|It’s interesting, as I have watched my children that they intrinsically seem to know which toys are “boy” toys and which are “girl” toys. My son has never asked for jewelry or dress up clothes and shoes. On the other hand my youngest daughter started wearing my high heels when she was barely one (amazingly she could balance in them). But they have also played with each other’s toys.|
Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with boys playing with dolls and girls playing with cars, as long as there is a balance. In fact I believe it helps children develop sensitivity and characteristics that are beneficial to them as adults.
When I did daycare I had four boys ages two and three. When my daughter came along she learned to play with trucks too. I bought her a pink minivan because she wanted her own truck. But she also loved her babies and to wear jewelry. Currently my daughters like to play with their brothers’ dinosaurs, tools, and medical kit. I encourage it. If they only played with boys toys I would probably be concerned, but they spend a lot of time with their little kitchen and in dress up clothes.
Sometimes the four boys would get out the stuffed animals and dolls and pretend they were playing house (I never told my husband). My brother had two older sisters, he often played house with us. I often think that this made him more sensitive and most likely a better father. Holding dolls helps boys know how to hold a baby when they become fathers. After we got a little kitchen my son would cook with his sisters. When my husband would complain I would tell him that cooking is a great skill to have.
I believe that play teaches young children the roles that society expects them to have as adults. I want my daughters to be mothers and homemakers (after they get a college degree) and my son to be a doctor or maybe an engineer, but playing with toys designed for the opposite gender isn’t going to hurt them and most likely helps them.