Whenever I spend time with my energetic 6-year-old cousin Sarah, I am in princess overload. Everything is pink and purple. Everything. When she grows up, she wants to be a—you guessed it—princess. I did not fully understand where her princess obsession stemmed from until we looked through the holiday toy store catalogs together so she could show me what she wanted for Christmas. The majority of the girl toys revolved around Disney princesses, Barbies and pink dress-up clothes, while the pages for boys featured building sets, trains, games, chemistry sets and characters like Bob the Builder. When I pointed out an awesome Lego set, she pointed to the little boy on the page and responded in disgust that it was not for girls.
Why are most of the toys that inspire kids to build, think and explore mostly marketed to boys?
Young girls like my cousin need toys that inspire them to be more than pretty princesses. (Likewise, boys need toys that inspire them to test out traditionally female fields.) We desperately need more females in engineering and technology, two of the fastest growing fields today. Currently, only 13 percent of engineers are women. The number of women leading tech startups is even lower—below 10 percent.
Thankfully, Debbie Sterling, founder of Goldie Blox, has created a toy specifically designed for young girls that encourages them to pursue engineering. Sterling thoroughly researched children’s play patterns and gender differences to develop a toy that will build girls’ self-confidence in spatial skills. She created a series of interactive books and construction toys that feature Goldie, an adventurous girl who loves math and science. While Goldie explores with her friends, she encounters problems that need to be solved by building simple machines. Throughout the story, the girls get to build along with Goldie.
Goldie is an amazing role model for young girls that promotes problem-solving and curiosity. It is beyond exciting to see a toy that combats gender stereotypes and sparks young girls’ interest in math and science. We already have enough young aspiring princesses; we need more aspiring engineers, techies and entrepreneurs.
Goldie Blox is more than just a toy, it is a much-needed movement to encourage future generations of girls to help build our cities, products and technology.
What do you think of Goldie Blox? Tell us in the comments!