Let Toys Be Toys – Celebrating 8 Years Of The Toymark Award!

Olli Ella Holdie Folk. Image Credit Capture The Rainbow Photography

Smashing Stereotypes

We are thrilled that Babipur has been awarded the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark Award for the eighth consecutive year!

The Toymark Award recognises good practice within the toy industry, specifically awarded to retailers and toy manufacturers providing a welcoming and inclusive space for all children.

We firmly believe that all children’s toys should be suitable for all children, and are categorised in a non-gender specific way on our website to reflect this. Choosing toys should be a fun experience! Children shouldn’t have to navigate through highly gendered marketing, labelling and an endless sea of pink and blue – let’s not limit children’s interests and imagination with gender stereotypes!

Lanka Kade People Who Help Us Figures – designed to be genderless

Let Toys Be Toys

From a very young age many children are exposed to gender stereotyping, from the toys presented to them, the books read to them and the clothes put on them. This gender stereotyping has become increasingly prevalent since the 1990’s with many shops segregating ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toys.

A group of parents dismayed by this labelling and lack of variety, formed the grassroots consumer campaign Let Toys Be Toys. This is still run by a passionate group of volunteers, with campaigning fitting around day jobs and family life.

Siblings playing together. Image credit Lauren Morgan

The campaign was greeted with a huge amount of support amongst frustrated parents. Within a few months 15 major retailers had removed their ‘boys toys’ and ‘girls toys’ signs down. However, many toys still being marketed in a very gendered way – there’s a long way to go! What effect does this narrowly-gendered marketing have on our children?

Representation Matters

Children learn best through play and it is vital for their development. When we restrict their choices by using heavily gendered signals and wording, we are restricting their learning opportunities. It is so important to ensure children get the opportunity to experience different types of toys, play and situations. This allows them to follow their own interests and develop into the unique individuals that they are.

Heather’s little one enjoying the Magic Wood Marble Tree. Image credit Heather Calver.

By pigeon-holing children into specific gender stereotypes with gendered marketing, a whole range of skills can be lost. There are long term effects of encouraging boys and girls down different paths, that can be seen in the world around us. Women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) workforce only make up 24% (2019), with men taking up only 11% of nursing roles.

Let Toys Be Toys Guide – Raising Children without gender stereotypes

A heavily gendered world does a disservice to us all. By restricting opportunities for learning we not only lose skills in the workplace, but it has a detrimental affect on society as a whole. From a young age, children need to see a range of genders represented in different jobs and positions. Children need to feel secure in their individuality, choices and feelings. From caring dads to working mums, the Let Toys Be Toys campaign is part of highlighting the inequality picture.

Babipur Toymark Award

Here at Babipur we are passionate about equality, representation and inclusivity. We choose our toys carefully, and categorise them in terms of their theme and age suitability. We love colourful open-ended toys, and role play toys that are marketed to all children – letting toys be toys!

Zee enjoying a trip to the hairdressers with the Plan Toys Hairdresser role play set. @pictureourday
The Toymark Standard ensures that:
  • Toys and books are labelled or displayed by theme, age or activity (or other non- gendered category)
  • No “Girls” or “Boys” signposting is used, including gender filters on websites or labels on books
  • No display signage or imagery that implies that certain toys or books are for boys only or girls only, eg by pink/blue colour coding.
Let Toys Be Toys Retailers Guide – for smashing gender stereotypes in the Toy industry!

Huge thanks to Let Toys Be Toys for our Toymark Award and to those who nominated Babipur. Shop our range of toys >HERE<

Join in the conversation! Tag @Babipur and @lettoysbetoys on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. Or share your pictures with the Babipur community in our Facebook group, Babipur Hangout!
You can find out more about the Let Toys Be Toys campaign >HERE<

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