EVERYDAY FEMINISM

75+ Holiday Gifts for Young Feminists

image credit The Refreshed Home

The winter holidays are upon us and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanakkah, Kwanza, or Yule you are probably going to be giving a gift sometime in the next month.

I’ve compiled a list of gifts for the young feminists in your life – and by young I mean young – like the under 10 set.

Yep! You can start that early!

Children are bombarded with gender rules and messages of violence in the media but you can buy toys and gifts that show a different way to think about the world.

(In the following list, I provide a link to buy if it is a one-of-a-kind item. If there is no link, then you can probably find it at a major online retailer or bookstore. Unless otherwise noted, all images are from Amazon.com. Everyday Feminism has no affiliation and does not endorse any of these specific brands.)


Gifts that Celebrate Multiculturalism

An appreciation for the myriad peoples of the Earth is an important aspect of raising kids with compassion. Here are some gifts from music to art to books that celebrate multiculturalism.

1. [ART/MUSIC] Kaplan Shake, Rattle, and Beat Bag by Kaplan Early Learning Company a collection of percussion instruments from around the world

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2. [TOY] LEGO DUPLO People of the World Set

3. [ART/MUSIC] Crayola Multicultural Paints (also available in crayons and markers)

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4. [ART/MUSIC] Multicultural Construction Paper by Panco

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5. [BOOK] A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan

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6. [TOY] Shades of People by Shelley Rotner

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7. [ART/MUSIC] World Playground Multicultural Activity Kit - CD, coloring pages, and activities from Senegal, Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Australia, Canada, Greece, France, Congo, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Israel, Ethiopia and the USA
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8. [TOY] A doll from 4 Kids Like Me specializing in multicultural dolls including Asian, Latino, African, Native American, and Biracial dolls (image of Filipina doll from 4 Kids Like Me)

Luz from the Philippines

9. [BOOK] The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
10. [BOOK] All the Colors of the Earth (Mulberry Books) by Sheila Hamanaka
11. [ART/MUSIC] Beautiful Like Me coloring book available at Beautiful Like Me
12. My Family! A Multi-Cultural Holiday Coloring Book for Children of Gay and Lesbian Parents by Cheril N. Clarke
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Gifts that Promote Positive Body Image

Self-love is the necessary first step in loving others. Here are some items that promote body image and celebrate marginalized body types in other media. I’ve also included ableism in the category with some great items celebrating physical/mental differences.

13. [ART/MUSIC] Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace Fat-Positive Coloring Book by Theo Nicole Lorenz
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14. [BOOK] The Whale Who Wanted to be Small by Gill McBarnet
15. [BOOK] Aunty Pua’s Dilemma by Ann Kondo Corum
16. [TOY] The UnBarbie Paper Doll Book by Leandra Spangler – dress up paper dolls fashioned after the Venus of Willendorf (picture from Bear Creek Paperworks)

17. [BOOK] It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr

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18. [TOY] Special Needs Puppets Multicultural by Dexter Educational Toys

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19. [BOOK] The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Book) by Kathryn Jackson

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20. [TOY] FIGURE 8 NO. 5 – The Rainy Day Activity Book by ponyboypress on Etsy – an activity and coloring book all about size acceptance

FIGURE 8 NO. 5 - The Rainy Day Activity BookFIGURE 8 NO. 5 - The Rainy Day Activity Book

21. [MAGAZINE] New Moon Girls Magazine – a bimonthly magazine (print or electronic) that is for girls age 8 and up. “You won’t find diet advice or popularity contests here. New Moon Girls magazine is about helping girls discover and honor their true selves, engage in meaningful pursuits and dialogue, and express their voices in ways that matter.”

Magazine

22. [TOYS] Sew ABLE Dolls and accessories available at Sew Dolling – Dolls with above knee and below knee prostheses, physical therapy equipment, and dolls with a bald head, wig and hat, specially designed for children having chemotherapy.

 

dolls for play therapy

23. [BOOK] A Friend Like Simon – Autism / ASD by Kate Gaynor

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24. [BOOK] Don’t Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability by Pat Thoma

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25. [GAME] What’s in Ned’s Head? by Fundex Games – a great game for talking about kids with sight impairment (play charades for free to learn about hearing impairment)

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Gender Neutral Gifts – “Girl” Toys Your Boys Need Too

We often think of gender neutral as toys with no pink or blue color in fact Gender Neutral Parenting wants to break down the division between “boy toys” and “girl toys”. Sometimes this is about color but more often it is about purpose. “Girl” toys mimic housework, mothering, and art while “Boy” toys mimic fixing things and active things like sports and vehicles. This section has toys that are traditionally “girl” toys that boys should be exposed to as well.

26. [TOY] Play Kitchen/Play Food – Despite the fact that it is nearly impossible to find an advertisement with a boy in it everyone eats and everyone needs to know how to cook. (Image of KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen and Deluxe Felt Food Set by LittlePicklepotamus on Etsy)

Product Image Deluxe Felt Food Set - Felt Play Food Bundle

27. [TOY] Cleaning Toys – Kids love to emulate adults and everyone needs to learn to clean. This cleaning set from Casdon is in gender neutral red and black and even features a boy!

Casdon Henry Cleaning Trolley (Red And Black)

28. [TOY] Doll Play- Developing the ability to nurture and care for others is something we want all kids to learn and both boys and girls will naturally “baby” their toys even if they aren’t provided with baby dolls (have you ever seen a kid tuck in their truck?). Finding Gender Neutral dolls/accessories is difficult. Below is the Guidecraft wooden doll furniture (shown with a boy!)

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29. [TOY] Dollhouse - Image and the Plan Toys Terrace Dollhouse.

Plan Toys Plan Toys Dollhouse Series Terrace Dollhouse

(I want to take a moment at this point to mention how expensive many of the gender neutral products are. Sadly, if you are shopping at a retailer like Walmart you can get a nice plastic dollhouse for under $25 but it will be as pink as pink can get. The non-gendered options at the lower end of the price scale are woefully small and I’d like to acknowledge my own privilege in being able to afford some of the stuff I’ve mentioned. We need to fight to end the Pink Aisle/Blue Aisle mentality at big box retailers and in the meantime, if you are on a budget, check out some DIY options here from cardboard to making an old bookcase into a doll house.)


Gender Neutral Gifts – “Boy” Toys Your Girls Need Too

The other end of the spectrum are those toys that we tend to buy less often for girls. These toys teach spatial recognition and building, both precursors to math skills, and large motor activities like sports that focus on hand-eye coordination.

30. [TOY] Building Toys – Image Plan Toys Construction Set

PlanToys 50 Construction Set

31. [TOY] Engineering Manipulatives – Like blocks these help kids see spatial relationships. Shown: Gears! by Learning Resources and Snap Circuits by Elenco.

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32. [TOY] Science Toys – Kids love science but the number of women in science careers is pitifully small. Don’t forget to get your girls science stuff too! Shown: Magic School Bus Chemistry Lab (find this and other great empowering toys for girls at A Mighty Girl)

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33. [TOY] Tools – The flip-side of the household tasks taught with the cleaning equipment is basic tools. These are skills everyone needs. Shown: Black and Decker play toy set and Maxim EverEarth Tool Bench.

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34. [TOY] Coordination and Balance Toys – Girls are less likely to receive toys that are athletic, physical, or use large motor skills. Both boys and girls benefit from these active toys. Shown: Monster Feet by ToySmith

Monster Feet Party Accessory

35. [TOY] Outdoor Games – Most outdoor games focus on hand-eye coordination. Shown: Diggin PopOut Ring Toss

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36. [TOY] Sports - Girls like sports too! Maybe more would if they were exposed? Shown: Little Tykes TotSports T-Ball Set

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Families Are All Different Gifts

Like multiculturalism, exposure to different lifestyles will help kids in hetero-headed households as well as those in LGBT or other non-traditional families. I’ve also included book about reproductive issues like IVF, surrogacy, etc.

37. [BOOK] It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families (The Family Library) by Robie H. Harris

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38. [BOOK] Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch

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39. [BOOK] Daddy, Papa, and Me by Leslea Newman

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40. [BOOK] Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman

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41. [BOOK] And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

42. [BOOK] All Families Are Special by Norma Simon and Teresa Flavin – stepfamilies, single parent homes, and other types of families are celebrated.

All Families Are Special

43. [BOOK] Our Beautiful Work of A.R.T by Rozanne Nathalie – ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) talks about IVF conception.

Our Beautiful Work of A.R.T

44. [BOOK] Before You Were Born…Our Wish For A Baby by Janice Grimes – Available on the following topics: IVF, Donor Insemination, IVF with Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Embryo Donation, Traditional Surrogate and Gestational Carrier. There are also books for Female Partners using Donor Insemination, and Male Partners using a Surrogate Mother.

Before You Were Born...Our Wish For A Baby (The Story of A Gestational Carrier)

45. [BOOK] My Daddy Stays at Home with Me by Cindy Turk – a book about a Stay-at-Home Dad (SAHD)

My Daddy Stays at Home with Me

46.[BOOK] My Working Mom by Peter Glassman- a book about a working mom (WOHM)

My Working Mom

47. [ART] Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon Coloring Book (Reach and Teach) by Jacinta Bunnell – LGBT coloring book.

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Gender Benders! Gifts That Celebrate Gender Diversity

These items show girls that like to be boys and boys that like to be girls. Some explicitly show trans*children while others just show that doing gender bending things is ok.

48. [BOOK] The Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan

The Different Dragon

49. [BOOK] 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert

10,000 Dresses

50. [BOOK] The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein

The Sissy Duckling

51. [BOOK] The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

The Paper Bag Princess (Classic Munsch)

52. [BOOK] William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow

William's Doll

53. [BOOK] Jack and Jim: Picture Book by Kitty Crowther

Jack and Jim: Picture Book

54. [BOOK] All I Want To Be Is Me by Phyllis Rothblat

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55. [BOOK] No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed As Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure by Susan Hughes

No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure

56. [BOOK] Goblinheart: A Fairy Tale by Brett Axel

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57. [BOOK] My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

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58. [BOOK] You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer by Shana Corey

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59. [BOOK] Piggybook by Anthony Browne

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60. [BOOK] Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls by Jane Yolen

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61. [BOOK] Feminist Fairy Tales by Barbara G. Walker

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62. [ART] Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls: A Coloring Book by Jacinta Bunnell

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63. [ART] Girls Are Not Chicks Coloring Book (Reach and Teach) by Jacinta Bunnell

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Gifts About Non-violence, Peaceful Communication, and Body Smarts/Safety

These games and books help kids learn how to peacefully coexist with others, keep their bodies safe, and be a champion against bullying.

64. [GAME/BOOK] Giraffe Juice Workbook: A Nonviolent Communication Games Book … To Play With by Tania Wolk

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65. [BOOK] Kidpower Safety Comics: An Introduction to “People Safety” for Younger Children Ages 3-10 and Their Adults by Irene van der Zande

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66. [BOOK] Don’t Be a Menace on Sundays!: The Children’s Anti-Violence Book (Emotional Impact) by Adolph Moser

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67. [BOOK] I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts private by Kimberly King

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68. [BOOK] Amazing You!: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts by Lynne Woodcock Cravath

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69. [GAME] Bullies, Victims & Bystanders Board Game by Didax

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70. [GAME] Safetyville Child Safety Game by Kidz-idz

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71. [GAME] Tales to Play Berenstain Bears Learn to Share Game by ConstructivePlaythings

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72. [GAME] Block the Bully Cycle Board Game by Franklin Learning Systems

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73. [BOOK] Trouble With Secrets by Karen Johnsen

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74. [BOOK] The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up For Others by Robert Sornson

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75. [BOOK] Making Friends Is an Art! by Julia Cook

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76. [GAME] Social Skills Board Games; 6 Gameboards by Didax

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Feminist Pride

No one says that adopting these attitudes of inclusion and equality needs to be subvert or subtle. Your kids can wear their feminist ways with pride.

77. Check out Everyday Feminism’s own Feminist Pride Shop for buttons and stickers. Proceeds benefit Everyday Feminism.

Feminist Pride - Button

Feminist Pride – Button

78. Or check out the Feminist section of my CafePress store. Proceeds benefit ParentingGently.com.

Feminist Infant Bodysuit

What gifts are you giving that help kids become feminists?