Please don’t let the title of gender neutral gift ideas for 1 year olds put you off reading this. It doesn’t have to mean that you buy everything in yellow and rigorously avoid anything with even a hint of polarity to it. I just like to offer suggestions of toys and gifts that will do for either girls or boys, especially as, at only one, they’re still so fluid in their play and haven’t succumbed in any way to societal expectations of what’s appropriate. So if you have a grandchild, godchild, niece or nephew to buy for – or even if you’re struggling to think of something your own child will enjoy this Christmas or for their first birthday, perhaps this will help.
Following on from the positive response I had to the original post, Ten gender-neutral gifts to buy a three year old, I thought we really needed to add some of the suggestions made by readers, as well as the things I suddenly thought of about five minutes after I posted the original article.
I also need to point out that the ‘three year old’ is a reasonably arbitrary age based solely on the fact that I have a three year old and know what he and his chums like. The majority of these gifts would probably also be appropriate for two and four year olds also. Use your common sense, refer to the tastes and abilities of the child in question and, if all else fails, ask their parents.
So, people who know me know I can get pretty ranty about the gendered stereotyping to which we subject our children. As the proud Mama of (now) both a boy and a girl I suspect I’m only going to get more strident as they grow and develop. The Boy, so far, has been given a pleasing mix of types of toys, most of which I would describe as ‘gender-neutral’ but all of which I suspect would be described by shops and manufacturers as ‘boys’ toys’. It makes me fume that construction toys, vehicles, puzzles and the like are just for boys unless liberally daubed with pink and sparkles. The pinkification of Lego is something that particularly grinds my teeth – what was wrong with the lovely multi-coloured bricks that were already in circulation?