I honestly had never thought about the gender difference in toys and activities that are available to children until I had a bambino all of my own. Max has always been ‘too young’, ‘too small’, ‘too little’ to be bothered with most toys and so he mainly had books and blocks to play with, which in my eyes are pretty gender neutral. Once Max turned 14 months he started to get interested in toys and he was able to ‘choose’ what to interact with for periods of time. Up until this point Max’s toy collection mainly consisted of ‘hand-me-downs’ from family and friends. Granted there was nothing pink or doll like, but they were mainly bright coloured toys that made loud noises or moved, so again, nothing that screamed ‘BOY TOY’.
I remember taking him for a walk around the local park when he was around 14 months and he started to collect sticks, he wasn’t doing anything with them, he just wanted to hold on to them and fit as many in to his tiny paws as possible. I actually remember experiencing one of his first major meltdowns because he couldn’t hold every stick in the park and walk and drink his milk at the same time. Go figure! I am sure there are girls who do this too and it has nothing to do with Max being a boy, but a toddler, but suddenly the saying of ‘boys and their sticks’ came to me and I wondered is ‘that’ really a thing? and seriously why do boys like sticks?
Max recently passed the 18 month milestone (he is actually 20 months as I type this) and he is suddenly in love with all things cars and diggers related. He probably had 2 ‘car come digger’ type of hand me down toys at the bottom of his toy box that he had never spied before, until recently when he started lining anything that had an ‘engine’ along the floor, sofa and dog if she stayed still long enough! We had to ‘emergency buy’ some cars, vans, bikes, tractors and diggers. When I say emergency I mean Amazon Prime. Max now has quite a collection of ‘boy toys’, but where did the interest come from? I honestly have no clue and find it simply fascinating that boys really do love sticks and cars and diggers.
This all came so suddenly that by next week it could be puzzles, dolls and lego, but I am really enjoying watching him play and develop. Within a week he is now making all the noises for the vehicles and I find myself adding parking garages and road play mats to my Amazon wish list daily.
Does anyone have a similar tale for their little ladies? I would love to know if there is a huge difference or even if you have a girl who loves sticks and cars too. Let me know and leave me a comment below.