I cannot remember if those bricks ever sprouted petals and became pretty flowers! Maybe if I had a sister, she would have made one. Boys and girls, men and women, we are drawn to different things. It is joyful to celebrate gender differences. Like the yin and yang, polarities bring harmony. We often do play with different things, or perhaps more accurately, we engage in play differently.
Boys and girls will play in the sandbox, enjoying the warm sand, sharing the shovels and buckets, but at the end of recess, Jasmine would have made a fairy garden decorated with acorns, Michael would have made a cave with a twig gate for his ogre army. Generalizations, exceptions, and political-correctness aside, it seems that our masculine and feminine natures are present and alive. The important thing is that we all respect each other, and be open to each other, allowing each to blossom freely and miraculously.
As a grown up with kids of my own, two boys and a girl, I and my wife strive for fostering a healthy balance of male and female activities in our children’s day. While my youngest son will wrestle with my oldest son, he will also let his sister dress him in a gnome hat and sing and dance together. Our little boy is the happiest guy I know!
A young child does not differentiate between masculine and feminine until around 8 or 9, or really until puberty at about 12. The gradual coming into male and female being follows a natural course in human development. Toys give the hands a way to interact with the world. With boys, encourage his imagination; let him play with toys that allow for creativity. Monitor the older ones, make sure the play acting associated with toys such as swords does not become too graphic or physical. A boy and his toys is all about a relationship that is unfolding, one where his will builds, and his spirit blossoms.