So long clichés: it’s time for diversity in kids’ rooms
13 Mar 2020
In the tebalou Shop, all children should be represented - © tebalou
Pink and dolls for girls, blue and cars for boys – the world of children is often split in two and has been for a long time – however, an increasing number of manufacturers are breaking away from this. To find out what more diversity looks like in children’s rooms, check out our blog.
Trends are always shaped by general societal influences – this is also true for the baby and children’s sector. Whether it’s Sustainability or Smart Features ‒ children are a reflection of society. One of these trends is the increasing breakdown of gender stereotypes and roles, towards greater gender neutrality, diversity and inclusion.As one Study in the United States found, gender stereotypes in children take hold at an early age. Often, these beliefs are imparted to them unknowingly starting in childhood, which the kids then reproduce.
It is therefore particularly important to acquaint children with diversity early on. Paving the way for this are toys. Manufacturers like HABA and Sternthaler have been using neutral colours and taking inspiration from nature and the animal kingdom for some time – the Spielbogen Kuschelzoo can be easily passed on from sibling to sibling.
With the creatable world series, Mattel offers a gender neutral toy - © Mattel
It all begins in the toy chest
Mattel has gone a step further by giving the Barbie a new philosophy in celebration of her 60th birthday: The famous doll is now available in more than 100 variations of skin tones as well as face and body shapes, including a bald head and prosthesis. Ken has long been given a washing machine and the career dolls offer many opportunities for identification as a lawyer, firefighter, astronaut or reporter.What’s missing? A truly gender-neutral toy. Mattel’s new Creatable World collection offers exactly that.
But diversity in the toy chest is not just about dolls – whether it’s pencils in different skin tones, intercultural diversity in the play kitchen or storybooks with patchwork families, everything is possible. This diversity has also been embraced by the tebalou online shop – the two founders want to create a place where all children feel represented.
Children’s rooms and furniture are often still gendered
An area that is often characterised by specific gender images is the design scheme of children’s rooms. Furniture is slowly following suit when it comes to neutrality, but is still clearly in the intermediate stage. There are still gender-themed rooms with pirates, princesses, football or fairies, and dreamy retro-style products in blue or pink.
In contrast, the global megatrend of individualisation is having a growing impact on children’s rooms, thereby making gender clichés a thing of the past. For example, PAIDI offers modern, clear furniture in Scandinavian style, with swing or slide included.In any case, the long-time favourite multifunctional furniture has a neutral design so kids will use it for a long time as they grow over the years.
We are eager to see how this topic will develop and the exciting products we’ll find at the upcoming Kind + Jugend!