Gifts

34 Gender-Neutral Toys for Kids of All Ages

Repeat after us: gender is a social construct.

October 19, 2021
Photo by Crate & Barrel

Watching kids tear into a wrapped gift is always fun (the colors! the happy characters!) But shopping for the perfect gift? Not quite. The amount of gendered toys out there (we’re looking at you Barbie and G.I. Joe) makes it tricky to shop for kids without setting them up for a lifetime of gendered thinking. In fact, according to an NPR report on kids’ toys, toys are more gender-divided now than they were half a century ago.

But the good news is that many companies are starting to rethink things. Take LEGO, which recently announced it is (finally!) getting rid of very gendered kits in favor of ones that appeal to all kids. And they’re not the only ones.

Ahead, you’ll find 34 gender-neutral toys that kids of all backgrounds and ages will love.


Gifts for babies (Ages 0-1)

Photo by Simons

1. Ouistitine Chicken And Pig Puppet Duo, $55

Pretty but not aggressively feminine, Ouisitine’s gorgeous, one-of-a-kind hand puppets are handcrafted from upcycled wool sweaters and blankets.

Photo by Amazon

2. Lamaze Clip on Toy - Captain Calamari, $15.99

Babies love the bright colors and sensory details of Lamaze’s gender-neutral clip-and-go stroller toys.

Photo by Amazon

3. Haba Discovery Blocks, $29.99

These Haba Discovery Blocks are the perfect distraction for a baby, and they’re small enough to tote to a restaurant or on a plane, too.

Photo by West Elm

4. West Elm Poppyseed Play Wood Baby Gym, $90

Here’s a baby gym that doesn’t have a whiff of gendering (or plastic!) in its design.


Gifts for Toddlers (Ages 1-3)

Photo by Amazon

1. Tegu 42-Piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set, $93.50+

Tegu Blocks are definitely an investment, but they’re a delightful and long-lasting toy that even toddlers can build with thanks to the magnetic design. Plus, the range of colors invite girls who might think blocks are boys' toys.

Photo by Etsy

2. Skandico Toys Building Blocks Set - The Castle, $199.90 $169.91

This gender-neutral set of blocks is so colorful, it’s almost more like a piece of art than a plaything.

Photo by Pottery Barn Kids

3. Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Fruit Set, $29

Velcro connectors and a wooden “knife” make it possible for even the littlest kids to slice these toy fruits—so satisfying!

Photo by Crate & Barrel

4. Crate & Barrel Modern Chef Wooden Kitchen Playset, $499

This major play kitchen from Crate & Barrel is so chic that even the most discerning parents will be happy to have it in the living room.

Photo by Etsy

5. Art 2 the Extreme Kids Name Crayons, $19.95+

A self-described OG Etsy vendor, Art 2 the Extreme’s Recycled Name Crayons are an ideal stocking stuffer for kids learning their own names.


Gifts for Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

Photo by Maisonette

1. Tender Leaf Toys Coastal Animals, $54.99

Tender Leaf’s charming sets of wooden animals are a refreshing alternative to the ubiquitous plastic animal figurines, but still colorful enough to delight kiddos.

Photo by The Tot

2. Land Of Dough Over The Rainbow Luxe Cup, $14.99

Artisanal play dough may sound like an oxymoron, but this sustainable and domestically-made dough is in a league of its own.

Photo by Lakeshore

3. Lakeshore Log Builders - Master Set, $69.99

This made-in-the-US building toy is still just as much fun today as it was back in 1916 when it was introduced (and when toys were a whole lot less gendered). We love this all-wood set that has tons of logs for endless creativity.

Photo by Kid Made Modern

4. Kid Made Modern Wooden Robot Craft Kit, $34.99

Kid Made Modern’s craft kits aren't your average boxes of junky supplies. We love all of its gender-neutral wooden craft kits, including this adorable make-your-own robot kit.

Photo by Hearth Song

5. Hearth Song Five-Panel Folding Gymnastics Tumbling Mat, $69.98

Let the tumbling begin with a classic gymnasium mat that’s gotten a fresh update with a rainbow color treatment.

Photo by Pottery Barn Kids

6. Pottery Barn Kids Plan Toys Balance Board, $75

This toy challenges future surfers and skateboards to sharpen their balance skills.

Photo by Amazon

7. The Original Slinky Walking Spring Toy, $3.49

There’s a ton of reasons Slinky has been around for more than 75 years, including its gender neutrality. Kids will especially love sending it down the stairs all day, every day.

Photo by Bella Luna Toys

8. Waldorf Wooden Play Clips (Pair), $16

Just add blankets, and these Waldorf-style wooden play clips will let kids of all genders make the DIY forts of their dreams. They handily clip onto furniture without pinching little fingers.

Photo by IKEA

9. IKEA CIRKUSTÄLT Children's tent, $19.99

Hands-down the most affordable play tent on the market, the circus-inspired stripes of IKEA’s tent are blissfully non-gendered.

Photo by Follies

10. Follies The Bauhaus Set, $199

Billed as “Part toy, part home-decor, and 100 percent fun,” Follies are a set of colorful foam boards designed for fort-building and more.

Photo by Amazon

11. Ashwath 108 pcs. Magnetic Blocks Pipe Magnet Building Set, $49.99

If kids already have a stash of magnetic tiles, add to the fun with this specialized set that turns the tiles into a DIY marble run.


Gifts for Elementary School Kids (Ages 6-8)

Photo by LEGO

1. LEGO Safari Wildlife Tree House, $29.99

A box of basic LEGO bricks is a timeless toy, but kids get a kick out of the themed sets. The Creator 3-in-1 sets are a best of both worlds solution. The kids get the satisfaction of a kit, but multiple project options ensure there’s more than one play session in the toy. We love the Safari Wildlife Tree House and the Deep Sea Creatures for their non-gendered themes.

Photo by Haptic Lab

2. Haptic Lab Cross and Circle Game Quilt, $180

Think of Haptic Labs’s Game Quilts as a plaything and a future heirloom. Choose from Backgammon, Checkers, Snakes and Ladders, and Cross and Circle (the universal name for games like Parcheesi, Trouble, and Sorry).

Photo by Amazon

3. Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller, $79.90

Kids will love this screen-free storytelling device. The Lunii lets kids create their own audio story adventure by choosing a hero, an object, a location, and more.

Photo by Hearth Song

4 Hearth Song Inflatable Ride-On Hop 'n Go Horses, Set of 2, $44.98

Sold as a pair, kids can race each other with these delightful inflatable ride-on horses whose simple design will appeal to both boys and girls. Giddy up!

Photo by Lakeshore

5. Lakeshore Super-Safe 1/2" Craft Tape Center, $59.99

It’s not a toy in the traditional sense, but trust us that this rainbow tape dispenser will be a sleeper hit. Kids will find hundreds of imaginative ways to use the tapes.

Photo by Two Bros Bows

6. Two Bros Bows Splash Archery Combo Set, $59.99

This beginner bow and arrow kit from Two Bros Bows will inspire hours of imaginary archery adventure. The company was started by two entrepreneurial brothers when they were 7 and 10 respectively after watching Disney's Brave.

Photo by Etsy

7. Handcrafted Buffalo Slingshot, $8.50+

With wool balls as the ammo, this throwback slingshot is (mostly) safe for indoor play. The natural wood and rainbow felt design is universally appealing to kids of all genders.

Photo by Target

8. First Act Discovery Natural Acoustic Guitar, $39.99

We have a general rule against toys that make noise, but we make an exception for a classic acoustic guitar. This beginner model is affordable but still holds a tune, unlike many toy instruments.

Photo by Amazon

9. Micro Kickboard - Maxi Deluxe Eco, $139.99

Kids love to scoot! If you’re looking for a big gift, the Micro scooter is *the( scooter of choice for the kiddie clique, and we love that their Eco edition is made from recycled plastic.


Gifts for Older Kids (Ages 9+)

Photo by Rocky Luten

1. AREAWARE Little Food Puzzles, $45-$60

Order a set of Areaware’s little puzzles and divvy them up so each kid gets their own jigsaw snack.

Photo by Teni & Tayo Creations

2. Teni & Tayo Creations Build Your Own Solar Powered Car, $24.99

Build your own solar-powered car with this cool kit by Teni and Tayo, a black-owned STEM toy company.

Photo by Amazon

3. Laurence King Publishing Tree Families Botanical Card Game, $14.94

The aim of this nature-inspired card game is to collect all the elements of a tree: leaf, flower, and fruit, plus the tree itself to form a tree family.

Photo by James Ransom

4. Yard Games Wooden Outdoor Tumbling Timbers, $50-$80

A oversized tower game is beloved by kids of all ages—and young-at-heart grown-ups. We recently spotted six year olds and teenagers playing this game together!

Photo by Maisonette

5. Dannijo Tie Dye Party Kit, $55

This massive set of dyes lets tweens make their own custom creations—with a bit of adult supervision, of course. Throw in a couple white T-shirts to get them started.

What else doesn’t need to be gendered? Let us know below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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Laura Fenton

Written by: Laura Fenton

Laura Fenton is the No Space Too Small columnist at Food52. The author of The Little Book of Living Small, she covers home, design, and sustainability. Laura lives in Jackson Heights, Queens in a 690-square foot apartment with her husband and son. You can follow her on Instagram @laura.alice.fenton.

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