Eight Ways to Challenge Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years


Ensure that all children get the opportunity to experience different types of play, toys and situations ;
Challenge gender stereotypes in the early years of children’s development.
Eight Ways to Challenge Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years

Brief description of the issue

Stereotyped ideas about what’s suitable for boys or girls can not only limit children’s opportunities to learn and develop, but can also have a negative impact on their school retention in the long term. As there are so many ways of learning gender stereotypes, the strategies to tackle them must be diversified as well.

The gender divide in terms of toys means that girls get to play more often with certain toys, and boys with some other. Therefore, girls develop more their language, emotional and fine motor skills (dolls, jewels, symbolic games, etc.), and boys their global motor and spatial awareness skills (construction blocks, Legos, small motorbikes and cars, etc.) (BBC, 2018; DSPGÎM, 2017).

This two-pager document, adapted from the one produced by Let toys be toys, gives general recommendations to educators wanting to start challenging gender stereotypes with children. It can be a great reminder to print and post somewhere on a wall, for example, in your workplace or your office when planning activities with your work team.


8 Ways to Challenge Gender Stereotypes
File size: 40 KB (application/pdf)


BBC (2018). No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?, Outline Productions. https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2017/33/no-more-boys-and-girls

Direction de Santé publique Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, (2017). La santé et le bien-être de la population de la Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Let Toys Be Toys, 2018. Eight Ways to Challenge Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years. http://lettoysbetoys.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Early-Years-8-ways.pdf