On Giving Tuesday, TechGirlz held a twitter chat on some ideas for toys to encourage and inspire girls around technology. Joey Fortman, of Reality Moms, joined our chat. She reviews products and had some great insights. For those of you who are not on twitter or who missed the chat, we decided to do a quick recap. We hope this will help you with some of your gift giving for the girls in your life.
Our first question of “What tech toys are your girls asking for?” went in a different direction than we thought. The first answer was an iPhone. We had not considered that a toy! We were already learning.
But then we heard from other parents who told us their girls were asking for drones, craft kits or DIY projects including Jewelbots, and toys related to CAD.
We also heard from a new product called SmartGurlz, which is a robot. The team at SmartGurlz told us that the toy was invented when the inventor’s daughter wanted a robot, but could not find one that was interesting. She wanted a doll and a robot.
Of course video games are some hot items and even though most people think boys are gamers, girls are too. A recent survey showed that 48% of women said they play video games. Our participants recommended the Nintendo Switch console with Mario Kart 8. Minecraft is still popular with girls, along with a few new games, Animal Crossing and Roblox.
We believe that creativity can be sparked by non-tech toys too. Our Assistant Outreach Manager, Alicia Park, was recently at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. She liked the Pinbox 3000 from Cardboard Teck and E-Blox. Other ideas are Legos (the Women of NASA is a favorite at TechGirlz), K’Nex, Qubit Toy and Lincoln Logs. Board games, like Ticket to Ride, were also suggested.
Through our research while getting ready for the chat, we found that Fisher Price has various tech toys to explore. For the younger set, Code-a-pillar was a good mention. The company kindly replied to our tweet to help inform us that the age range of the toy is 3-6 years. Also, during our preparation, we found GoldieBlox, Cosmo robot, 3D Doodler Pen, Sphero Minis, and Kano. Besides toys, there is Princess Awesome, a clothing line designed with strong girls in mind.
We hope this gives you some ideas as you shop online or in stores. We do want to emphasize toys are only part of the equation in encouraging girls in tech. We hope to see your girls at the next TechShop in your region and if you don’t see one hosted nearby, contact us and we will help you get one in your area!
Still haven’t found the perfect gift for the TechGirl in your life? Check out our CafePress store where you’ll find TechGirlz swag everyone will enjoy! A portion of the proceeds goes directly to TechGirlz programming, inspiring middle school girls to explore the possibilities of tech.