Let Toys Be Toys campaign is asking the toy and publishing industries to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.

Find out more about the Let Toys Be Toys campaign.


Any book for any body

This World Book Day, alongside the Society of Authors we’re asking authors, illustrators and readers to share examples of books they’ve loved and enjoyed that maybe didn’t fit other people’s (or their own!) expectations of what boys and girls, men and women, are ‘supposed’ to like.

Share your own examples – email us at lettoybetoys@gmail.com or tweet us @lettoysbetoys #anybookanybody Read more…


Fundraising for Let Toys Be Toys by running my socks off

Fen Coles of our friends and allies at inclusive booksellers Letterbox Library is running a half-marathon – will you sponsor her, and support our work to challenge stereotypes? Read more…


Raising the issue of stereotypes in school – case study

It can be daunting to raise a question with your child’s school. Will the teacher be angry or offended? Might you get labelled as a nuisance? Megan explains how she went about querying the language of a homework assignment which reinforced stereotypes about who can be an inventor. Read more…

Boys Toys and Girls Toys signs

V Day – counter violence against women by fighting stereotypes

14 February marks V Day – an international movement to end violence against women and girls. Let Toys Be Toys campaigner Tricia Lowther explains why she feels that countering stereotypes, and looking at what we teach children about girls and boys, men and women, is a central part of countering gender-based violence.  Read more…


‘What did he invent?’

This homework project, set for a 6 year old in a UK school, doesn’t even allow the possibility that an inventor might be a woman. Our supporters on Twitter were quick to respond with some useful ideas of women who’ve made great discoveries.

This homework assignment is a great example of how easy it is to pass on unconscious biases about what women and men can do.  Our lesson plan and resources for schools have some ideas for simple ways that teachers can challenge gender stereotypes in the classroomRead more…
Pink and blue buckets of Meccano

Meccano – for boys?

Meccano have been in the news recently for their marketing of their new toy ranges at ‘boys 8+’.  We think it’s a shame that so many creative toy companies seem to be unable to think outside the limiting pink and blue boxes and imagine ways to market toys that don’t exclude boys or girls.

Read more…

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  • Anne Fine experiment 10
  • SF Said Experiment 1
  • Joanne Harris Experiment 3
  • Bel Mooney Experiment 3
  • John Dougherty Experiment 1
  • Catherine Johnson Experiment 2

Let Books Be Books – supporters

The 2014 Let Toys Be Toys Silliness Awards

It’s been another terrific year for the Let Toys Be Toys campaign and our offshoot, Lets Books Be Books, with some notable successes including Usborne and Ladybird Books, not to mention plenty of publicity and media attention.

Nonetheless every day we receive tweets and images from our supporters showing that our work is far from done. So, as last year’s Silliness Awards proved so popular, we have once again reviewed the year to bring you the most nonsensical, convoluted and downright ridiculous examples of gendered marketing that 2014 had to offer.

Read more…


Yes, girls really do love trains

We posted this blog about train enthusiast Abbie, who was so fed up with people telling her that trains are for boys that she changed her mind about choosing a new train set for Christmas. We asked our supporters to share photos, stories and messages to reassure her she really isn’t that unusual.

Turns out, yep, girls really love trains.

No surprise to us, but something the toy industry clearly finds hard to believe. Read more…


OKIDO – an inclusive magazine

A magazine subscription makes a great Christmas gift, one that children can enjoy all year round, but finding inclusive options can be a challenge. Sophie Dauvois, co-founder of OKIDO magazine explains why they’re trying to do something different with their bi-monthly science and art magazine for 3-8 year olds.

Have you seen the state of the current children’s magazine selection out there? One look along the racks of the supermarket shelves or large, multinational news agencies will show the same dismal story of poor quality, gender-specific, plastic-wrapped rubbish. Read more…