Changing tastes

luce theo were 2

When they were two, their tastes changed.

luce back turned theoUntil they were two my twins had all the same toys which were gender neutral and mainly all in bright primary colours. But soon Theo just wanted to play with cars, trains and cranes. While Luce was interested in fairies and little ponies. She soon was crazy about pink and purple. He became obsessed with green and sometimes blue. 

They still shared a room which had dark wood beds and a mixture of primary colours, but after they reached two they each veered towards gender stereotypical tastes for a girl and a boy. The only toys they both liked were the Thomas the Engine trains, tracks and books. Theo’s favourite was Percy as it was a green train while Luce liked any of the girl trains.

They watched no films nor TV shows until they were nearly 3, so until that point hadn’t been inundated with gender roles via the media. Neither were they at nursery yet. They attended the same play classes in London where they learnt gym skills or banged musical instruments or chased bubbles.

I took these photos in front of the Georgian shutters in our London reception room when they were 2 1/2 years old. It was at this age that they also wanted us to read them books according to their newfound tastes. He wanted to hear about tractors while she wanted stories about princesses.

luce pink costumetheo capSo looking back it’s when they were two and had become toddlers that they each started independently announcing what toys, what colours and what themes they preferred. They picked these costumes themselves. Of course, we probably influenced them subconsciously. They probably started noticing that there was a particular choice of toys and colours for girls and boys especially in shops. theo reaching handluce reaching hand

Despite theirdifferences they’ve always been best friends. They still like different toys. But they also both love the great outdoors and nature. When we’re off for a walk learning and exploring, they’re both as keen on becoming young naturalists.

luce theo playing together

For me these photos mark the magical moments – not just about their changing tastes – but of their relationship as twins and their growing personalities.

I’m curious…did your children prefer gender stereotype toys and colours? And, if so, what age were they?

14 thoughts on “Changing tastes”

  1. My twin daughters were never taken with dolls and preferred to play with Lego, trains and their Fisher Price garage instead. I’ve never done the traditional pink for girls thing, but my mum was horrified by this and tended to buy lots of pink clothing for them.

  2. This is really interesting. My little girl, with two big brothers, has always chosen different toys. By the time she was a year old, she played differently, and treated toys differently, even before the ‘pink’ started arriving. It has been very interesting to watch, as she now (at 2y9mo) has a definite preference for pink and princesses, although she still loves Lego. I think that there is a lot to be said for ‘nature’ and personality. The boys were far less picky at her age, and would have played with anything…

  3. It’s interesting that they displayed these interests despite not watching TV. My toddler does love trucks, but he isn’t very picky about colours. He’ll wear any colour, and doesn’t notice the difference between girl/boy toys. I think that’s a good thing! Love your beautiful photos 🙂

  4. Lovely photos and really interesting to hear! Monkey, at 2 1/2 likes a mixture of things still really. He loves cars and buses and trains etc, but also likes cooking in his kitchen, wearing his sparkly crown and wand and even tried to put on some red dolly shoes the other day! Fascinating to know what influences their choices isn’t it? Xx

  5. My son love pink because of pink panther and Peppa Pig. He is so into traffic signs and cars since I can remember. He started being into them when he is the same age, 2. I think he loves cars and traffic signs cuz he looks up to his Dad and loves it when we are out and about using the car. #MagicMoments

  6. Lovely photos Kriss. I think it’s difficult to say because I *may* have bought them gender specific toys. My boy was very much a boy though and went straight for Thomas, Bob the Builder etc. But I do wonder if I steered that a bit, I think as parents we do it subconsciously. Love how your two look so typically boy and girl here!

  7. My son has mentioned the pink thing since starting nursery and will say ‘that’s a girl toy’ and I’ve no idea where its come from other than external influences or simply his own nature. My eldest never mentioned anything like this until much older. She doesn’t like pink either though! I’ve not brought the up any differently and certainly we make a point of avoiding the gender stereotype kind of thing because I believe we are all individuals first and foremost.
    Such an interesting area though isn’t it.

  8. These photos are gorgeous, and must be so lovely to look back over. My son showed a real leaning towards cars, dinosaurs and trains from around 18 months, and he loves to build. My daughter has loved pink since she was a toddler. That said, she also loves trains, cars and is obsessed with the TMNT, obsessed I say! x

  9. That’s lovely. And it just proves that it’s actually really difficult to fight against ‘boys” stuff and ‘girls” stuff. It seems that somehow it’s in them to deviate towards the traditional colours and toys for their gender.
    My daughter grew up with two big brothers, but was definitely expressing an interest in girly stuff by the time she was 2. She was far more girly than I’ve ever been and I didn’t really know how to deal with a girly girl! She’s come through it now and has a healthy streak of tomboy at 8, although always has beautiful hair and impeccable clothes!

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