Monday, January 11, 2010

So THIS Is Why my Toy Room is Filled with Tonka Trucks!

I started down the Path of Parenthood with few, if any, toys. We got a stuffed Tigger for our oldest son's birth, but that was about it. Twelve years and four boys later, our toy room is a stereotypical boy haven.

In one corner, Tonka trucks and farm toys. In another, wooden blocks and Lincoln logs. Matchbox cars litter the floor and toy guns peek out from the toy box. Random dinosaurs, poker chips and action figures -- not to mention light sabers and train tracks -- complete the look.

I did not intend to have this many boy toys. And, to be fair, my boys have played with some "girly" toys as well. They loved Care Bears. They liked the Winx club. We even have dolls and a plastic babycare center.

Overwhelmingly, though, their toys scream, "male!" Is it because I unconsciously push my boys toward boy toys, or because of their own innate preferences?

A new study suggests that hormones are to blame. Researchers measured testosterone and estrogen levels of three- to four-month-old babies; they also used eye-tracking software to guage the babies' level of interest in a doll vs. a ball. The results indicate that babies with higher testosterone levels prefer the ball.

What do you think? Do you think boys show a natural inclination toward "boy toys?"


  1. Ab. So. Lute. Ly.

    My friend and I often marvel that the youngest of boys -- brought up on PBS and innocent picture books -- will make guns out of bread crusts and spaghetti noodles.

    And I often tell the story of how, within one day, my guys ditched the plastic food and little toy cups, toppled the big kitchen center and transformed it into a rocket ship. So much for my hopes of tea parties.

    As they get older, my thoughts have moved less from "but they must be well-rounded!" and "in touch with their feminine side" to "if you can't beat 'em...join 'em." And I've discovered you really can pick up social interactions and cooperative play when you're firing BB guns and staging a mock FBI drill. It's like Barbie...only G.I. Joe style. I guess they get to the same place as girls, just using different vehicles. Gotta love 'em.

  2. I think we have the same playroom! I, too, didn't buy many toys at first, and was determined to have gender neutral, if not blatant girl toys around. But, much to my dismay, my boys have never had an interest in a doll or anything remotely girlish, unless you include hoola hoops and chinese jumpropes. One thing I find funny is that they buy me pink things all the time, and I am not a pink type of gal! They have picked up on the pink girl thing of their own accord.

  3. The pink thing is hilarious. When we got to a store, the boys always ask if they can look at toys -- and they avoid the "pink aisle" like the plague.

  4. Same here, no way are they going down that pink girl aisle! There is no aversion to pink candy though!

  5. Before I was a mother I was SURE that the only reason that boys liked "boy toys" were because they were socialized that way. But my two year old has been completely Ball and sports crazy since he was 6 months old and it is only getting worse. We don't have a TV so he had never seen a ball game until about 5 months ago and his dad isn't a big sports person at all. The only thing I can think of is that it is in his blood. There is defiantly something in most boys that makes them predisposed to "boy toys".