GENaustin’s Holiday Gift Guide

Shopping for girls typically involves digging through shelves of rail-thin dolls in tube tops and preparing oneself to face one of the narrowest color-schemes imaginable (are toy manufacturers operating under the assumption that girls are walking around with a mysterious gender-based color-blindness, unable to see or respond to shades other than fuischa, neon pink, and glitter?) It can be difficult to find options that are exempt from these rules (and the gender-neutral easy bake oven isn’t out yet) but we’ve compiled a list for those of you that left shopping to the last minute, but are still unwilling to break down and buy the purple gourmet-kitchen set (we assume the tagline must be something like, “It’s never too soon for your six-year-old to learn to load the dishwasher”?)

Here they are, our recommendations for empowering last-minute gifts for girls:


Goldie Blox


Goldie Blox is an engineering toy set for girls. Goldie Blox is a combination book and construction toy for ages five to nine that teaches skills like building a belt-drive that spins using a peg board, crank, ribbons, axles, wheels, washers, and a crank. While still pink, it gives girls the opportunity to build their confidence as they problem-solve.


Drum Playmat


While still unfortunately hidden away in the boys section of the Discovery website, there’s no reason your daughter also couldn’t learn to practice her beats on this eight-piece drum set.


Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Style Luxury Mansion


Breaking free of Barbie’s iron-fisted reign of terror over girls toys is nearly impossible- and maybe, if they keep moving in this direction, unnecessary. The Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Style Luxury Mansion is a construction set for girls that helps them develop their spatial reasoning skills, with eight build-able rooms to customize.

LEGO DUPLO World People Set


According to Amazon, this play set “allows youngsters to recreate scenes that reflect today’s multicultural society. In this way children develop an awareness of cultural and generational differences, and begin to understand and respect that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs.” Who doesn’t want to get behind that?




With Roominate, you can “build any room you can imagine.” Created by two female Stanford engineers, Roominate is not your typical dollhouse. Girls are responsible for building the rooms, decorating with wallpaper and installing the circuits that power the lights, fans and door buzzer. Learn how fun science and engineering can be!


What else have you found during your christmas shopping that we missed? Leave suggestions in the comments!

Vanessa Wright