Mummy Moo's Blog

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  1. A friend recently posted a link to an article in the Daily Mail about gender sterotyping and the amount of pink toys. It sparked a bit of a debate as you can image. As I have both a boy and girls I think it can be easier to be more subjective, as my children are exposed to both gender toys. HOWEVER if you only had one child or multiple children of the same sex I can imagine there is a gap in toys.

    snakes and laddersWhen Moo was a baby we bought him a Fisher Price Little People aeroplane – its very gender neutral white and blue containing both male and female people 6 years on and its still played with daily. BUT I do know that this model is sold by Fisher Price in pink …. yes pink. Actually Fisher Price have a whole range of their most popular toys in pink. Pre-children I used to manage a Day Nursery and my background is in childcare and as much as I rack my brains I can't see what extra learning experiences may occur from a pink aeroplane. The fact here is that Fisher Price have cottoned onto a lucrative business. There are people who will by PINK toys because they have girls. (this isn't just subject to Fisher Price most children's manufacturers do it look at Lego!) For me when shopping for toys – price point will always be my deciding factor, I would NEVER pay extra because something was pink as opposed to unisex.

    Because I do have both sexes we do have an abundance of trains, Lego, role play kitchens, dolls, prams, ninja turtles, princesses and army figures and possibly this makes my children lucky. Olive frequently builds structures from Duplo to put Cinderella and TMNT Leonardo in – Megan has been known to climb a tree dressed as an angel – Moo will play tea parties with his sisters for hours, but that's not to say they don't enjoy stereotypical gender play. Moo like nothing more than being Robin Hood with a bow and arrow fighting the “armies”. But they are lucky, lucky that they can experience a wide range of play.

    I do FEEL though as a parent there is less social stigma for say Megan to be playing pirates, trains and Lego than it is for Charlie to be playing Sylvanian Families and Vet's (he wants to be a vet but I have found most of the sets appeal more in appearance to girls than boys).

    I also strongly dislike the way that toy shops are separated into gender specific areas and one of my huge bug bears has to be “Boys Toys” which are science sets! No wonder L'Oreal has set up their Women In Science Scheme. Ideally I'd like to see toy shops and products made more gender neutral and appealing – less pink – girls don't NEED a pink train to play trains or pink Lego to enjoy . But I do think the biggest change needs to be how we as parents see toys. Toys are designed to enhance your child's learning experience, develop skills and have fun. All our learning from birth to 6years (even in schools) is achieved through the power of play so lets let our children play.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts and views – are you a pink princess type of parent? Or do you mix it up? 

  2. What are you doing on Friday night?

    Fancy a party? In a park? In Marwell Park to be exact!

    This year Marwell have put on 2 Sunset Party in the Park the first was on the 7th June and the second is on 21st June. We were lucky enough to be invited as guests to the 7th June event. If you are debating getting tickets then STOP and JUST DO IT!! Its a really unique experience to see the animals from 6:30-9:30pm as the sun is setting doing their night-time routine. The weather was lovely too (which was lucky as it rained all morning I was a bit twitchy!)

    What we loved :-

    • The Samba band as you came in was awesome! Really got the party started!

    • Penguins we are big fans of these! At the gates Amy told us how Ralph was wearing a wetsuit as he'd lost his feathers and this kept him warm … so this was our first point of call!

    • Feeding time at the cheetahs!

    • Seeing the lemurs asleep – this is Megan's class name so she was desperate to see them!

    • The staff are unbelievably nice! Megan spent a few minutes discussing the 2 Giraffe's that were indoors, their names and ages – the keepers were happy to answer her and were really knowledgeable. It gives the experience more provenance to for the children – Megan clearly remembers that they were called Matilda and Isabella and they are 11 & 17years old.

    • Moo spent sometime in a cabin filled with skulls, skins and bones chatting about all the pieces (he LOVED this – it fuels he's plan to be a vet!)

    • Olive enjoyed running about freely, seeing animals, staying up late and filling my shoes with stones whilst we watched the fire eaters!


    Personally I would have preferred a Saturday night poor Megan was really feeling it by 8:30pm and ended up getting the pushchair after a full day at school, followed by Ballet then a 40 minute drive for 6:30pm start at the Zoo she was done in! I forget sometimes she's still only 4! There was also so much to do and see 3 hours isn't really enough! The kids would have loved to have seen PomBear and been on the bouncy castles. We ate a picnic in the car on the way – there was a BBQ there but as expected it was pricey – so do take a picnic or snacks. 

    We had a fab time and the children are still chatting about it now!

    For further information on the Sunset Party check out the Marwell Zoo website AND while your there see if you can spot Ralph in his wet suit on Penguin Cam.

    Disclosure: We received press passes for the Sunset Party. Although we weren't requested to write a review – we wanted to share our thoughts, all opinions are mine and the MOO's.