Kids + Toys (Educational + Fun) = Future Innovators

Tag Archives: Gender-Neutral Toys

To coincide with today’s blog on Image Aeronautics & Flying Toys for Younger Children

Turner Toys is offering 15% off all Ready-to-Fly Toys.

Just use the code FLYING at checkout on our website  Sale runs through Sunday, March 3rd.

Happy Flying!

Flying Toys for Beginners from Turner Toys

In an earlier blog, we talked about Great Science Toys for Children.  Right now, we’ll showcase flying toys for children as young as age 7 (or younger, depending on how hands on you want to be with your child.)  In upcoming blogs, we’ll highlight intermediate and advanced level flying toys and kits, as well as other science toys.

Playing with science toys is a great way for both boys and girls to explore the world around them and develop a love of science.  Turner Toys is proud to carry science toys that are classic and appeal to both genders. For thoughts on gender-neutral toys, see our earlier blog “Gender-Neutral Toys.”

Flying toys are a great way for children to learn about aeronautics, engineering and science – plus, they’re fun!   We have great memories of launching balsa gliders in our backyard and, to our moms’ dismay, in the house!

Basic Flying Toys

Wright Bat        The Wright brothers for children come alive with the Wright Bat Helicopter Toy.   Wilbur and Orville Wright played with a wooden version of this toy in 1878. Wind the 9 1/2″ rotor and let go – it flies straight up 20 or more feet!
Flying Stick Toy
Our Flying Stick (the manufacturer calls it the “Easy Spin”) is an aerodynamically sophisticated version of the old folk-toy stick helicopter. The pitch of the rotor can be be changed by wetting and bending. It takes a little practice to get a good flight.  Great for group activities. For kids 7+

Guillows Design Studio 


Design your own balsa model airplanes, biplanes, gliders. Contains all the components needed to build 4 motorplanes and 4 gliders.  For kids 7+

Ready-to-Fly Planes (Balsa & Plastic)

Even if your child isn’t ready for a science competition, here are two recent press mentions of regional Science Olympiad competitions.  They give you a sense of what students do in these competitions and how valuable they are for budding scientists.

English: Create a SERPENT with CITIBLOCS

Serpent made with CITIBLOCS (Photo credit: Wikipedia).

I was recently reminded of how certain toys are specifically marketed to girls. Barbara Williams drew up a list of  “Ten Toys Only Marketed to Girls” that includes pink (usually plastic, I think) vanities, cosmetics, jewelry, dress up costumes, etc.   Not to say that boys can’t or won’t play with those but chances are, if they do, people will wonder.   Barbara points out that it’s typically larger corporate stores that are awash in pink toys for girls.

Turner Toys is biased because we carry many classic toys that appeal to both girls and boys.  Gender-neutral toys include wooden puzzles and blocks for all ages (from alphabet blocks to CitiBlocs for older kids), science toys like gyroscopes and flying toys.

I teach Suzuki violin out of my home studio and leave a few sets of CitiBlocs and puzzle brainteasers out on the coffee table.  I love seeing both girls and boys and their parents playing with these.

Oblo Spherical Puzzle

In her USA Today article, “Using Toys for both boys, girls may be good for kids,” reporter Cathy Payne quotes Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, who agrees “that marketing certain toys to only girls or just boys discourages children from experiencing the whole range of potential playthings.”  Orenstein, a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area adds “there is a much greater division between boys and girls right at the time when more than ever they’re going to be playing and working together.”

NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children,  interviewed Judith Elaine Blakemore, professor of psychology and associate dean of Arts and Sciences for Faculty Development at Indiana University−Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana about her research on children, toys and gender.  The take-away?

“If you want to develop children’s physical, cognitive, academic, musical, and artistic skills, toys that are not strongly gender-typed are more likely to do this.”

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