At home, one of the important tasks that fall to me as a dad is the management of games. It seems that I am the best able to adopt this role. Indeed, I am never afraid to venture on my knees, for hours, in tunnels too small for me or to be buried in a pool of balls.
In recent months, I have watched Leeloo develop his preferences for games. Before having a girl, I was rather in favor of the belief that the sex of the child does not matter in the choice of toys and that it is rather the environment which conditions this choice. According to this belief, Leeloo should have fun as much as Akira with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber.
So I thought my daughter was going to have fun with the little cars, building blocks, and figurines that her 2 brothers did when they were smaller. But that’s not what I observed. On the contrary, I have rarely seen him play with figurines. Even female figures do not interest her.
By cons, it is very different with the dolls, because it can play for hours. I noticed that it takes more pleasure to be centered on the doll (to dress, make a hairstyle, talk with her, etc.) than to be centered on the action that will make the doll.
Similarly, she can play with modeling clay, draw families and animals, make collars that she will then wear and chat with her stuffed animals. An important contrast when I think that at his age Akira launched his stuffed Spiderman down the stairs to test the superhero’s flying abilities …
These observations, I can group them according to two major categories of differences between boys and girls that have already been well identified in the scientific literature.
First, girls seem more attracted to artistic activities than boys. With us, the difference is clear. Leeloo likes to read stories or make a drawing much better than to throw a ball. On the other hand, this observation seems to apply only when it has a choice. If she has no choice, for example, when going to a large indoor park, she enjoys the same physical activities as her brothers.
Then, it seems that the games played by girls between the ages of 3 and 4 are more person-centered than those of boys. I also notice this trend at home. When given the choice, Leeloo will prefer a person-centered game rather than an action-oriented activity.
What I gather from this information is the importance of offering several types of games that will allow diversified learning for our children. I also remember that sometimes, like dad, I have to force a choice of game to allow different learning. So I have to encourage Leeloo to do more physical activities, but also Akira to do more DIY.
The motto is, therefore, the diversity of activities. The more the child is exposed to a diversity of play, the more his learning will be numerous. Knowing this, all I have to do is find a way to convince Akira to have fun with Leeloo’s fillies. Maybe I can do it if Han Solo becomes his rider …