Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition

The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to find that elusive perfect gift for the girl(s) in your life. When so many gifts marketed to girls are highly gendered, promotingstereotyped and objectified images of girls, holiday shopping can be a frustrating experience. That’s why, for the second year in a row, we’ve created a list of gifts that defy stereotypes, encouraging girls (and why not boys, too?) to explore the whole range of hobbies and careers including sports, science, and engineering. This holiday season, let’s give kids the chance to be creative and have fun!

Ages 0–3



This onesie from Toward the Stars featuring a woman scientist encourages girls to dream big from day one. Toward the Stars has numerous options for gifts that resist gender stereotypes and promote positive messages for girls. ($16.50, Toward the Stars)

2. Ten Thousand Villages Twin Girl Doll

Twin-Girl-DollThese cute and soft dolls for your little girl to hold are handmade by the women of Zimbabwe’s Batsiranai Craft Project, which works to support mothers with disabled children. For every doll purchased, a girl in Zimbabwe will receive an identical doll. ($28, Ten Thousand Villages)

3. Pattern Blocks Puzzle


These pattern blocks are not just beautiful and colorful — they also teach kids importantspatial awareness skills that will help them grasp math concepts more easily in the future. Boys are encouraged to learn spatial skills in their play much more than girls are, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These pattern blocks are from Bella Luna Toys, a woman-owned company that uses all-natural, eco-friendly materials. ($18.95, Bella Luna Toys)

4. Barbie Computer Engineer



Our regular readers might be surprised to see that Barbie made our list. But as of recently, Barbie has a new profession: computer engineer. Girls can play the role of a network specialist and visit Barbie’s website for more information about this career that’s definitely not just for boys. ($14.99, Toys R Us)

5. Wikki Stix Activity Set


Wikki Stix are all about unlimited creativity. This kit for kids as young as 3 lets girls create shapes, practice letters, try out the activities in the accompanying guidebook, and pack their Wikki Stix up into a handy bag for portable play. ($16.95, Wikki Stix)

Ages 4–7

6. GoldieBlox and the Parade Float


Did you love GoldieBlox last year? Goldie is back with her friend Ruby in a new play set that teaches spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving. Featuring diverse images of girl engineers, GoldieBlox and the Parade Float can be combined with creator Debbie Sterling’s previous GoldieBlox set for even more creativity. ($19.99, GoldieBlox)

7. LEGO Scientist


The new LEGO character Professor C. Bodin made history for the company this year in a way that may surprise you: She is LEGO’s first female scientist character. With the scientist minifigure set, girls can see themselves as future scientists just like this little professor. (Minifigures bags, $2.99 each, LEGO)

8. Rookie Gear Soccer Ball



Sports are a great way to encourage girls to be active, confident team players. This child-sized soccer ball is just right for a girl’s first game. ($19.99, Spalding)

9. The Princess Knight


Tired of all the princesses in the media who wait to be saved by Prince Charming? Get the princess fan in your life this book about a brave, smart, and self-reliant princess who defies stereotypes and rescues herself. Beautiful illustrations by Kerstin Meyer accompany this book by Cornelia Funke. ($16, Barnes and Noble)

10. Little Passports


Know a girl who loves to travel? The Little Passports interactive game lets kids travel the world from their computer, learning history and geography on the way. Plus, girls and boys will have fun while they learn. (Monthly subscriptions run from $11.95 to $13.95, Little Passports.)

Ages 8–12

11. Rainbow Loom


You may have already heard of Rainbow Loom, one of this year’s most popular toys, but did you know that it’s defying gender stereotypes? Girls and boys alike love using these colorful bands to create bracelets to share, and they might just learn a little bit about geometry and creating strong structures while they’re at it. ($16.99 starter kit, Rainbow Loom)

12. Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit


Like Toward the Stars, A Mighty Girl is a store all about positive and empowering gifts for girls. Curious and environmentally-conscious girls will enjoy this hands-on kit that lets them explore the power of electricity and renewable resources, and do real science experiments in their homes. ($49.00, A Mighty Girl)

13. Geek Dad


At AAUW, we truly appreciate the great fathers and other men in our lives who encourage us to follow our dreams. Now geek dads (and granddads, uncles, brothers) can share these simple and fun projects with their daughters, and show them their potential as future scientists. ($16.99, ThinkGeek)

14. Starmap



For the girl in your life who is curious about the extraterrestrial world, this app for iOS lets kids explore the night sky in real time on smart phones and tablets, learning about constellations as well as the galaxies and planets that surround us. A fun activity for the whole family. ($16.99, iTunes store)

Ages 13 and older

15. Portal


16. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things


Engineering is one of the most male-dominated careers out there. Getting girls interested early can help even the balance. Now girls can learn to think like engineers, finding inventive and creative ways to use everyday objects around them, with this book recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. ($8.23, Amazon)

This piece was cross-posted here with permission from AAUW 

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