With an almost endless possibility of toys out there, choosing the most appropriate ones can be a challenge come Christmas time.
But rather than simply buying what’s on every girl’s wish list, it is beneficial for parents to think about the impact that certain toys can have.
The gifts we buy have the power to shape the way girls think about the world and themselves so it’s really important to encourage positivity over superficiality.
Body image expert Dr Stephanie Damiano has recommended different types of gifts come Christmas time.
4 gifts that could help promote a positive body image in girls
Books make for great Christmas gifts. There are many books available that encourage positive behaviour such as being aspirational and kind to others.
“Aim for books that appear to provide young girls with a range of inspiring female role models, which some may find empowering to aspire to roles beyond the stereotypical female portrayals. Books with role models such as these may also encourage girls to see greater value in what someone does rather than just how they look,” Stephanie says.
There are also colouring storybooks that provides girls with an alternative message to the female beauty stereotypes that often appear in children’s media.
“It may encourage girls to think beyond typical caring roles and aspire to be whatever they wish to be,” she says.
Educational Board Games
There are many board games available that allow girls to learn new skills and facts as they play.
“An educational board game may be another interesting one to include under the tree, as it encourages girls to think a bit more about issues that they may not initially consider. It could also perhaps prompt discussion about new topics and expand on other topics,” she says.
There are many intellectually stimulating games that avoid gender stereotypes and explore professional industries that may often be male-dominated.
“There are many alternatives to the typically ‘girlie’ toys that are marketed at, and available for, girls,” Stephanie says.
Sporting Sets and Equipment
Look for affordable sport sets and equipment that encourages children to partake in physical activity outside in a fun way.
“Outdoor sets like a volleyball net or a basketball hoop not only encourages girls to get involved in fun physical activity, which is likely to be beneficial for their physical and mental health, but they are also great activities to involve the whole family.”
Encouraging kids to get outside is tricky with the temptation of computers and video games, but kits are a great way to find fun in the backyard. There are gardening kits that provide children with what they need to grow salad ingredients, which can assist in them learning about plants. Suitable for the whole family, these sort of kits allow kids to gain a better understanding of nutritious food.
“These sorts of kits encourage children to plant and grow simple vegies, which may help children to develop a positive relationship with food. There are also a range of explorer kits which are a great way to get girls exploring the wonders of creatures in the garden, and does not have an appearance-focus, which is likely to have little impact on how girls feel about the way they look,” Stephanie says.
The Bub Hub is proud to support Pretty Foundation
Pretty Foundation is a not-for-profit focused on arming parents with the tools to encourage body resilience in young children. To help raise funds, Pretty Foundation has launched a book series which follows strong female protagonist Charlie as she overcomes different issues.