Girls under five enjoy more varied play, which helps their development, while boys miss out, new research suggests.
More girls are allowed to read, play rough and tumble, dress up and play with dolls every day. But the research found that 15% of parents with sons felt certain activities were not suitable for boys, especially trying on clothes or playing with dolls or action figures.
David Whitebread from Cambridge University said "Potentially boys are losing out in vital areas of their development that girls are thriving in. All children need balanced exposure to different kinds of play to aid their development and understanding."
Dr. Whitebread added: "Evidence clearly demonstrates the importance of play in the lives of young children is strongly associated with their development. For children to mature and progress, it is vital to create opportunities for them to take part in a wide variety of play types."
SOURCE: The Chronicle.
PETTY WITTER SAYS: There is always some new research about the advantages/disadvantages of certain types of play. I can remember the study into whether or not toy guns should be allowed in primary schools, then there was the research into whether or not girls who spent too much time playing with prams, dolls and toy kitchen equipment etc were merely being encouraged into the role of the 'perfect' housewife and mother.
I have mixed feelings about toy guns being allowed in schools as no, of course, we don't want to promote overly aggressive play but, at the same time, generations of boys (and girls) have played with toy guns with no ill effect whatsoever and even if an actual toy gun is not readily available children will resort to improvisation.
As for girls playing with dolls etc, no-one loved a doll and pram more then me as a child but did I grow up with no other desires other than to be a 'perfect' housewife and mother? Though nothing necessarily wrong with this aspiration, I personally didn't - I'm a disaster in the kitchen, Hubby does all the cooking (perhaps he spent too much time playing with toy kitchen equipment as a boy) and as for being a mother, I knew from a very young age, despite my love of dolls, that motherhood wasn't something I wanted. No, I left that to my (naughty?) little sister who, despite being a tomboy, there were no dollies or prams here, she wanted nothing more than a toy garage, went on to have 2 children rather than become a mechanic.
So, what do you think? Are there any differences in the toys you allow your children to play with or, come to that, were there any toys you weren't allowed to play with as a child?