How often do you ask your kids what they want to be when they grow up?
It seems to be a regular discussion in our house and although the girls have progressed from wanting to be bacon (not joking – here’s that story) and a teacher, they still stick to very “girly” occupations.
Currently Riya wants to be a Popstar that does ballet and paints for a living. I’m not even sure what to say about that. And Kyla changes her mind so often that I have totally lost track of what she wanted to be, although I suspect it’s a ballerina.
Clearly neither have aspirations in the insurance field (can you blame them) nor in architecture (not yet anyway – I hear this is a genetic sort of career, and by genetic I mean that Seth will probably coerce them into it). Both of these careers are what they are “exposed to” daily in that this is what Seth and I spend our days doing. Looking at the rest of the family we have a teacher, hairdresser, another teacher, a project manager and an admin position to expose them too.
However as you can tell by their current job aspirations, this is clearly not where they are being influenced into their decisions.
Where do they get ballet, popstar painter from? Well besides the movies they watch, it’s down to the toys that they play with. Barbies embody all of those cutesie and only mildly useful occupations that our generation seem to think are the “girl appropriate” aspirations to have. How often do you see toys that come with stoves and irons or worse, mirrors and hair brushes. There is more to girls than this and though that does form part of who we are as women, it is definitely not all that we are.
Ever seen an engineer Barbie?
Anyway, so let me tell you about a toy that is not like that at all. One that I think you should definitely add to your Christmas list for the girls in your life. (Now available on sale at Loot.co.za)
Here’s our review of GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine.
Firstly I should tell you that Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. Growing up in a small town in Rhode Island, she never knew what engineering was until her high school math teacher suggested she pursue it as a college major. She couldn’t figure out why her math teacher thought she should be a train conductor! Nevertheless, she gave engineering a try during her freshman year at Stanford. Four years later, she graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering / Product Design. Bothered by how few women there were in her program, Debbie became obsessed with the notion of “disrupting the pink aisle” with a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age.
In this award-winning debut story, Goldie builds a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail. Soon all her friends want in on the action. You get to help Goldie build a belt drive machine to spin everybody!
Basically the girls LOVED it. And let me tell you – so did Seth. He was in his element reading through the book with them – telling them the story but helping them to work it out on their own too. By the time they had it all set up they were smitten.
The story line was engaging and the characters were definitely right up their alley (it even has a ballerina). The pieces are durable and survived the initial putting together and the subsequent fights about whose turn it is to have a chance now.
They’ve been begging to play it ever since – even being able to do it all on their own (which is right up my alley too!)
So maybe we’ve just put engineer on our list of potentials now too.