My brother recently texted me a photo of a wooden critter playset and asked if I had something similar to that when I was little. I affirmed for him that I was the proud owner of many Sylvanian Families: Skunks, foxes, bears, squirrels - I had them all (thanks, Mom!). I adored these woodland, hard-working creatures and their plastic-molded dollhouse homes. I recall that at one point I the owl family living with the mouse family in a harmonic utopia.
But that is what I liked to do when I was little - play dollhouse. And, honestly, my tastes haven't changed that much because I still like playing the Sims in which I create people and their homes and direct their lives and they have to do what I tell them to do. (No one should read too much into that.)
When my son was born, we bought him a variety of gender-neutral toys. But soon, he began showing a preference for trucks, which lead to my learning the name of every construction truck known to mankind so I could be ready to discuss it with him at a moment's notice.
The point is that my son chose what he wanted to play with. And most children learn to chose their own toys when they are around nine months of age. Researchers are now discovering that sometimes it doesn't matter the range of gender-neutral toys you provide children to play with, because children will play with whatever they want to play with.
So you shouldn't freak out if your daughter chooses to play with dolls or with cars. You should let your son play with the kitchen set or with the ball. The point is to just let them play.
What was a favorite childhood toy of yours? Tell me in the comments.