I have to share a story about one of the preschool activity bags recently posted, the Match Me Cards.
As noted, we made 12 cards for the matching activity with six cards having ‘boy items’ (foam vehicles) and the other six having ‘girl items’ (the jewels). This was intentional because I think it is important to expose children to a large variety of colors and shapes and so forth, no matter if the items are ‘made for’ a certain gender. If it were up to my oldest, he would never touch anything pink or soft or feminine. I don't know why he is like this; he's just decided that he really only likes what he considers 'boy things'!
Two years ago I realized the importance of being aware of what my kids are exposed to in life.
My oldest was learning his colors at the age of two and it was common practice to talk about colors of anything and everything we touched or saw. I tend to like bright primary colors so most things in life are basic colors of red, blue, green and yellow....from our toys to house decor and our clothing colors and so forth.
One day we were at our neighbor’s house playing with sidewalk chalk. They have a young daughter and most of their toys are very ‘girly’ colored; even the chalk was mostly shades of reds, whites, and yellows. My neighbor asked my 2 year old son what color he was holding and he said, “It’s red”. She corrected him and accurately noted that it was pink. I commented that “pink” isn’t used in our vocabulary much because there are very few pink items in our house. ….but that really got me thinking…. My son truly wasn’t exposed to certain colors because they weren’t displayed in his everyday items.
Speed up to present day….as I was assembling several Busy Bags with newly purchased items, my son (now 4 years old) found the gems and informed me that they were “for girls”….and I suddenly had a flash back to the 'pink conversation’ we had years earlier.
That’s when I realized how great these Busy Bags really are! They are a wonderful medium to expose my boys to the world of ‘girly things’ without forcing them to use girl toys. And for my ‘all boy’ 4 year old who shys away from anything girly at this stage in life, these activity bags allow him to explore a host of items in a way that he feels is safe and fun! Plus, it allows Mom to get to use the word ‘pink’ and ‘sparkly’ and ‘pretty’ from time-to-time!!