Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drawstring bag, an oops, and a bit of a rant

The mister and I are always trying to find ways to help our middle, impressionable daughter know that there's more to life than pretty princesses. She's three so that's pretty much all she cares about most of the time. In fact, we had a really hard time coming up with Christmas gifts for her that were appropriate for a three-year-old girl, but not just "pretty" and pointless. We've made the decision not to buy Barbies for her and we're trying to limit the influence of dolls and being pretty and dresses (not so successful there) and...and...and...

The mister is also an avid magazine reader. Bloomberg Business had an article in a recent issue about Legos for girls. We were pretty excited and it was interesting to hear what changes were made to the legendary building blocks.
"...There's a Lego phase for boys that's as consuming as the princess phase. But unlike tiaras and pink chiffon, Lego play develops spatial, mathematical, and fine motor skills, and lets kids build almost anything they can imagine, often leading to hours of quiet, independent play." -Bloomberg

While at WalMart last night, the mister spotted a few sets of these Legos for girls and brought some home for her. Thankfully, the one he chose for her was the dog show set rather than the salon (another influence of physical appearance and feminine stereotypes - ugh - but I'll save those rantings for another day).

So now I'll get to the point of this post. After taking the Legos out of the box last night, I quickly realized that we needed a bag to store them in. I've been wanting to try Jeni's drawstring bag tutorial for a while now and this was the perfect time for it.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

I made the mistake of not reading through the instructions all the way before cutting the fabric. Otherwise I would've seen how to cut my directional fabric (the ducks) the right way. Oh well. I think having the ducks sideways gives the bag a nice horizontal stripe look.

I also need to stop being lazy and actually change out my thread to a matching color when it'll be visible from the outside. Seriously. That white thread really sticks out against those dots.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

The bag came together so easily. I took Kati's advice and used ribbon instead of making the drawstrings to save time. Although, the only ribbon I had on hand was this sheer stuff that I would rather not have used. Now I want to cut out fabric for a few more bags to organize my son's toys too.

So despite my mistakes in constructing the bag, I think it was a hit.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

And if any of you have strong feelings about the constant influx of negative media bombarding girls of all ages, feel free to tell me how you feel.

14 comments:

Barb said...

What a cute bag, wonderful to keep legos together...

Katie B. said...

Great bag! Your little girl looks so happy.

I'm kind of glad I have a boy so I don't have to endure the "pink aisle" at Walmart. It makes my blood boil a little bit! One of those Lego sets caught my eye at Target today. I think it was a tree house. Looked fun!

stephmabry said...

I love the "girl" lego sets! I saw them at target he other day - I wasn't too keen on the fact that they still represent some of the more stereotypically feminine things, but its definitely a step in the right direction to make hem more appealing for girls. Hopefully they'll also release sets that are more generic, rather than specific sets like they currently have out.

felicity said...

I saw that article about Lego! I have heard about, but haven't yet read, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" - same theme. It's on my list. I think all the princess sh!t (one of my main beefs with Disney and why I avoid their stuff as much as possible) is insidiously sending our daughters the message that good=pretty. I don't like it one single bit. Keeping my 4-year-old away from TV and most media has really helped contain the messages we're sending her, at least for now.

Stacy said...

My daughter is at a co-op preschool - age 5, and the parents in our group are pretty involved. They put me onto a blogsite http://blog.pigtailpals.com/ which addresses the corporate approaches to gender. A great site. Another is the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood - a volunteer organization spearheading a variety of corporate misconduct (toys containing lead, commercials inappropriate for the programming age-group, etc.).

traceyjay said...

I taught high school... needless to say, I'm terrified of my children leaving home...
I just pray we can keep our kiddos moderately safe from all the junk out there. :(

and cute girl... and cute bag. :)

emedoodle said...

I too have a hard time with this issue. My daughter is also three and wants princess stuff and dresses. Now don't get me wrong I don't feel the need to push her into wearing blue or boys clothes or anything... but it is really out of hand what our society is teaching girls. Just take a look at the difference in buying "toddler" clothes vs regular children's clothes (4T vs 4) the 4 is actually smaller than a 4t in a lot of cases because they're starting the "designer fit" close to the body, and figure showing (excuse me, a three year old has no figure - really!). I hate how clingy pants are all over on her and the elbows of shirts -- it makes Allie's skin irritated, and it makes me irritated. But the kid loves sparkle and purple we try to find the balance though.

Kate said...

Well, I could rant about how Lego is marketing ONLY pink and purple Legos at girls now - goodness gracious, girls wouldn't want any of those new dinosaurs sets! But hey, it's her first set of Legos and that's all that she needs to get hooked. ;) Welcome to a lifetime of stepping on tiny pieces.

Jennifer said...

We bought a set for our daughter when she was 5. She is 8 now and still loves to play with them. She ended up deciding that she loved all Legos so we were able to get away from all the pink & purple pretty quick.

Very cute bag too!

Jennifer :)

Denise said...

I completely agree with your thoughts on this. It is hard to find cute girl clothes that are not pink. We see a girl and say how pretty her clothes are.

The problem you will eventually face is friend birthday parties, where Miss A will probably receive at least one Barbie - and then it begins......

-A said...

Here come my two cents . . . quoting a friend of mine "If my daughter grows up with low self-esteem because she doesn't look like Barbie, I did something wrong, not Barbie."
If avoiding gender stereotypes that encourage "girly" obsessions is the goal, why not buy regular ol' primary colored Legos?

Also, a 4 is smaller (or more "fitted") than a 4T for the simple reason that there is no longer an allowance being made for a chunky diapered bottom. As the mom of a couple very lean kids, I'm glad there's a difference.

I guess my point is that the way things is marketed need have no lasting basis in a child's mind if what you are teaching at home is true. I grew up inundated with pink and never felt the need to make it my favorite color. I played dress-ups and dolls. I caught tadpoles and climbed trees. Being confident (and comfortable) with who you are has a lot more to do with what parents teach that what marketers preach.

Lee said...

I love having two little girls, but the princess thing makes me crazy. Not only does it send the message that pretty and thin is the most important thing—I also think it's creating a whole generation of self-centered divas who just want to grow up to marry a prince. It kills me.

Fortunately my older daughter never really got into princesses, but my younger one is full-on obsessed. I don't try to keep the princess stuff away from her entirely, since it's what she naturally gravitates to. I just try to keep it to a minimum and make sure she understands it's a fantasy, and that's all it is.

Sew Festive said...

I'm going to preface this with the fact that I'm not a parent. I'm 23. I am, however, the leader of a Girl Scout troop of 8 year olds, and am struck by the differences between myself at that age and them. I grew up in a house of all girls. But I agree with the person who said that it's what's being taught that makes a difference, not what's marketed. Up until I was in middle school my parents gave out TV coupons. We got to watch 3 hours of TV each week, and had to turn in a 30 min coupon every time we did so. So that limits that access. Of course limiting computer time makes a difference. We were encouraged to play outside as much as possible, and we got a healthy dose of "no you can't have that." So you don't want her to have lots of princess stuff, then don't let her have it. That allows her imagination to grow...wouldn't it be much nicer to see your kids playing with something that stimulates their imagination...make one of dad's old shirts into a princess "dress" or one of those cone-shaped birthday hats into a "princess" hat with ribbons. Or if she plays dress up and you play with her then I always try to switch up the roles when I 'm playing with the girls. They might get to play princess one round, but then the next round I choose to play doctor instead.
As a young woman still very much targeted by the media, I'm glad that my parents encouraged me to read instead of watch TV, only allowed educational magazines, and often talked to my sisters and I about the need to be a level-headed no-nonsense female in order to be taken seriously.
And when she goes to kindergarten, have her join a Girl Scout troop! It instills self-esteem and leadership skills in girls and helps encourage strength and intelligence over "getting by on your looks."

The Tulip Patch said...

I want those lego sets! I had lego fabuland as a girl...look it up on ebay...similar premise that flopped. It was soooo fun. I noticed there is a girl's "inventor workshop". Pretty awesome.

I don't have girls but I do have 3 boys and I am terrified they will marry a girl who thinks she is a princess. It is really sad because they are aspiring to be something that isn't even real...guaranteed failure of life goals for everyone BUT Kate Middleton. I am truly fearful for the boys of the world when the princess generation is dating age.

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