Gender neutral toys are great toys for everyone; they're just not targeted specifically at either boys or girls.
You'll find you are familiar with many gender neutral toys: baby gyms, animals and garden toys often fall within the 'gender neutral' category. On the other hand, some toys actively address gender stereotypes and inequalities.
These toys are great for all kids to play with, as they work against social stereotyping and begin conversations about equality, kindness and individuality. They can also be a light in the dark for parents or kids who have questions about gender identity.
Kids' toys have only been marketed with heavy gender bias since the '40s, when manufacturers found they could sell more toys by offering separate versions for boys and girls, with the 'girls'' version often costing more. This is a problem consumers are still faced with today, and many adults are now turning to non-gender-specific toys for boys and girls to avoid these commercial inequalities.
As well as saving money, gender neutral toys can address shortcomings found in gender-specific toys. Researchers have claimed that cognitive and motor skills are developed most through 'boys' toys', often encouraging aggressive play, while many 'girls' toys' only concern physical appearance or serving others within a domestic or nurturing setting. By only playing within gender stereotypes, children risk learning unhealthy biases, and missing out on important development.
With all this in mind, we've found you nine wonderful gender neutral toys that would make gorgeous gifts for any child.
Kidadl's Top Pick
All the gender neutral toys on this list are worth a look, but if you're short on time this is our top pick based on its fantastic concept and the range of accessories it includes.
1. Mattel Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit
Mattel released their Creatable World range in 2019, providing a 'gender neutral Barbie' for the 21st century. Their research found that children today are highly accepting of gender fluidity and love the level of creativity they have with a gender neutral doll. One doll can become multiple different characters, keeping your child engaged and giving you excellent value for money. Creatable World also offer 'Starter Packs' for less than half the price of the Deluxe Character Kit which is superb value. The Starter Pack features a doll with short hair wearing a top and shorts, with a long-hair wig included in the box.
- Price: £33.04
- Suitable for ages 6+
- Gender neutral body shape and make-up-free faces
- Arrive in a simple vest top and shorts, with a short hairstyle
- Includes a long wig, range of clothing, shoes, and accessories
Best Teddy Bear
2. Steiff Elmar Teddy Bear
What could be more loved than the legendary Teddy Bear? Steiff are the original German makers of the jointed teddy, and for well over a century, each classic bear has featured their world-famous trademark, 'Knopf im Ohr': 'button in the ear'.
Steiff offer softer teddies for newborns as well as special edition bears, but the Golden Brown Elmar has been a trusted friend for many generations.
- Price: £44.90
- Suitable for ages 3+
- Moveable joints
- Collector's item
Best For Energetic Kids
3. Hasbro Bop It! Maker Game
Think you know all about Bop It!? Think again. Hasbro's newest addition to the Bop It! franchise lets you record your own moves and sounds, creating an ever-changing Bop It! experience. Kids will love putting their own stamp on this classic game and hearing themselves give commands!
- Price: £14.30
- Suitable for ages 8+
- Interactive microphone recorder for creating personalised play
Best For Storytellers
4. Hape All Season House
This dolls house rejects the pink and frilly, and instead creates a happy home with bright, cheerful colours. At 73cm tall, the house is open enough for multiple players, and detailed enough to sustain the interest of older children. Whilst the dolls are not included, all house furnishings and extra accessory items are, making play realistic and interesting. Now, this is the kind of dolls' house we would like to see more of!
- Price: £88.68
- Suitable for ages 3+
- Reversible roof for different seasons with solar panels
- Fully furnished
- Includes accessory items such as lamps and pots and pans
- Dolls are not included, but you can either move your own toys in, or Hape separately offer Black, Caucasian and East Asian family groups (not gender neutral)
Best Relaxing Toy
5. Cacchino Whale Sleep Aid
If you're looking to help out exhausted parents, this cuddly whale sleep aid is oceans ahead of its competitors. Perfect for newborns upward, the whale projects soft colour-changing stars onto the ceiling while playing soothing music or white noise. Parents love this sensory whale for all ages - including themselves!
- Price: £25.97
- Suitable for all ages
- Removable electronic disc for whale-washing, travelling, or disc-free cuddling
- Sounds include peaceful nursery rhymes, birdsong and heartbeat
Best Gender Neutral Puppet Toy
6. Silly Puppets Snail Hand Puppet
Puppets are wonderful toys for children for many reasons. They help with developing imagination and social skills, as well as allowing kids to express their emotions and gain confidence when speaking. Girls and boys can play with puppets whilst also learning and improving many skills - bonus! There are many gender-neutral puppet options out there, but we loved this Silly Snail the best for its high-quality material and easy use.
- Price: £34.99
- Suitable for 5+
- Retractable head
- Pliable antennae for variable silly expressions
- Suitable for children, or adults with smaller hands
Best For Long-Time Learning
7. Jaques of London Fractions Puzzle
Jaques have been creating high-quality children's toys since 1795, and they've knocked it out of the park with this mathematical twist on the classic shape-puzzle set. Two-year-olds will enjoy this toy for the bright colours and solid feel, but it's a toy to return to as your child learns sharing, and eventually simple fractions in Year 3.
- Price: £8.47
- Suitable for 2+
- Four circle shapes, with one whole circle, then divided into halves, thirds and quarters
Best For Creative Kids
8. Greensen Kids' Easel
This double-sided Kids' Easel is perfect for a child with ideas on the go. The kit includes plenty of extras while remaining at the lower end of the price scale, and as drawing is a great distractor from electronic games you could even use the easel to record time spent away from devices. A fantastic gift for a child who wants to express themselves.
- Price: £27.89
- Suitable for 3+
- Double sided with blackboard and magnetic whiteboard
- Extendable legs
- Includes eraser, watercolour pen, magnetic numbers and animal shapes, and anti-skid foot pads
Best For Disguise
9. Blue Squid Face Paint Kit for Kids
Kids will love transforming themselves with this fantastic face-painting set. With this toy, kids can let their imaginations run wild with their faces as the canvas! Perfect for boys and girls alike, as well as younger and older children. Face painting is an enticing way for kids to get those creative juices flowing as they get to wear their hard work around with them. This Blue Squid set is great value, with fuller paint pots than most other sets, keeping the kids happy for longer.
- Price: £17.99
- Suitable for ages 3+ with adult supervision
- Includes a guidebook, three brushes and thirty reusable stencils
- Paint pots give three times as much paint as rival brands
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for sensitive skin
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. Looking for more toys for children? You'll love these STEM toys for budding scientists or best keyboards for kids for little musicians.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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