Once upon a time, when I was an impressionable young undergraduate student at McGill University, our philosophy of feminism professor told us a story about buying gifts for two young relatives, a sister and brother.
She said that at first she thought she ought to give the girl a blue truck and the boy a pink doll in the interest of challenging gender stereotypes in children’s toys, but in the end, she decided to give them both musical instruments. Flutes of some kind, if I recall correctly, because I guess she hated their parents.
(Image links to Jezebel – I couldn’t find the original original.)
Because a few people have asked me about baby / kid toys (although really, I feel like all people need more books and craft supplies), I’m going to share some of the gifts I like to give. Also, because I am Pinterest-incompetent, I am sharing my gift ideas in blog form in a multi-part series.
Before I decided to blog about this, I gave away all of my one-year-old gifts, so I don’t have a picture, but they included:
- a mini personalized sand bucket (which was originally meant to be the main gift, but I don’t understand measurements in inches, so I wound up buying larger buckets from the $1 section at Target to serve as a gift bag / bucket)
- a larger personalized sand bucket from Target (I did the personalizing with a paint pen because I don’t have time in my life to wait for puff paint to dry)
- small sunglasses (I got a dozen from the oh-so-PC-ly-named Oriental Trading, and tried to give the girls green and yellow, while the boys got pink and purple. I also mixed up the bucket colors. You do you – I just feel like colorful fish glasses and one-year-olds more generally are decidedly gender neutral.)
- small fishy bubbles (they have a fish on top – I was going for a nautical theme)
- a small squirty fish for the bathtub (because I hate other parents and want them to get soaked, too)
- a large squirty fish for the bathtub (see previous addendum)
- two sand shovels (these came with the buckets – I wrote a birthday message on the larger one. By “message” I mean “Happy Birthday [INSERT NAME HERE.]”)
It turns out that you can apparently just buy these gift kits as a set. Ah well.
One disadvantage of the large buckets is that they’re sort of a hassle to mail. (I wound up dismantling a box in order to reassemble it in a more bucket-sized container for mailing.)
One advantage is that you can stack a few buckets together to send multiples to siblings, and they are really light so they ship fairly inexpensively other than the bulkiness factor. (Apparently many of the children / parent parings that I love to hassle live very far away.)
These seem to be the kind of thing that constantly get lost / broken / left at the park sandbox or the beach, so I think it’s a reasonably decent thing to get (as opposed to something large or unwieldily or less useable, like I don’t know what exactly, but there are a lot of dumb kid’s products in the world).
PS The age guideline is really just to help me avoid repeating gifts. (Oh, you’re turning 2? I guess I won’t give you a bucket again!) I think a sand bucket assemblage is a good gift for any age person’s pool party (but maybe replace the kiddie sunglasses with Corona for mature audiences).