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.

Books for Young Children – Let Toys be Toys Gift Guide

Who doesn’t love the gleam and smell of a freshly unwrapped book on Christmas morning? 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.

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Fashion dolls - new signage in Toys R Us

Toys R Us drops ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories from UK website

We’re delighted to see the end of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories in the major retailer’s online store, as well as clearer, inclusive signage in stores.

Back in 2013 Let Toys Be Toys met with Toys R Us to discuss concerns about the gendered way in which toys were being marketed. At that meeting Toys R Us committed to replacing gendered signage in its stores and producing more inclusive catalogues. They also promised to look further into whether they could make changes to their web categories and consider how products are grouped in store. It’s great to see the results of those discussions now online, and in stores.  Read more…

10 Things

11 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.

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Lanka Kade Zoo

Early Learning – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

Early learning toys are a fantastic way to introduce fundamental understandings and encourage creativity in very young minds. Sadly, even at this early stage, several toy makers and retailers are sorting their products according to the all too familiar pink and blue division.

In this gift guide, we’ve picked out nine toys that help babies and toddlers grow their minds without restricting them according to gender.

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Let’s Play Outside! – Let Toys Be Toys Gift Guide

“Let nature be your teacher” – William Wordsworth.

Children learn through playing and often love nothing more than exploring the freedom of the great outdoors, developing healthy bodies and a spirit of adventure along the way. Wrap them up this winter and let them breathe fresh air whilst running, climbing, jumping, skipping, balancing, splashing, swinging, and getting dirty!

The following toys can all be played with outside and offer something a bit different to children who might seem like they already have a full toy-box.

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Camper Mini Stove

Let’s Play Kitchens! – Let Toys Be Toys Gift Guide

Playing kitchens is a firm favourite with many children – toddlers and older children too.

It’s very encouraging to see that the number of inclusive kitchen toys on the market seems to be growing; the toy kitchen industry seems to be moving faster than some other sectors at recognising the demand for attractive and functional toys that are free from tired old gender stereotypes.

We hope you enjoy this great selection of beautifully crafted mini kitchens, stoves, and food toys for your budding chefs.

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Finger Paints

Arts & crafts – Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

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

Sometimes the biggest difference between “boys” and “girls” aisles is not what is there, but what isn’t.

In toy shops using gender stereotypes, arts and crafts toys are often conspicuous by their absence from the boys’ aisles, while tired old stereotypes like beauty and appearance are used to sell arty toys to girls. It doesn’t have to be this way!

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Mini Knitted Triceratops

Toys for Under £10 – Let Toys Be Toys Gift Guide

Avoiding gender stereotypes doesn’t need to be expensive. Check out our guide to great gifts and stocking fillers, from £1.50 – £10.

All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys ‘Toymark award’ – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right. Read more…

Image of blue and pink aisles in a toy shop, text: 'We can change this'

Why I quit the United Nations to battle toy discrimination

Hai Tiet is the man behind US online toy retailer Woozy Moo, but his background isn’t in the toy industry. He explains why he thinks running an inclusive toy store is an important way to combat gender inequality.

I was walking down the halls of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Higher Education with a colleague when she told me that she was looking for the women’s restroom, but a ministry official said there were none. There were none because, the official said: “Women using restrooms is disgusting.” Read more…


What’s wrong with pink and blue?

“What’s wrong with pink and blue?” Let Toys Be Toys campaigners are often asked this question. Tricia Lowther looks at some of the issues around colour coding.

How can there be anything wrong with pink or blue, aren’t they just colours?

Yes they are, and they are also used as cultural signifiers; codes that mean ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, and are used to segregate children (and sometimes adults) into two distinct groups to be targeted in very different ways. Despite retailers moving away from explicit ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs in shops, while we still have pink aisles and blue aisles we still have toys segregated by gender.
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