on the whole nature vs. nurture debate. If your little girl wants a truck, is that OK? If your son asks for a Barbie, do you get it for him?

Share your thoughts:

Is there such a thing as a girl’s toy?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Philipsburg, N.J.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Mary Anne Looby January 09, 2012 at 03:45 PM
That is very interesting Jennifer, thanks for sharing the article.
Lisa Amey January 09, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I have a boy and a girl, and although our playroom is somewhat separated, it is a function of their wanting "MY toys" in a certain area. There has always been a lot of crossover either way, and that's totally fine with me.
Peggy Heminitz January 09, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I have three boys who are now grown with chidren of their own. We bought a kitchen set for them to play with when they were young. They loved it! And they have all advanced to the "real" kitchen and now cook meals for their families.
Jennifer Elston January 09, 2012 at 09:12 PM
This topic made me think of the skit, William Wants A Doll from Free To Be You and Me. It's about a boy who wants a doll and everyone calls him a sissy-including his own father. It wasn't until William's paternal grandmother addressed HER son about how HE learned to be a father by practicing with HIS doll did William get a doll.
Jennifer Marangos January 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Before I was a MOB (mother of boys) I would have said, "oh no, there is no such thing as a boy's toy." There are many incidents that have proven otherwise to me. One was after I gave my boys my Rub-a-dub Dolly (anyone remember her?). They took her into the tub to bathe her, since I explained to them that's what I used to do. I was listening to them in the tub, thinking how sweet it was. Then I heard my older child say, "gimme another washcloth. I'm pretty sure that will make her sink." Boys make girl's toys into boy's toys...

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