Once Upon A Child

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Recent Family News

Should you buy gender-neutral toys?

While many parents may not like it, studies have shown that girls tend to gravitate toward "girlie" toys like dolls and boys prefer playing with more masculine items like cars and balls. However, some toys seem to appeal to both boys and girls - like stuffed animals and books, according to the New York Times.

Lego blocks, a toy that has been enjoyed by members of both sexes for years, recently made headlines when the company released a collection geared toward girls, called Lego Friends. Some wonder why pink and purple blocks as well as figures with long hair will encourage little girls to start playing with these toys more often.

Those who oppose gender-specific say they limit kids' potential by suggesting how they should behave and reinforcing gender stereotypes. Others say toys can't possibly have such significance and that kids playing with what they want is what's important.

"I think parents should be thinking about some gender-neutral toys," Lakeshore Learning's Patti Rommel told MSNBC. "There's a place for both."

While parents ultimately have to decide if they choose gender-specific, gender-neutral or a mixture of both for their children, the good news is that they can save money by buying used toys, regardless of what type they are.

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