toys and gender in preschool

michelle (
Mon, 04 Nov 96 19:05:08 EST

I wanted to share an experience I had this year that I found very interesting
and very positive. For my child development class at univ of Rhode Island, I h
elp out at the child development center located on campus. I work with the fou
r year old group here. There are children from the community ranging from 3-5
years old. The reason why I am mentioning this was I noticed the toys the chil
dren used there when they played. The school had gender neutral toys. These to
ys were ones that were not feminine or masculine stereotypical. They included
female and male baby dolls, figurines of women and men from various ethnic
groups, and blocks and puzzles. Both boys and girls picked the toys they want
ed to play with. I was impressed at such an early age they were learning throu
gh their play that they weren't required to follow gender stereotypes.
This also extends to their curriculum too which tries to address issues of
multiculturalism as being important for everyone. I think this is a great
idea because children at a young age can break free from gender, racial
and sexual orienation stereotypes. I believe at an early age is the best time
to teach children things that they weill need for life

michelle lover

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