This month, Tootsa has teamed up with the brilliant Buttonbag who make beautiful, creative craft kits for children. You have the chance to win some colourful Tootsa pieces and Buttonbag craft kits in our competition and you can also get 25% off at Buttonbag using the code Tootsa25 (both end 18 July 2016). Enter the competition here!
Great news we hear you cry! But how many of you immediately thought “Yay craft kits – my daughter would love that!
So what about the boys? There is no doubt that most people think of sewing and crafting as a female hobby.
Why is that? When children are very young us grown-ups wouldn’t question if a toddler, boy or girl, wanted to be creative – scribble and stick on some paper – or play with a ball for that matter – they are not being ‘girly’ or a ‘tomboy’ – they are just having fun. Yet just a few years later, boys are encouraged to play football, cricket or rugby and girls are offered gentler activities such as sewing or ballet. Although perhaps it is now becoming more acceptable for girls to play football, it is still tricky for boys to learn to sew. At birthdays boys are so often presented with ‘active’ toys and girls given prettily packaged ‘creative’ toys. There are many primary school aged boys who are not really interested in playing sport yet do we ask them if they would like to do something crafty instead? Or is there really a reason why a boy or a girl can’t enjoy making a cuddly toy after an energetic game of football?
Manufacturers have of course reinforced these stereotypes to help market their products and make more money. Take a look at the craft section in toy shops and you will see kits featuring images of girls on the boxes designing sparkly jewellery or sewing a doll. This gives a very clear message to the consumer including the little boy who loves making things – crafting and making is for GIRLS.
How sad that adults have limited children’s creative choices and dictated what hobby is socially acceptable for a boy or girl to enjoy. Wouldn’t it be a more balanced society if ALL children, whatever the gender, were allowed to choose what skills they wanted to learn? Take these choices and opportunities away from a child and a little barrier goes up. Think of these as contributing to the walls that some boys have to face when they are older. For example, when it comes to A Levels it will take a lot of courage for a boy to choose to study textile design – still a child (aged 16) he will face prejudice for not fitting into the mould. So why make it so hard for them! Encourage boys to sew with their sisters – let them have the choice.
So thank goodness for Buttonbag founded by two talented makers, both mums to boys, who have created products, as well as a rather fine book, to give boys the chance to sew and create. To whet your appetite they have shared a free sewing project for you to enjoy with your children, boys and girls. You will find sewing materials and a useful haberdashery on their website where you can also use your exclusive Tootsa25 25% off discount code. Enjoy!
Click on the images below to download or grab your .pdf templates >> here
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