Dr. Rebecca Hains

Archives


Kids’ products and gender: What’s on the packaging?

Preschoolers can be quick to notice gendered illustrations on products. If a package has a picture of a boy on it, that item must be for boys; if it has a picture of a girl on it, it must be…

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For Father’s Day, shared experiences make the best gifts

When it comes to selecting great gifts for kids, it’s important to gift experiences, not just toys. After all, studies show that experiences make people happier than objects do: Objects break, become outdated, or pale in comparison to superior items, and the…

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Talking about toys: Taking child’s play seriously

On occasion, people ask me why I bother taking children’s toys so seriously. “They’re just toys, after all!” Yes, toys are just toys–but they’re so much more than that, too. Toys are a central part of children’s play, and to…

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New at the Disney Store: Princess Dolls with Extra Sparkles! (and extra problems)

On a recent visit to my local Disney Store, I learned that Disney had just released a new line-up of Disney Princess dolls at the holidays. The new line-up was on the shelves–and so were some of their older counterparts.*…

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Challenging our assumptions: Is there anything good about Bratz?

Bratz dolls came back on the market this fall. They’d been out of production for a few years while their maker, MGA, fought a legal battle with Mattel. MGA emerged victorious—and critics everywhere shook their heads. What good can come…

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Gift-buying guide for children

Looking for a special holiday gift for the children in your life? Here are some helpful tips for buying gifts for children–at the holidays and all year long. 1. Choose toys that encourage open-ended play. Toys that encourage imaginative or…

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