In the wake of my recent NY Times editorial on nature, nurture, gender and the new Lego Friends line, a reader sent me this photo of the gifts she and her husband gave their 5-year-old son this Christmas: her husband’s old Lincoln Log and Tinker Toy sets. He was born in 1972. He (the husband/father) was born in 1972.
The Tinkertoys package explicitly states, “For boys and girls.” And note the girl happily building a ranch on the cover of the Lincoln Logs!
Their son’s response: “I didn’t know these were for girls, too!” Point made (my point, that is).
FYI, you can still get gender-neutral Lincoln Logs (with pictures of cabins on the box, no kids shown). But there is also this set:
Again, necessary? Why? How does it affect the potential for boys and girls to interact? Play together? Is it relegating girls to pink and pretty or just meeting them half-way?
You can also get a girls’ version of “classic” Tinker Toys.
It allows them to construct, “a flower garden, a butterfly a microphone and more!”
Among other things I wonder: what’s the microphone got to do with it?