Friday, December 3

A catalog of toys to create a better world while still having fun

Last Thursday the 31st edition of the Aiju game and toy guide, prepared by the Technological Institute of Children’s Product and Leisure, a non-profit organization whose main task is to promote research, safety and quality in all sectors of children’s and leisure products. It is a tool, as defined by the Valencian Vice President and Councilor for Inclusive Policies, Mónica Oltra, which should serve to “break with social and gender stereotypes”, one of the objectives of the Valencian Government also applicable to purchasing Of toys.

In this sense, Oltra highlighted how this guide can help a lot to ensure that “the toys with which our children and adolescents play are a little more inclusive, without making unnecessary differences, adapting to the diverse capacities of each person or to the new ones. social realities “, while referring to their role in the gender roles that adults instill in boys and girls, some” topics of the past that we are leaving behind but that are still part of our day to day “, although there is still a way to go.

“As pointed out from the Children’s Play Observatory, games and toys are very necessary learning tools because through them one educates, among other things, in culture, customs or values,” says the guide. Among other issues, and in a context of climate crisis, he points out that the toy must convey “the importance of caring for and sustaining the environment.”

The document highlights that there is an increasing presence of toys that include children with different disabilities and show different childhood realities, “favoring a greater awareness of social diversity”, as well as that these can become “effective instruments for raising awareness in gender equality “.

Methodology for preparing the guide

The pedagogical area that compiles this document is made up of a multidisciplinary team (doctors and graduates in pedagogy, sociology, market research, teachers, child educators, designers …) that is dedicated to researching children’s behavior and its evolution; raise awareness in society about the importance of play in child development; development of game-based teaching materials; facilitate the purchase of toys by families; help companies develop products that adapt to the needs, characteristics and evolutionary development of children; help companies develop inclusive toys; conducting studies that help improve the attractiveness and safety of children’s products; and analyze the social and innovation trends of the product.

The products recommended in this guide have been subjected to “exhaustive studies” to demonstrate their suitability for use and their educational and recreational value. Not all the products on the market have been studied for its preparation, but rather a selection of them at the request of the participating companies: “We cannot therefore affirm that those included in this Guide are the best products on the market, but we can affirm that all those recommended in it they are products that have satisfactorily passed the pertinent studies “, as explained from the guide itself.

Thus, around a hundred families from all over Spain and 75 experts in security, gaming and education have made direct observations of the use of each product for at least 100 hours in a free-use environment, and each product has been studied its manageability, its attractiveness, differential values, times of use, its contribution to the child’s development, the recommended age, its duration or the adequacy of packaging and instructions.

In addition, the team specialized in disability of the Ceapat (State Reference Center for Personal Autonomy and Technical Aids of the Imserso), the ONCE and Aiju have collaborated in the study of each of the recommended toys to assess their suitability for children with visual disabilities, auditory and motor skills, using the European TUET (Toys and Games Usability Assessment Tool) tool. The selection of the products that appear in this guide is part of a long process of observation, analysis and evaluation that is coordinated by Aiju.

The Minister of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labor, Rafael Climent, reiterated the “valuable” work of technology centers such as Aiju, always “at the forefront of technology and knowledge that ends up being transferred to companies to gain competitiveness” .

Against stereotypes

The Valencian vice-president Mónica Oltra recalled a study carried out by the universities of Illinois, New York and Princeton, from which it is deduced that, from the age of 6, “girls have the perception that women are less bright than men. A perception which is not congenital, naturally, but acquired socially. ”

These stereotypes “associate high-level intellectual capacity with men and discourage the investigation of many prestigious careers by women,” explained Oltra, who highlighted: “That is why we work to raise awareness among mothers and fathers, grandparents and grandmothers on the importance of buying toys free of gender stereotypes, as one more step in the construction of an egalitarian and diverse society in which different sensitivities have a place “.

To change “the way we educate girls, boys and adolescents, from the Valencian Government we promote campaigns such as ‘The toy has no gender’, through which, since 2016, we encourage them to break with the sexist and gender stereotypes, “he said.

Guide-AIJU-2021-22 on Scribd




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