Buy This Instead!

It would be very easy for me to spend most of my time between now and Christmas harping on all the stereotypical toys and ads swirling about. I realized this morning that Parenting Lesson 101 is Positive Reinforcement — give attention to what you would like to see MORE of.

So, go to these folks’ sites and spend your shopping dollars! Ultimately, that will speak louder than online petitions and TOADY awards for worst toy of the year (though they are kind of cool, too).

il_570xN.384259401_atay Check out Geneviève LaBelle’s One of a Kind Colouring Book 1: Surprise Box on Etsy. From the Etsy description:

At one time, there were pink-only colouring books aimed at little girls filled with princesses and charming princes and blue-and-khaki-only colouring books roaming with superheroes and brave firemen. Between them, nothingness. . . . From the male ballet dancer to the female skateboard pro, from the gamer girl to the knitting boy, . . . the first volume of One of a Kind Colouring Book is a big party where not only did we invite everyone, but everyone is celebrated.

LaBelle is an author and illustrator as well as a traditional weaver from Quebec, ail_570xN.382500178_6fn1nd the coloring book also contains references to Quebecois figures and stories from legend and history, so if you’re from the US, you can learn about another culture as well. The coloring books are $10 each, and you can contact the author for a bulk discount (every one in your child’s class at school? a gift to your church or synagogue?) Oh, yes!

(Oh, by the way, it’s available in French, too.)


Our friends at the Princess Free Zone invite you to meet Lula — a precocious ten-year-old who has her own tool belt and helps her dad with carpentry projects. She loves science, playing the drums, riding her skateboard, and hanging out with her friends in the Good Builders Club. As Super Tool Lula, she uses her super hero gifts and magical tools to protect and come to the aid of kids who are mistreated or bullied.

In this first short-chapter book, Lula learns of her super hero status, meets the tools who will help her on her mission, and transforms her first bully. Along with her friends, she’s out to change the world, one kid at a time.

Appropriate for ages 6 and up, $14.95. One Amazon reviewer says, “We love Super Tool Lula and wish she was on TV!” Buy it right from the Princess Free zone website, where there are also links to Super Tool Lula songs on iTunes.

The Princess Free Zone also has t-shirts, my favorite of which is the one with this image: PFZ_Hammers_NewI LOVE this LOVE shirt for boys and girls! (I would love it for women and men, too!)  And how cute would it be on a onesie? The onesie and toddler sizes are $18, larger kids’ sizes are $20.

Let’s support the folks trying to create more space in the world! If you see more great items, let us know. In addition, here are a few holiday shopping tips I put together a couple years ago. (I was a novice blogger then so it’s really too long. But it might serve as a useful meditation as you enter the holiday shopping fray.)

Oh, and if you have an ample budget, check out this Ebay item: childholdinggun
a rare 6th plate tinted daguerreotype of a child holding a toy gun. What a beautiful child! Wouldn’t this confuse your gender-constrained relations — is it a boy in a dress? Is it a girl with a gun? (For the record, it’s the former.) You’ve got five days to bid on this gorgeous vintage image, but the opening bid is $1,895.00!


This entry was posted in Books, Clothing, Femininity, Holidays, Masculinity, Toys, What You Can Do and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Buy This Instead!

  1. Charles says:

    Gorgeous vintage images can be had for as little as 1 to 2% this price. Ernest Hemingway’s baby image is on the web showing him in a dress. In the Greco-Turkish war of 1922, Hemingway was in the region and expressed shock on seeing “dead men in ballet skirts.” Those were the Greek soldiers who were too stupid to know that males are born wearing ugly blue jeans or ugly suits and ties. They’re also too stupid to not have observed what everyone else has—those permanent letters across the sky, 15 miles tall, that say “Human self expression is for females only,” which permanent sky sign was put up by the Mental “Health” Association.

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