Why Don’t They Make Legos for Girls?

Lego is many a child’s favorite toy and activity, with today’s sets and themes centering around highly interactive and technology-focused components. Lego sets have risen in popularity from the same generation of Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and basic building sets. From constructing buildings, to transportation vehicles, to complete theme parks, Lego sets and themes center around engineering skills, creativity, and both color and structure coordination.

The disparity in Lego themes and sets is evident in Lego’s scope of products; consider that there are over thirty different ‘boy-themed’ sets on the market today, with only about three or four marketed specifically for girls. Lego sets for girls are found in the a girl’s bucket filled with doll-style figures and household themes, complete with tea parties and fashionable accessories. Castles are fairy-tale inspirations, with a limited focus on the actual building; the dÃ?©cor is the primary center of activity.

Lego is appealing to boys for a variety of reasons; the themes of today’s Lego sets run from outer space and spacecraft, cars, the great outdoors, machines, computers, and high-tech buildings. Pirates, aquanauts, travel adventurers, ninja fighters, castles, and towns are some of the latest and greatest Lego systems. Add batteries to the mix, and boys can create away in the realm of interactive robots, speedy cars and vehicles, and underwater adventures. Lego Technic began in 1995 with TechPlay and TechBuild; today’s tech-focused systems include the Bionicle and Silzier/Throwbots. Spongebob Squarepants also makes an appearance.

With more kids online, Lego has taken its building blocks to its homepage with a variety of activities and interactive functions to create online versions of Lego systems. Kids can design new systems without even picking up a real block; the essence of Lego has an entirely different effect with its electronic version. Boys in particular have found an interactive community focused on engineering and design of motorbikes, robots, and spaceships. The digital revolution with building blocks continues on the web.

Girls are seemingly out of the picture; except for Belville and Clickits, the interactive component online is tailored for boys. Younger generations can take part in Thomas the Tank Engine, Dinosaurs, and Sports themes. But, the majority is in favor of boys ruling the Lego kingdom.

Lego contests around the country may prove the theory of limited girl interest in Legos wrong; various girl-based groups that focus on girl empowerment, intelligence, and academic excellence are jumping on board to compete in local Lego challenges. This not only provides some insight on the abilities of girls of the same age, but may encourage some new avenues for tapping into young girls’ potential.

If cultural stereotypes were removed from a simple Lego set, we may be able to set up young girls up for far greater mathematical and intellectual achievements than previous generations. Cultural influences and stereotypes play a significant role in a child’s intelligence abilities, perspectives, and outlook. If girls were encouraged from a young age to create and stimulate left brain activity, they are likely to develop very different skills than only using right brain-disposed activities for lengthy periods of time. It is about balance, and a simple toy such as Lego can be used as an advantage for both boys and girls.

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