The Worst Toys for Girls: Imagination NOT Included (page 2)

The Worst Toys for Girls: Imagination NOT Included

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based on 47 ratings
Updated on Dec 13, 2012

Disney Princess Make-up Kit ($29.95, ages 5+) Playing dress-up can be a creative and imaginative activity for boys and girls alike—but this make-up kit for the kindergarten crowd is a creativity killer. The small lipsticks and other make-believe cosmetics are firmly tied to the princess theme and allow for no other interpretation. For more inspired play, choose a less girl-centered option for dress-up like the Rubie's Costume Company Makeup Factory for Children ($7.99, ages 5+) which comes with a lot of options, including both glitter and fake blood—so your budding heroine can pretend to be a monster or a mermaid—it's her choice!

Bratz Party Doll ($25 and up, ages 6+) Bratz aren't pink, but easily earn their spot on the worst toy list. Bratz work on the same principle as Barbie—your kid collects accessories and outfits for the doll and plays. Unlike Barbie, who occasionally goes to work in a commendable (and not always female-friendly) field as a doctor or a scientist, these scantily-clad playthings do nothing but party and have no aspirations beyond buying their next set of high heels. Other Bratz dolls are equally limited—they model clothes or style hair. Marketed to tweens and younger, these toys embody the most toxic female stereotypes. If your girl's gaga for dolls, opt for one of Barbie's best alter-egos. Mattel's I Can Be Computer Engineer Barbie Doll ($22.99, ages 5+) encourages your little one to think beyond appearance, and even comes with a tiny laptop.

Playhut Beauty Boutique Play Hut ($34.99, ages 3+) This is a pre-fab pop-up beauty parlor in the standard pink and purple colors, complete with a "dressing room" and mirror. Every child likes a space of their own where they can dream and play, but this toy tells the story for you—it can only be used for beauty and primping and definitely no boys allowed. A better choice for creative and open-ended play for girls would be a Crafty Kids Adventure Castle ($44.99, ages 3+); this playhouse in the shape of a castle is made from recycled cardboard that your little artist can draw and paint on, letting her imagination run wild.

It's about more than a color. The worst toys for girls promote passive play, limit imagination and reinforce rigid stereotypes. For a wise parent, it's possible to think beyond pink and find toys that appeal to girls, but that also encourage positive aspects of play such as creativity, active engagement and imagination.

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