Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coupons For Good: 4 Stylishly Unisex Things for Your Little One



There are several reasons you might shop for unisex toys and clothes. Some parents want to fill their homes with items that can be shared and handed down between as many siblings or cousins as possible. Some parents just want to give their kids more space to develop as individuals, free from early gender stereotypes. If you're a parent of boy-girl fraternal twins, you may want to highlight their special relationship with matching clothing, furniture, or other items. Whatever your reason for wanting gender-neutral items, here are some choices you can feel great about. 

Baby Clothes


Image via Flickr by somedragon2000
With a few exceptions like fluffy dresses, there's no reason most baby clothes need to be gendered at all. Sleepers, onesies, hats, booties, and blankets aren't gender-specific until they've been trimmed with lace or printed with construction tools. Stick to comfortable designs in bright colors and simple patterns like stripes or cute animal faces, and your baby's clothes will have a broad appeal for handing down to future siblings or cousins.

Art and Craft Supplies

Boys and girls alike love to create. Preschoolers lack fine motor coordination and do best with chunky sidewalk chalk, play-dough, or finger paints. School-age children are ready to handle paintbrushes, crayons, and scissors. Stimulate kids' imaginations by providing lots of materials and a few open-ended ideas rather than a lot of specific kits that can only be used in one way. Young children won't know what to do with craft supplies and will need you to sit with them and guide them at first. Older kids will amuse themselves for hours if you provide a rotating stock of craft supplies like glue, yarn, construction paper, empty oatmeal boxes, modeling clay, paints, and a few books or websites for inspiration.

Building Toys

Building things, from simple towers to elaborate castles, is great fun for both genders, and very educational. When a child builds a wall from blocks, they are quietly processing all sorts of math skills (it takes two short blocks to equal one long block) and learning laws of physics (a tall narrow tower won't stand as easily as a shorter, wider structure). Shop forblocks based on age rather than gender. Start babies and toddlers out with simple wooden blocks. Preschoolers can progress to chunky plastic blocks like Duplo, and Legos are popular with boys and girls from elementary school into adolescence. 

Infant Toys

Infant toys like activity centers, crib toys, play blankets, mobiles, and stroller play centers help babies learn to interact with their environment while also keeping them busy and happy. There's no benefit to choosing gendered versions of these toys. Infants are drawn to black and white designs, so consider a stylish modern design, or go for bright colors in unisex motifs like zoo animals or clowns. 

Choosing gender-neutral clothing and toys might be a practical or a political choice for parents, but kids aren't likely to notice the difference at all. 

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