Gift Guide: Snap Circuits for the Inquisitive Pre-Teen

SCRoverWe were delighted to receive this request from a reader yesterday —

Greatlakesborn: I’m looking for birthday ideas for a 9-year-old girl.  She is pretty active and inquisitive. Thanks!

We know we’ve been a little thin on the recommendations for that age, so we’re absolutely thrilled to respond to this request. Today we’re going to talk about Snap Circuits, a physics toy that comes in kits at a range of price points to build everything from radios to rovers.

Continue reading

Kid Crafts: Rainbow Loom

RainbowLoomBoxWe apologize for the long hiatus since our last post — we’ve been running our dissertation experiment! It’s still ongoing, but so far we’ve learned all kinds of cool stuff about gender, spatial and mechanical learning, and child development. We’ll post an update about preliminary findings when we have something more official to say. In the meantime, today’s post is about one preliminary finding unrelated to the focus of the experiment: young children LOVE Rainbow Loom.

Continue reading

Gift Guide: Child-Safe Archery Options

GenesisBowYesterday on our Facebook we linked to a New York Times article about the push for “girls'” archery options. With more and more books and movies prominently featuring strong, female leads with mad archery skills, it’s no surprise. We’re thrilled that this is something for which girls and boys are clamoring. But, if you read the NYT piece, you also know that “girls'” options are just what the Pink Aisle has led you to expect: pink, sparkly, and stereotyped. Today we’re covering some gender-fair options instead.

Continue reading

Post-LEGO Movie Inspiration: LEGOs, Duplos, and LEGO Friends

If The LEGO Movie inspired the child in your life to get building, we’re re-posting a review we did back in 2012 of the LEGO options that make up today’s market.

LEGO Friends, the new-ish “legos for girls” are a hot item. From the voice of Get More Girls into STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math), some people love them and some people hate them. They were even nominated for a TOADY award (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children). I don’t love them, although since I first wrote this, LEGO has drastically expanded their offerings to be less gender stereotyped, and I even bought one for Fair Play Niece for Christmas. I’ll also go off on a tangent in this post about toy companies and their treatment of horses in children’s toys because this is a lifelong pet peeve of mine.

Continue reading

Gift Guide: Roominate (Birthday ideas for an 8 y/o girl)


Today we’re excited to bring you a recent Gift Guide letter from a Facebook fan!

Fair Play I need a recommendation for an 8-year-old girl birthday present.

We have just the thing! We’ve actually mentioned this toy in the past, but deemed it somewhat out of the average Gift Guide price range. Now it is available for much less, and ships via Amazon Prime. Roominate is the fully customizable doll house you wish you had.

Continue reading

New Year, New Babies: Gifts for Newborns

It’s true that new babies can be born any time of the year, but it’s fun to talk about them this time of the year when the new year is still fresh and the weather outside is gloomy. We also got a Gift Guide letter about this, so why not? File this one away for the next new baby in your life if you don’t find it to be timely. Anyway, unless you’ve actually had a newborn child of your very own, it can be kind of daunting to shop for one. It can also be one of the most difficult arenas in which to fight the gender-fair battle. There is a lot of pink and blue, and also a lot of CUTE! So be forewarned, you will need to approach your shopping with your gender-fair mantras in-hand (in-brain?). Let’s take a look at some of the options.

Continue reading

Themed Gift Guide: STEM-oriented Gifts

Grow_A_FrogThe last shopping weekend before Christmas is upon us! To round out the last-minute mad dash to Christmas, we’re posting a few thematic summaries of our favorite gifts. Today we’re reviewing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) oriented gifts. Look for games, books, music, and make-believe thematic posts in the remaining shopping days! All of these posts include links to lengthier articles we’ve written previously about a topic, so if you need more information or ideas, check those out as well (linked throughout).

Continue reading

re-Gift Guide: The Princess Problem (Gifts for 2 & 5 y/o Girls – doll, art supplies, scooter)

We’ve been negligent in getting up Gift Guides this holiday season, owing to an unfortunate surgery and lengthy hospital stay. But, we’re back in action! To provide you with maximum content and inspiration, we’re going to do some “re-Gift Guides,” re-posting/revising some of our favorites from the past, in addition to brand new Gift Guides. As always, if you have a specific question, send it our way! Today we kick off with the re-Gift Guide to purchasing for the princess-loving little girls in your life. How to avoid stereotypes? We have some answers!

Continue reading

Fair Play Twins and Fair Play Toys Have a Birthday!

FiveYrBikeIt’s been more than one year since we started blogging and we actually haven’t properly celebrated! More importantly, one of our cutest and key inspirations for the blog, the Fair Play Twins, just had a birthday. In honor of both of those milestones, we’re going to return to our first post ever, bike recommendations, and update it with Fair Play Super(grand)mom’s latest finds.

Continue reading

Take a break and get outside!


In the spirit of Labor Day, take a break and get outside! That’s what we’re doing this weekend (various BBQs and picnics mixed in with some meetings and work, actually…). If you need a little inspiration, we’ve linked up to some of our favorite previous posts for whole family activities.

Continue reading