Recently we were talking with fellow parents about the importance of including gender-neutral toys in the mix of options for our kids. It didn't take long for us to quickly realized that this is one reason why we love Tegu at Modern Kids Design. Not only are their wooden magnetized blocks made from sustainable wood and a great gift for promoting imaginative play, but they’re also an award winning company with a focus on gender–neutral colors. Most recently, Tegu won the 2017 Nuremberg toy Award for their Beans & Tumtum blocks. In addition, Tegu consistently makes the grade for their eco-friendly practices and their conscious effort to make good toys for both boys and girls. Each indie brand we carry has a multilayered story and this is one example. So, that’s why we are continuing to share Tegu’s story this week in our Meet the Makers series.
Tegu’s dedication to making toys for everyone helps them stand above the crowd. Their commitment to creating earth-friendly, fun blocks that display the limitless potential in the mind of the builders without saying they are “boy” or “girl” toys is commendable. Too often, toys are pigeonholed and marketed to only one group of children when, in fact, almost any child would be happy to play with them! Recognizing that toys should be for everybody, Tegu has consciously decided to avoid culturally stereotyping their toys by painting them in “traditional” boy or girl colors. Instead, the company plays with gorgeous palettes that are appealing to everyone. They have a deep and thorough knowledge of how we see and experience color and have used this information to craft attractive blocks that look great as robots, horse stables, or skyscrapers. They do a wonderful job explaining their stance on their blog in this post.
Now, this begs the question, does it matter whether you only buy pink or blue toys for your kids? While the choice is certainly up to you (and your kids), research has shown that gender-neutral toys aren’t just fun—they’re empowering. Apart from discouraging stereotypes and taking cognitive shortcuts, it encourages kids to think critically, which is important in our increasingly complex world.
Gender neutral toys helps kids:
- Decide for themselves what they want to play with and do;
- Encourages them to think outside the box;
- Improves various skills by providing more toy options;
- Allows them to explore more areas of interest and find new talents;
- And helps them to potentially see themselves in different future occupations.
When toys aren’t gendered or when parents allow children to choose toys regardless of whom they are marketed to, kids have the opportunity to select anything from STEM toys to blocks to sports equipment to dolls in need of nurturing. These are skills and interests that children delight in, regardless of whether they are boys and girls. While an individual child’s interests may vary, they shouldn’t be denied a toy because a marketer has decided what is best for boys or girls.
A fun fact that fortunately more and more people are aware of today is that it was not long ago that pink was deemed the ideal color for boys because it was considered "stronger" and blue was considered the best color for girls because it was viewed at the time as more "dainty". It just goes to show you how arbitrary this really is on some level.
The bottom line is, it should go without saying that boys and girls have a lot in common. lol By steering clear of stereotypical marketing decisions, Tegu helps all young builders grow. At Modern Kids Design, that’s something we can stand behind. We’re proud to carry Tegu products and happy for the award-winning team that continues to innovate and, well, build! If you’d like to learn more about them check out previous posts here and here and let us know what you think! As always, thanks for reading and feel free to reach out if there is something you’d like us to write about on the blog.