Frozen (2013) was released just shy of 2 years into me being the parent of a daughter. I was at the height of my determination that the princess-industrial complex was not going to dominate her childhood. Continue reading I’m excited for Frozen 2 – but not a new wave of sexist merchandise
It’s that time of year when people are buying girls gifts – but not wanting to waste their money, many buyers tend to stick to more traditional present ideas.
So, here’s a few ideas for anyone looking to get something less stereotypical for a girl, based on things our daughter has enjoyed (or soon will…!) this year.
And yes, this list can be used for present ideas for boys too 🙂
Search for Atlantis is the seventh collection of DC Super Hero Girls comics, written once again by Shea Fontana, with art by Yancy Labat. Continue reading Review: DC Super Hero Girls – Search for Atlantis comic
Smyths Toys sent us these 4 LEGO City Mining sets to review. They’re exclusive to the store, and came in very handy keeping us occupied on the recent snow day! Continue reading LEGO City Mining sets – Representation Matters
To counter the passive princesses often targeted at girls, it’s been a regular parenting pastime of mine to seek out stories with female characters who subvert this stereotype.
Fitting neatly into this are the LEGO movies, which have given us a succession of kick-ass women. Unfortunately – while these characters are proactive and engaging – none of the movies are about them. Continue reading LEGO: We need to talk about your Trinity of ‘strong female characters’
Like many a Star War parent, I’ve been keen to get my child into all things involving the galaxy far, far away from an early age. But beyond simple nostalgia and wanting to share a part of my childhood that brought me joy – there is a another motivation. Continue reading EDF Energy using Star Wars to encourage girls into STEM
These LEGO sets continue to be the most satisfying toys in the whole DC Super Hero Girls line.
One of the larger sets from the second wave of LEGO DC Super Hero Girls releases, this is headlined by the villain Lena Luthor. Continue reading LEGO DC Super Hero Girls – Lena Luthor Kryptomite Factory (41238)
*This is a sponsored post*
In what may appear a rather morbid exercise, I’ve been asked by Compare the Market to pen a letter to my daughter for her to read in the event of my death.
I guess I didn’t look at it in a negative way. I found the exercise a great way to look back on our time together and distill my parenting experiences and approach within a piece of writing.
Here’s a taster from my letter: Continue reading Dear daughter – a letter from daddy
As anyone who has seen The LEGO Batman movie will know, Lobster Thermidor is a big factor in plastic brick Bruce Wayne/Batman’s life.
Spider-Man has been my favourite superhero since I was a kid, so it’s not surprising that Spidey has also featured heavily in my daughter’s childhood. Continue reading Unleashing your inner Spider-Man (or Spider-Girl)
No other female superhero is as iconic as Wonder Woman, and she is a character I have encouraged my daughter to engage with since she was a toddler. However, there’s often been a dearth of products suitable for children – and previously I had to scour the globe (and eBay) to find them.
Thankfully with the merchandising push associated with the Wonder Woman movie, we have a new wave of Wonder Woman stuff to access – and these books from DK have been great for our daughter as an outlet to engage with the character following seeing the movie. Continue reading Wonder Woman DK Books review
Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers for this promotion.
When my wife became pregnant, we were overjoyed. We had decided the time was right to have a child, and it happened relatively quickly which was wonderful. We knew of many people who had struggled.
As my wife’s pregnancy developed, we both agreed it felt like we were going to have a boy. We were absolutely convinced about this. This must be the parental instinct we thought, that we were so in tune with our unborn child, we knew they were a boy.
So we were both really surprised when we found out we were having a girl. We weren’t disappointed, but it just wasn’t what we were expecting. Continue reading Since she was a baby, our daughter has made me a better man
I’ve been asked by travel agent Thomas Cook to share one of my favourite holiday #DadMoments photos.
I chose this snap from almost 5 years to the day in 2012, when our daughter was a 5 month old baby. It was taken in a cafe on Venice Beach, California. Continue reading The holiday when I became a stay-at-home dad
I have tended to avoid children’s books that proclaim themselves to be ‘for girls’ (or boys), as they usually conform to traditional stereotypes. But Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – a collection of feminist bedtime stories – is different. And is the children’s book of our dreams. Continue reading Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: A collection of feminist bedtime stories
In a happy occurrence that supported our continued efforts to teach our daughter about gender equality, she pretended to be British Astronaut Tim Peake this week. Continue reading My Sunday Photo – our daughter as Astronaut Tim Peake
Among my daughter’s classmates (age 4-5) there are children who have already decided, figured out, or been taught that there is such a thing as gender specific colours – specifically ‘girl colours’ Continue reading Gender specific colours: In praise of boys who like ‘girl colours’
Playing football has been a rite of passage for British boys for generations – whether at home, in school, at the park, or in the streets. But this has not been the case for girls – which is a shame, as we should be empowering girls with football. Continue reading The Women’s FA Cup and beyond: Empowering girls with football
Recently I have been hosting boy girl playdates with my daughter and various boys in her class. They’ve been fascinating to witness. Continue reading Observations on hosting boy girl playdates
It was love at first sight when our daughter spotted this Spider-Man camera toy.
She has never really been one to use pester power too much, and if she was I’m sure my wife and I wouldn’t easily acquiesce to her demands.
That said, on the rare occasions that she DOES beg me to buy her something I tend to go along with it, as this happens so rarely. TBH, it helps a lot if it’s something I think is cool. Continue reading Girl with a Spider-Man camera
For the first time since becoming the father of a daughter, it seems that the keepers of the galaxy far, far away have admitted what we knew all along – that Star Wars is for girls too… Continue reading It’s official – Star Wars is for girls too…
As a secularist and an atheist, my biggest issue with our daughter attending school – where she is really thriving – has been how religious teaching, specifically Christianity, has become part of her education. This is despite it being a non-faith state school. Continue reading Jesus Christ? He’s just another superhero…
Anything involving LEGO and DC superheroes is always going to catch my eye, so we found ourselves at The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes exhibition in London. Continue reading The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes (London) review
An important part in any geek parent’s life – taking their kid to a comic shop for the first time. Continue reading Taking my daughter to her first comic shop (#MySundayPhoto)
Finding geek clothes for girls is something that’s always been an ongoing quest of mine. As our daughter wears a lot character/graphic clothing, I was keen to check out the Character.com clothing website. They’re an online shop that sell – you guessed it – character clothes, for both kids and adults. Continue reading Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com
Mattel approached me to be part of their ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign, and I was happy to do so. As the stay-at-home dad of a little girl, I am well versed in playing dolls with my daughter (though only a couple of them are actual Barbies). Continue reading Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign
As far as I’m concerned, this Batgirl’s Batjet LEGO set justifies the entire existence of the DC Super Hero Girls brand. Continue reading LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)
With the arrival of DC Super Hero Girls LEGO, alongside increasing numbers of LEGO Female Superheroes minifigures in the regular Marvel and DC Superheroes line, 2017 is the year that female LEGO superheroes finally shatter the plastic brick ceiling. Continue reading LEGO Female Superheroes have finally broken the plastic ceiling
I want to celebrate some Disney Princesses… of colour. Continue reading Celebrating Disney Princesses of Colour
To me, this is the defining image of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. Continue reading Be like Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back
An utterly delightful Christmas treat for us this year was seeing this stage adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Continue reading Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse
Like a doomsday device counting down to zero, I have awaited my daughter’s embrace of Princess Culture with dread. Continue reading We should all be the Wonder Woman of the party
Spotted these in a high street shop this week. One globe is as you would expect – blue oceans, green and brown landmasses. The other is pink.
It may not say ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, but there can’t be any doubt that this is the intention. Continue reading Does the world need pink and blue globes?
Me: “What did you do at school today?”
4yo: “Played princesses.”
Now, this answer should horrify me. I hate princesses, and their pastel domination of our girls’ childhoods. As a brand, they represent everything I don’t want for my daughter.
But I was curious, as I had a suspicion it might not be what I feared. Continue reading Reinventing Princesses: The League of Extraordinary Ladies
My 4-year-old daughter likes pink. She likes Frozen. She likes My Little Pony. But she also likes green. She also likes superheroes. She also likes Star Wars. Continue reading She passed the Fake Geek Girl test. But she shouldn’t have to.
We were watching an event on TV recently, and I noticed William and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, our future King and Queen, in the audience. Continue reading The British Royal Family and the problem with Princesses
When my daughter was about 2-years-old, on a trip to the local soft play centre a rather confused looking older boy asked me “Is she a boy or a girl?” about my daughter.
Resisting the urge to point out he’d already answered his question I simply replied “She’s a girl.”
“Why is she wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt then?” he retorted. Continue reading Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)
I took our daughter to London’s Science Museum. It’s one of those places that we had always intended to take her to repeatedly. Knowing that many girls are dissuaded from an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing), the Science Museum was going to be a key way to encourage it.
Well, we finally got round to it – motivated by knowing our chances to do this mid-week term time were lessening every day. Soon she’ll be at school and we’ll be locked into the holiday/weekend museum crush. Continue reading Female Empowerment: Raising a Confident Girl
For as long as I’ve been blogging about being a parent raising a daughter in the shadow of princess culture, I’ve had online feedback suggesting I check out the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon (aka MLP:FiM).
At first, I ignored them. What were they thinking? These people clearly didn’t understand I wanted to show my daughter content with themes of female empowerment and self-confidence; to find stories and characters that didn’t patronise young girls; that had imaginative female led tales of action and adventure yet with stimulating and thought provoking scenarios. My Little Pony was surely part of the problem – not the solution. Continue reading In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic
Do you want to have an age appropriate talk with your child about prejudice, discrimination, and identity politics – but don’t know where to begin? Well, show them Zootropolis (aka Zootopia in the US) and talk about that. Continue reading How Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) Tackles Race and Gender Inequality
For International Women’s Day, Oxfam approached me with an intriguing proposition. Knowing that I often write about my hopes and aspirations for our daughter, and the potential barriers in her way because of her gender, they put me in touch with another dad of a little girl.
He is Alex Namusokwe (37), who is the father of Ethel (7). They live in rural Zambia, about 200 km from Zambia’s capital Lusaka. Continue reading Two Dads’ Hopes For Their Daughters’ Future
This time last year, there were a flurry of stories about my daughter and I published around the world. A US writer spotted an angle for a “sweet article about (my) daughter’s outfits”, and that got noticed by the likes of The Independent & Metro in UK, Buzzfeed and ABC News in US, and then various outlets across the globe. Radio and TV appearances followed. Perhaps you are reading this because you started following my blog after coming across one of those.
The premise was basically I was an at-home parent letting my (then) 3-year-old daughter choose what she wears every morning. And the outfits were kinda cool and not traditionally ‘girly’.
When I asked, the writers of those articles told me the same thing – what made this story ‘a story’ was the fact that I was a dad of a daughter.
While it was nice to bask in the mostly supportive comments (US conservatives aside – yikes), the fact people were reacting strongly to it highlighted an issue we have with parenting.
Is dad all there is?
Here’s a game for you. Try and find a female pilot in the original Star Wars trilogy. Is there one in Star Wars? Nope. The Empire Strikes Back. Nope. Return of the Jedi? Yes! Well, kind of. Continue reading Female Star Wars Characters: The Importance of a lady X-Wing pilot
My daughter has various dolls – Barbie, Cindy, some Phantom Menace Padme Amidalas, a Princess Leia, and a 90’s Storm (that I randomly found boxed at a local charity shop for £2). But I think she has found her favourite one yet – the Lottie doll. Continue reading Lottie, a Doll to Inspire Our Little Girls
DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle is the 5th graphic novel in the girl targeted DC brand, that also encompasses cartoons, toys, books, and other merchandise. Continue reading DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle graphic novel review