The differences between girls and boys during play

Child playing with phone

The differences between girls and boys during play

You might believe that we push gender choices on our children, but there could actually be genetic differences in how girls and boys play. A number of different studies highlight why the opposing genders are more likely to choose specific toys or play educational games in a certain way.

Susceptibility to certain toys

Research carried out on monkeys suggests that we might be born with a preference for specific toys. The study showed that when provided with a choice, the males would opt for a ball or a car, whereas the female monkeys chose a pot or a doll. However, both genders spent a similar amount of time interacting with more neutral games and toys.

Genetic differences in play

Other studies have shown that the reason why boys and girls play differently could be genetically disposed. It suggests that we could be attracted to toys that perform in certain ways depending on whether we are a boy or a girl. Boys often go for activity-led toys, whilst quiet toddler games or role-play toys attract the attention of girls. Research at Cambridge University found that boys were more likely to drive cars into each other. However, the girls that were observed were more careful and considerate in the way they played.

Regardless of the toys that we have in our house, it is often predetermined what our children will play with. The best way to encourage a wide range of play styles is to have a selection of toys and games available.


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