do you buy your child gender specific toys?

Nicole - posted on 06/29/2009 ( 58 moms have responded )

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I was just wondering if anyone buys their kids gender specific toys: like cars for boys and dolls for girls. There's nothing wrong with them playing with the other's toys, they make pink cars and "manly" dolls. And if you have kids of opposite genders then of course they'll play with each other's toys. I played cars with my brothers and they played tea party with me. But would you buy your son a baby doll with all the accessories or your daughter a hot wheels race track, assuming that was your only child or the only gender children you had? My cousin's son (he's about 6 or 7) has a baby doll that he carries around everywhere and has a stroller and everything for it and I think that's just a bit strange. And I'm wondering where he got the idea for the doll from since he has no sisters!

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[deleted account]

He probably has playmates of the other sex. I have 3 children, two girls and a boy, and I bought them toys that they were interested in. It is the same now when I buy for my grandchildren and others...if a child loves cars (as my grand-daughter (3) does then I buy her a car, when her interests change I will change the present accordingly. As I've already advised elsewhere, stop loading your adult views onto children's play...let them be children...PLEASE

Leslie - posted on 06/30/2009

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No way!!! Both my girls love the girly stuff and the boy stuff. They have just as much fun playing with cars, legos, and the Home Depot tool kit. If it intrestrests them then go for it.

Darla - posted on 06/29/2009

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My boys went thru a doll phase when they were in pre-school. They had their 'babies' & made them little beds in their dump trucks & wheeled them around like that. Drove their dad crazy but they grew out of it but are great with all the younger kids in the neighborhood. They are 9 now & all boy. I don't think it hurt them a bit. As a matter of fact one of them just look over my shoulder & was more bothered that he's almost 10 rather than me saying he used to play with dolls lol.

Kate CP - posted on 06/29/2009

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Nope. She has a baby doll, a dump truck, hot wheels, a play kitchen, stuffed animals...I have no problem letting kids play with just about any toy. Except fake guns and knives and Barbie and that stupid Bratz Dolls line. Barf. :P

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Lisa - posted on 06/15/2011

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I tend to buy my daughter the things she is most interested in, but honestly, I ENCOURAGE her playing with toys geared for the opposite sex. She might like pink, babies, and being a ballerina a great deal, but there are many things she will miss out on if she isn't guided toward the games/toys/activities advertised for boys. Why limit a child in what they play, unless it is mean, harmful, or disrespectful? It doesn't need to be separated to such an extreme extent, the way American culture has put it. So even if it feels/seems "strange", remember that it is only that way because of what our culture has taught us- and consider whether you really believe that what our culture has to say about it is RIGHT or GOOD- cuz I don't. I have a nice set of big heavy trucks I can't wait to give my daughter this summer, and I can't wait to play with them and show her what cool stuff big machines can accomplish!

Kelly - posted on 06/06/2011

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Me personally no I would not buy my son a baby doll, or my daughters race cars, unless it was something that they picked out themselves. I don't have a problem with them playing with each others toys, and my son loves to wear the girls dress shoes, he also loves for me to put his hair up in "pony tales" and he likes to wear his big sisters tutu.

Alana - posted on 06/06/2011

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no i dont buy him gender specific toys. i let him have what he wants.eg if he wanted a doll toy i wouldnt tell him no you can have a monster truck instead!

when he was younger he had a toy kitchen, and all the food, a pink handbag with pretend hairbrush straightners and lipstick that he LOVED, barbie dolls, and sylvanian families. he is getting more "boyish" now he's growing up but hes recently asked me to buy him the new "Tangled" toy ( a pink rapunzels tower with dolls ) because its his favourite disney film.

also when i was younger i hated girls toys, if mum had bought me a barbie or makeup, instead of an action man, a football, or a motornike magazine, i would have flipped.

kids should be allowed to play with what they want to play with and express themselves and show their personality.



some people think oh if my son plays with dolls and pink stuff he'll grow up gay etc. chances are, no they won't, and even if they do whats the big deal? you should respect the child for the way they are and not try to cvhange them.

and i think its fantastic that your cousins son has a toy doll. x

i also have to say that i completely disagree with betty, and that if a boy wants to dress up in PINK tutu with fairy wings and a tiara he can do, you shouldnt make them wear boys dress up sets. and vice versa if a girl wants to dress up as an action man, let them be!

Betty - posted on 07/01/2009

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When I was a young girl there was this doll for boys called Buddy and it looked alot like a Chucky doll. I don't agree with getting boys pink stuff if you can subsitute it for something in nutral colors unless they specifically ask for it. In real life men take care of children and cook so dolls and kitchen sets are not just for girls. Dramatic play is very important for all kids and that means they need dolls, dress up clothes, and kitchen sets.
Dress up for boys is not fairy costumes... they should only dress like firemen and super heroes...stuff like that... halloween is a good time to shop for boys dress up clothes.

Lori - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have a boy that is 5 and at 2 he wanted a baby doll so I got him one it was like a new born doll. He took care of it like a baby then he got bored with it and that was that. It is a phase.

Susan - posted on 07/01/2009

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I think it's great that your cousin's son has an interest in the baby doll...I bet he'll grow up to be a very involved father. I think it's good to buy a variety of toys. I bought my daughter lots of dolls and barbies and girl stuff when she was little...then she won a gift certificate for a sporting goods store in a raffle on "Kids Day". She got a collection of soldier "dolls" (like GI Joes) and slept with one of them for years instead of a baby doll or stuffed animal. She's 10 now and very well rounded.

Kristy - posted on 07/01/2009

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my sister brouht my 4 year old a pushchair for christmas(blue and red)and he loves it !he now pushes all his cars around in it!I cant see an issue with what ever they want to play with.Children off a young age usually choose toys according to colour and pink is quite often a favourite with my boys!

Felicia - posted on 07/01/2009

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My mother-in-law made my oldest son a doll. He loved it but soon outgrew it. My youngest loves kitchen type stuff and to cook so we bought him a chef set with pretend food. Both of my boys play barbies at my friend's house as well as at my sister's (they both have boys and girls). My youngest wanted a doll for a while until I finally convinced my hubby to let him have one then he didn't want it anymore. Sometimes its a matter of wanting what they can't have. He still wants an easy bake oven though and I am still losing that battle with my hubby. My oldest wants that new cupcake maker for his birthday, he'll be 9. The boys think that girls get better toys because they are functional toys. I wish they would make more toys in gender neutral colors so that it wouldn't be so awkard for my hubby. Both of my boys still love stuffed animals and my youngest, almost 7, still sleeps with a stuffed animal which he has even named. My youngest is all about being outside and playing sports but he has a sensitive side that I think the other toys call too. I have always believed that all colors can be for any kid but my hubby disagrees. In preschool my youngest would carry around the baby dolls, wear a purse, a girly kind of hat and a scarf. I thought it was cute and am glad he got to experience that. The only reason that there are 'gender specific' toys is because that is what society has made it. In all reality a toy is a toy and any kid should be able to enjoy playing with whatever it is that they want to play with.

Kay - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have a little boy whos nearly 4 i've never bought him what we all consider girls toys hes never asked in saying that i have a little girl of nearly 7 so he's got toys that are more aimed at girls available to him and i have no problem with him playing with prams,dolls or any other girly toys the only thing i don't allow him to play with is make up or nail varnish but thats jst me

Sue - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have the urge to sing that song from Free to Be You And Me. Billy Wants A Doll.... My son has played with dolls when he was younger. At age 11 he is all boy and compassionate to small children.

Cherrelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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i have a two year old boy and i got him a kitchen and a baby doll and buggy for his birthday as wel as all his trains and cars and dino's. he loves to play with his girl mates out in the square pushing his buggy and he plays trains and cars wit his boy mates. he just wants to play like everyone else and i have no problem at all allowing him to have is buggy, its all about him being happy thats the main thing to me.

Shelley - posted on 07/01/2009

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My 2 and a half year old little girl has a blue sandpit and loves pirates, she also has two little friends who are boys who always make a beeline for her girlie toys when they come around to play.

Susi - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have 3 little girls and they play with anything. My oldest (5) loves to play play with cars and trains and trucks. And when we go to the store she picks out cars or trucks. My 2 year old loves dolls and dress up. Each kid is different with different styles and interests. One likes to run and play and get dirty, the other not so much. Let them choose what they want to play with.

User - posted on 07/01/2009

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I am expecting baby no 2 and was urged by the child psych at the anti-natal classes to give my son a doll which will encourgae him to be gentle and nurturing towards the baby. He is all boy playing with trucks, race cars and dinosaurs. But he will also feed his doll and change its clothes and then wheel it around the house in his big Tonka truck. I was told that role playing with the doll will help reduce jealousy and improve his understanding of why I will be giving the baby attention so often. I dont see why boys cant play with dolls or why girls cant play with trucks. I do agree that violent toys are out!

[deleted account]

i sure don't...not even clothes. my girl plays with whatever she finds amusing and wears blue too!

Sydnee - posted on 06/30/2009

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My best friend has a two year old son and a 3 month old baby and before his sister was born she got him a baby doll to prepare him for his little sister before she was born. he loves his doll still. its just kinda the child's own mind. its up to him. and you cant really harrass a child for the toys he wants to play with otherwise it may hurt them mentally.. not saying that that is what is happening but it could hurt.

Guggie - posted on 06/30/2009

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Boys have a natural instinct to nurture too! DH is the most nurturing baby lover I have ever met lol.



DD plays with her (young) aunts and uncles so she gets all their toys...boy and girl toys alike. I did make a choice to get her a pink baby doll with red hair. There was a boyish version too. *shrugs*



Oh and she loves playing w/ hot wheels cars. My little brother taught her how to push a car around on the floor and make the phthththt noise. It's just darling!



As for your question, yes I would absolutely buy my child a toy that they want. Personality is personality and there's nothing wrong w/ liking a particular thing at all. Plus a lot of it is simply due to developmental stages. I know all my brothers went through a stage around 3-4yrs where they wanted to wear makeup and put polish on. We're talking about good blackmail photos hahaha.

Tina - posted on 06/30/2009

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I have two boys who have all the general boy specifics, cars,tractor,trucks....ect. My oldest decided he wanted a bratz tent set for his Gi Joe guys he didn't care that it was zebra striped instead of camo. Sometimes we forget to look at it from a kids point of view, what they see is totally different then what we see.

Temper - posted on 06/30/2009

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My boys have little lovies that they sleep with, a little lamb and monkey named Mr. Dangles, and a rainbow colored fish for my 3 year old. They arn't dolls but they take care of them just the same way a girl would take care of a doll. My 7 year old will get deeply upset if his 3 year old brother throws his little lamb up in the air and chunk him across the room! He was raised from a baby taking care of those two little stuffed animals and now my 3 year old is taking care of one too. I agree with Kate Capeheart that it will teach our little boys to be great men by having empathy and practicing care giving! We are raising our little guys to be wonderful men...it doesn't have to be a doll. If his mom has a problem maybe she can let him pick ouy a new lovey.

Sheryl - posted on 06/30/2009

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I have 2 boys, and about 6 baby dolls. They mostly dress them like boys, but only because they use their old baby clothes for doll clothes. If they want a girl baby , they'll get out the girl clothes. My 3 year old's favorite color is pink, so there's a lot of pink toys in the toy box. He really doesn't care what it is, he just likes the color. I figure if I never make a big deal of it, they won't either!

Melissa - posted on 06/30/2009

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To be honest I get my kids what they want to play with. A toy is a toy. You should never put a lable on it. When my 6 year old son was 4 he wanted the Little Mermaid doll for Christmas and that is exactly what he got. If you force your child to play with toys that you think that they should play with then how are they going to be themselves. It will effect who and what they are in the future. You should always encourage your child to be what they are and not what you want them to be.

Julie - posted on 06/30/2009

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As a childcare provider and a mom, I have found that the children really enjoy intermixing the toys, as well as playing pretend together...They will all dress up, put babies in strollers, go to the "store" or the "resteraunt", build things with the tools...then race like banshees...crashing their strollers on the "racetrack". Doesn't matter the sex of the child! They all play together! I think it is ok to give a boy a doll (maybe not frilly, but a boy doll). My brother had "Joey", whom he had for years! We girls also had bb guns, motorcycles, etc!

Shannon - posted on 06/30/2009

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To answer your question, no... I don't buy gender specific. My baby girl has lots of girly pink toys but we have got her a few pirate toys (they are so cute) and I found that to get her all the different colours to stimulate her... we had to get a few toys that were aimed at boys! Everything else was pink or pink with purple... but primarily pink. With the pirates we there was red and blue and bright colours that really catch her attention.



About your cousins' son... that is totally normal, my little boy (now 12) pushed around a pram with a doll in it for about 6 months when he was around 4 yo. I didn't buy it because I had an elder daughter and it belonged to her... though I did let him push it to the shop and he would change its nappy and dress it up! He is 12 now and fantastic with our new baby... But his favourite pastime is riding his motorbike or fishing so I don't think that playing with dollies damaged him! My daughter also really wanted a train set for christmas one year and we did get that for her. She loved it! But she is still a girly girl. Maybe your cousins son got the idea from tv or he has probably seen little girls playing with dollies and thought it looked like fun. I don't think it is a bad thing, as now days mummies look after babies, but so do daddies. It doesn't come across as a feminine trait when my hubby changes a nappy or pushes our babies pram. He is just role playing and will probably make a really good daddy because of it :)

[deleted account]

This is a tough issue, I would suggest all of you take a women's studies class. Gender is taught to us. Boys gravitate towards "boy" toys because that is how we TEACH them as girls gravitate towards dolls and such because that is how we teach THEM! Maintaining these assigned gender roles based on the part between there legs will keep up the sexism in our world! My son plays with whatever toy he wants. He asks for a pink car, and I can afford it, he gets a pink car. He loves polly pocket, has a kitchen that he loves to cook in. He also helps cook his meals in the real kitchen, cleans, does laundry, helps dad fix things around the house. He is all over the board with his interests! He plays games online and plays girly ones as well as boy or non gendered games. He is in love with cars and trains like any normal boy, and has a baby elmo. I don't think there is anything wrong with your nephew playing with dolls, to the extent of having a stroller. What is wrong with a stroller? Dads push them around too! When my next child comes along if my son asks for those toys I'll have NO problem getting them for him! A friend of mine her son wanted to be a butterfly for halloween, but daddy wouldn't let him. That wouldn't have happened in my house, boy wants to be a butterfly, GREAT! There's male ones of those too! BFD! Kids are not TURNED gay they are born that way. There's no reason to get all up in arms if a boy wants to play with traditionally GIRL toys!

LaCi - posted on 06/30/2009

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i guess mines kind of young for this conversation, all his toys are unisex. Just turning 1, today. But if he wants a doll when he's older, so be it. I can only hope he wants video games and legos so we can both be entertained. I would hope for that if he were a girl too.

Abby - posted on 06/30/2009

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I try to buy them whatever they want if its in my price range. I have a girl and boy, and they always end up playing with whatever the other one gets too. I try to push the lets all share and get along thing. LOL

Angela - posted on 06/30/2009

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Yes and no. I totally believe that he should have a baby doll if that is what he would like to play with. After all, he is just imitating what he see's when he plays a lot of the time. But, I would not give him a barbie. I don't see anything wrong with him playing dress up either. Same deal.

Ruth - posted on 06/30/2009

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I was just trying to understand your reasoning, that's all - like if you said, "it'll make him a sissy" or something like that. I'm aware that certain toys are certain colours and are aimed at boys or girls, but I wondered what harm you thought would come of a boy playing with a toy aimed at girls. That's all. There's no need to get defensive or frustrated. Just leave it at that and forget I ever said anything in response to you.

Ashley - posted on 06/30/2009

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well sorry but it gets a little frustrating when i said what my reason is and i get told i didnt say what my reason was when i did. that's my reason for it i know lots of ppl who buy dolls for their boys and that's fine. we just dont in my house

Ruth - posted on 06/30/2009

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Woah!!! I'm just asking! I thought the point of a forum was to debate ideas and opinions! Excuse me, please!

Ashley - posted on 06/30/2009

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i just told u my reason...i think they are for girls... that's my reason. you buy your boy dolls that's good for you. i dont and wont. i dont see why it matters to you what my reason is anyways. if i had a girl and he played with her dolls i would never tell him he's not allowed to i just wont go and buy him dolls, littlest pet shop, polly pocket. he has a stuffed bear that he carts around with him and we refer to it as his baby. once again i dont see anything wrong with that but it's also blue and beige not pink and purple and all frilly.

Ruth - posted on 06/30/2009

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But I'm interested as to what your reason is and you haven't given one. Reasons are usually based on beliefs and ideas and I'd be interested to know what your reason is.

Ashley - posted on 06/30/2009

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Quoting Ruth:



Quoting Ashley:

nope..wont buy my son any dolls






For what reason?






because to me thats for girls and if i or anyone else brought him one home my partner would prob throw it off the balcony and that would be the end of that. dolls are pink and purple for a reason and so are the strollers that go with them. i have my opinion and you have yours and that happens to be mine!

Jodie - posted on 06/30/2009

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i bought my son a pram and dol when he was younger, he also had a toy kitchen and liked to dressup as a fairy sometimes!!! He had only female cousins so had to join in! He also loved cars and trains!! I think lots ofboys like to play with dolls and prams b/c they are copying mummy who they spend most time with! All children do this so why should it be strange for a boy?!?!?

Trish - posted on 06/30/2009

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I wanted my son to grow up to be a sensitive guy that could talk and share with others so I bought him traditionally girl toys as well as boy toys. He did play with his older and younger sister when he was quite young. But... he is the most manly guy around. He is sensitive but I don't think that the toys made a difference at all. He played with everything.

Mell - posted on 06/30/2009

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My little boy plays with anything he's got a little pink stroller that he likes to push his teddys around in, hes got a little baby doll ( he wouldnt put it down in the shop :) ) a tea set which he loves, but hes also got dump trucks trains sets, cars all sorts, if he wants to play with it whatever it is ill let him :)

Ruth - posted on 06/30/2009

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My boys have loads of boys' stuff (trains, cars etc) but they've got a toy kitchen, baby doll, etc too. They love 'cooking' and taking orders for their restaurant and I think it's great. I can't stand hearing people say, "That's a girls' toy, you'll turn them gay", or other similar ignorant remarks. Cooking and babies are part of the real world and they're simply copying what they see adults do every day.

Rhionna - posted on 06/30/2009

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I got my son a pram and a baby doll, children learn by copying their parents and as I was pregnant at the time it helped him to understand that mummy was having a baby. He also likes playing in his toy kitchen. I see no problem in letting my boys have "girly" toys, they are just learning about life and that involves daddy pushing the pram and doing the cooking occasionally!

I wouldn't let them play with guns though, i don't want to encourage violence. They do have knives, but they are part of the kitchen set!

Jocelyn - posted on 06/29/2009

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i am preggers, and i have a son. when the new baby is born i am going to buy him a doll. because if i have something, then he has to have it too! lol :) but i will look for a doll that is not quite so girly, maybe make the doll some clothes out of camo print lol.

Audrey - posted on 06/29/2009

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I bought my son a boy baby when he was no quite 2 years old and I was pregnant with my second son already and he loved it. I bought one that peed, could get wet and I have tons of pictures of him painting him with water colors and bathing him and him sitting in the sand box. Yeah it only lasted about 6 months but it served it's purpose of preparing for a new baby to him. My pediatrician suggested it to us actually. We would say "Uh-oh your baby is crying" and he would put in a blanket and bring it to me to help figure out what could be wrong with it. Since then my boys are now 4 and 6.5 years and they have both asked for things that were a little off the wall. We have never said that is for girls but let it go and seen how long it would really last. One of them threw a fit at the shoe store one summer because he wanted these pink jellie shoes and we said no and the other one wanted Littlest Pet Shops for his 3rd birthday and we bought him one of the small packs of them. We pick and choose what we will do I guess. With the Littlest Pet Shops- we got them but they were the ones with a Lizard, frog and ? that came with the skates, scooters. and ramps. That was boyish I think. We have owned a kitchen set and they played with it the same as any other big item. I have bought my niece with my sisters suggestion the big rubber trucks and also a farming set. My sister sees things sort of the same as I. Difference is she has 2 girls and thinks everything is gender neutral and we have 2 boys and she thinks there are certain things they should just want to not play with. It doesn't work that way. I think your cousin is letting her son go a bit far with the whole thing by buying those things for him but just my opinion. A stroller? I probably would have went with a grocery cart. Like I said, they may ask for it but for how long they ask proves how bad they really want it is the difference.

Jen - posted on 06/29/2009

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My 15 month old son loves trucks, the lawnmower, and his hockey stick. But he also has the biggest crush on Dora the Explorer. It all started with reading him a book about colors that my mom got him at a yard sale. And now we have all kinds of Dora stuff (that my husband hates) to include a pink Dora and Boots blanket that he loves to curl up with at night, sippy cups, band-aids, placemat, and more books. He really only likes her in print - isn't a big fan of TV Dora. At my husband's urging, we've introduced him to Cars and Thomas, but he still loves Dora!!

Betty - posted on 06/29/2009

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Well I leave most of the toy buying to my mother in law because she gets enuf all on her own. When I get her toys I try to steer clear of the girlie toys because she has enuf pink and frilly in her room thanks to her lovely gramie. If we were the only ones getting the toys than I'm sure we would have a balance of both because kids should learn how to play in many differant ways.

Emily - posted on 06/29/2009

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when my daughter was a baby i picked her toys etc cabbage patch dolls, prams, kitchens etc etc. Now shes 2 and for her 2nd birthday her grandpa who hasnt been in her life till recetly brought her a tonka truck. It's her favourite toy! Since then she ha been getting into thomas the tank engine and stuff like that. Her father is a revhead so she loves cars. But she is still a princess checking her hair before we leave the house and she takes her purse everywhere. The first toy my mother brought for my nephew was a doll and pramset for his first birthday. The pram helped him to learn to walk and just because he played with doll doesnt mean he will turn out to be a pansy! In fact hes 23 and a plasterer.

Angela - posted on 06/29/2009

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my daughter is 1 years old and we have kept her toys neutral. She has lots of musical instruments, mini keyboard, ball pit, tunnel tents, a mini car she rides on which she will eventually walk with, books, a rocking dinosaur and other stuff which she still is too young to use like a chalk/white board, table and chairs, doll and pram etc. She does have lots of teddies and even they are neutral though she does have a few 'pink' ones. We've even kept her bedroom neutral. I don't think it's an issue for kids to play with any types of toys especially when they are young...i don't think they even know the difference. Maybe when they are older and understand more then you can let them decide what they want to play with. I wouldn't have an issue with buying my daughter a car set if thats what she likes but i think with all the influences around her (tv shows and commercials, family and friends etc) she would stick to gender specific toys anyway.

[deleted account]

Since we have boys and girls in the house, everything is available to them. My girls have never had the slightest interest in trucks or guns or other "boy" toys. My one daughter is athletic so she likes balls and bats, etc even more than my son! My son has a pink teddy bear that he LOVES, but other than that, his choices are ALL BOY. He likes Hot Wheels and trucks and guns and light sabers and dressing up like Spiderman. I don't think gender specific toys make kids more or less geared toward that gender, I think that gender specific toys became designated to their gender (e.g. dolls=girly, cars=boyish) because that is generally the toys those gender kids gravitate toward.

Lisa - posted on 06/29/2009

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I have no problem buying some toys that are generally preferred by one gender, but how old is your kid? I have a nephew that had a little boy baby doll he loved. And he grew out of it. My son loves some stuffed animals but generally gravitates toward toys like trucks and "boy" toys. Well, he'd rather play with anything that ISN'T a toy.

Kate CP - posted on 06/29/2009

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All kids need to learn empathy and care giving. What better way than to have a baby doll? Think of it this way: he'll be happy about being a daddy. And he'll probably be AWESOME at it. :)

Kylie - posted on 06/29/2009

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My daughter is quite a girly girl, shes got plenty of dolls and ponies, fairy dress ups, jewelery, lip gloss and ballet clothes but she also loves to play trucks in the sand pit, has dinosaurs and plays with a thomas the tank engine train set. She is more into her scooter and trampoline than her dolls and ponies. If my son gets into dolls and fairy dress ups i wont mind, i love dolls..don't know what his daddy will have to say about that tho :)
I'm with Kate, no guns, knives or bratz at my place either.

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