What The Research Says About Kids, Toys, And Gender

A lot of it is what you'd expect — but not all of it.

by Richard Gottlieb
categories for kids

The following was syndicated from Global Toy News for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

A study conducted by the AIJU, a Spanish private, non-profit organization that promotes research on children and play, wanted to look beyond gender in categorizing what toys, interests and play children wanted to engage. The AIJU studied 1507 children consisting of 757 boys and 750 girls. Here are the categories for kids they identified:

RELATED: The Best Positive Body Image Dolls For Kids


This group literally is obsessed with Princesses and loves to play with dolls. They fall into the 4 to 6-year-old age group. Twelve-and-a-half percent of the participants fell into this category. Of that 12.5 percent, 4 percent were boys and 96 percent were girls.

Flickr (Mike Mozart)


As the name implies, this group loves sports, with 60 percent being involved with organized teams. Their age range runs from 7 to 12, and 23.6 percent fell into this group with 90 percent of the category for kids coming from the boys and 10 percent from the girls.

Flickr (Edwin Martinez)


This category for kids is intensely interested in fashion and personal appearance. They primarily fall into the ages of 6 to 10 years old. Fifteen-point-seven percent fell into this group with 2 percent of that figure coming from the boys and 98 percent from the girls.



This category for kids loves everything to do with nature. They run from 4 to 9 years old and represented 14.2 percent of the children studied. The study did not provide a gender breakout as it did for the other groups.

Flickr (Fabian Bromann)

TV Adventurers

In the United States, we would call this category for kids “Couch Potatoes.” They accounted for 13.9 percent of the group with 70 percent of them coming from the boys and 30 percent from the girls. They tend to have few interests other than watching television.

Pixabay (Mojzagrebinfo)


These are the littlest children (4.9 percent) and they are the most gender neutral in their preferences with 45 percent coming from the boys and 55 percent from the girls.

Flickr (Lucelia Ribeiro)


Fifteen-point-two percent were classified as Technologicals. They love computers, cell phones, video games and any new technology. Fifty six percent came from the boys group and 44 percent from the girls.

tFlickr (Rick & Brenda Beerhorst)

Richard is the CEO of Global Toy Experts, a global consultancy and resource for knowledge and guidance for competing in the 21st century play and children’s media businesses. He is also the publisher of Global Toy News, the industry resource for toy news, toy trends and analysis of the business of play.