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.

Do we need more female villains in books?

Lesson plans – gender bias in children’s books

Recent research found just one female ‘baddie’ in the top one hundred best selling picture books. These ready-to-use lesson plans for World Book Day look at gender bias in children’s books as a way of opening discussion on everyday sexism in books and films.

Read more…

shelf of children's picture books

Constructing bias – the wonky world of picture books

New research released this week by the Observer newspaper shows how picture books present children a worryingly lopsided view of the world: with males outnumbering females 2:1 among significant speaking characters, and male villains in 89% of books with ‘baddies’. Jess Day takes a look at the results.

The Observer’s research looked at 2017’s 100 top selling picture books: non-human characters (animals and monsters) were nearly twice as likely to be male, while you were twenty times more likely to come across an all-male book, than an all-female book.

Read more…

Fantastic toys and books to foster STEM skills – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

As well as being fun, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) toys are a great way to build skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness and critical thinking.

Of course we all know science is for everyone, but gender bias means STEM toys are often targeted squarely at boys, (or else given a dusting of pink glitter and lipstick as if that’s the only way to get girls interested). We’ve chosen eleven toys and books to help curious children everywhere develop an interest in science and discovery. Read more…

Christmas toy catalogues

Most toy catalogues still play to stereotypes – new research

Despite a few positive signs, our new research shows that the promotional images used in toy catalogues represent children’s play along highly stereotyped lines, with only a handful of boys shown with dolls, and boys four times as likely to be seen playing with cars or other vehicles.
Read more…

Arts & crafts – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

If you’re looking for an arts and crafts gift, and want to shop outside the pink and blue boxes of gender stereotypes, check out our inclusive gift guide for fun arts and crafts present ideas for children.

Read more…

Books for Young Children – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

We believe all children should be able to choose freely the books they like best and we celebrate all the marvellous writers, illustrators, publishers and booksellers that avoid putting boy or girl labels on books. Here we list some of our favourite reads for the very small people in our lives.

Read more…

Hachette is eleventh UK publisher to #LetBooksBeBooks

UK children’s books publisher Hachette is the eleventh publisher to confirm that it will “let books be books” and ditch the gender labels on its book covers

Read more…

Top with dinosaur skeleton, label 'Boys and girls'

John Lewis Boys and Girls clothes

There’s been a lot of media attention to John Lewis’ announcement of a commitment to avoid gender stereotypes – here’s our take.

Read more…

Let Toys Be Toys - visit www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk for ideas for resources to challenge gender stereotypes - cartoon of children playing with lots of toys.

Let Toys Be Toys in nursery and pre-school

Our new resource for parents and workers in early years settings offers a range of ways to challenge stereotypes with younger children.

We’ve created a printable poster to go with the materials – with thanks to illustrator Leighton Noyes for kind permission to use the image. Read more…

No more boys and girls? Really?

We’re looking forward to tonight’s BBC2 documentary ‘No more boys and girls’. Here’s why we wish they’d picked another title.

Read more…