Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition

November 05, 2013


When so many gifts marketed to girls are highly gendered, promoting stereotyped and objectified images of girls, shopping for the girl in your life can be a frustrating experience. That’s why, for the second year in a row, we’ve created a list of gifts that defy stereotypes, encouraging girls (and why not boys, too?) to explore the whole range of hobbies and careers including sports, science, and engineering. Whether you’re giving to a newborn baby or a teenager, here are gifts your girl will love.

Ages 0–3


1. Future Scientist Onesie

Future Scientist Onesie

This onesie from Toward the Stars featuring a woman scientist encourages girls to dream big from day one. Toward the Stars has numerous options for gifts that resist gender stereotypes and promote positive messages for girls. ($16.50, Toward the Stars)



2. Ten Thousand Villages Twin Girl Doll

Twin Girl Doll

These cute and soft dolls for your little girl to hold are handmade by the women of Zimbabwe’s Batsiranai Craft Project, which works to support mothers with disabled children. For every doll purchased, a girl in Zimbabwe will receive an identical doll. ($28, Ten Thousand Villages)


3. Pattern Blocks Puzzle

Pattern Blocks

These pattern blocks are not just beautiful and colorful — they also teach kids important spatial awareness skills that will help them grasp math concepts more easily in the future. Boys are encouraged to learn spatial skills in their play much more than girls are, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These pattern blocks are from Bella Luna Toys, a woman-owned company that uses all-natural, eco-friendly materials. ($18.95, Bella Luna Toys)


4. Barbie Computer Engineer

Engineer Barbie

Our regular readers might be surprised to see that Barbie made our list. But as of recently, Barbie has a new profession: computer engineer. Girls can play the role of a network specialist and visit Barbie’s website for more information about this career that’s definitely not just for boys.


5. Wikki Stix Activity Set

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix are all about unlimited creativity. This kit for kids as young as 3 lets girls create shapes, practice letters, try out the activities in the accompanying guidebook, and pack their Wikki Stix up into a handy bag for portable play. ($16.95, Wikki Stix)

Ages 4–7


6. GoldieBlox and the Parade Float

Goldie Blox

Did you love GoldieBlox last year? Goldie is back with her friend Ruby in a new play set that teaches spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving. Featuring diverse images of girl engineers, GoldieBlox and the Parade Float can be combined with creator Debbie Sterling’s previous GoldieBlox set for even more creativity. ($19.99, GoldieBlox)


7. LEGO Scientist

LEGO Scientist

The new LEGO character Professor C. Bodin made history for the company this year in a way that may surprise you: She is LEGO’s first female scientist character. With the scientist minifigure set, girls can see themselves as future scientists just like this little professor. (Minifigures bags, $2.99 each, LEGO)


8. Rookie Gear Soccer Ball

Soccer Ball

Sports are a great way to encourage girls to be active, confident team players. This child-sized soccer ball is just right for a girl’s first game. ($19.99, Spalding)


9. The Princess Knight

Princess Knight

Tired of all the princesses in the media who wait to be saved by Prince Charming? Get the princess fan in your life this book about a brave, smart, and self-reliant princess who defies stereotypes and rescues herself. Beautiful illustrations by Kerstin Meyer accompany this book by Cornelia Funke. ($16, Barnes and Noble)


10. Little Passports

Little Passports

Know a girl who loves to travel? The Little Passports interactive game lets kids travel the world from their computer, learning history and geography on the way. Plus, girls and boys will have fun while they learn. (Monthly subscriptions run from $11.95 to $13.95, Little Passports.)


Ages 8–12


11. Rainbow Loom

Rainbow Loom

You may have already heard of Rainbow Loom, one of this year’s most popular toys, but did you know that it’s defying gender stereotypes? Girls and boys alike love using these colorful bands to create bracelets to share, and they might just learn a little bit about geometry and creating strong structures while they’re at it. ($16.99 starter kit, Rainbow Loom)


12. Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit

Alternative Energy Kit

Like Toward the Stars, A Mighty Girl is a store all about positive and empowering gifts for girls. Curious and environmentally-conscious girls will enjoy this hands-on kit that lets them explore the power of electricity and renewable resources, and do real science experiments in their homes. ($49.00, A Mighty Girl)



13. Geek Dad

Geek Dad

At AAUW, we truly appreciate the great fathers and other men in our lives who encourage us to follow our dreams. Now geek dads (and granddads, uncles, brothers) can share these simple and fun projects with their daughters, and show them their potential as future scientists. ($16.99, ThinkGeek)


14. Starmap


For the girl in your life who is curious about the extraterrestrial world, this app for iOS lets kids explore the night sky in real time on smart phones and tablets, learning about constellations as well as the galaxies and planets that surround us. A fun activity for the whole family. ($16.99, iTunes store)


Ages 13 and older


15. Portal


A great gift for the girl gamer in your life, Portal puts the player in the role of Chell, a woman who decides to escape from the laboratory where she is confined. Chell must solve a series of puzzles for an artificial intelligence agent that becomes increasingly bizarre and malicious. Portal is rare among video games in that all the characters and voice actors are female — it creates a world where being female is the norm, which is refreshing in the male-dominated world of gaming. ($9.99, Steam)


16. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

Sneaky Uses Book

Engineering is one of the most male-dominated careers out there. Getting girls interested early can help even the balance. Now girls can learn to think like engineers, finding inventive and creative ways to use everyday objects around them, with this book recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. ($8.23, Amazon)


By:   |   November 05, 2013


  1. […] The American Association of University Women, November 5, 2013, “Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition.” […]

  2. […] still heavily male-dominated fields of computer science and engineering earned her a spot on our 2013 holiday gift guide for girls. (We published the guide, in part, because of evidence that shows how toys can affect children’s […]

  3. […] 1.  Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition […]

  4. […] still heavily male-dominated fields of computer science and engineering earned her a spot on our 2013 holiday gift guide for girls. (We published the guide, in part, because of evidence that shows how toys can affect children’s […]

  5. […] movement is underway. In 2013, engineering toys for girls went viral, there are new holiday gift guides for girls that have been de-pinked, and there’s increased visibility of women leaders in science, […]

  6. […] if you want even more ideas, check out the AAUW (American Association of University Women) 2013 Gift Guide and […]

  7. […] if you want even more ideas, check out the AAUW (American Association of University Women) 2013 Gift Guide and […]

  8. […] has an awesome list of suggestions for girls of every age. Check out the Rainbow Loom, which is getting press for […]

  9. […] I recommend checking out this list of onesies, this list of toys that encourage learning, and this list of gifts for girls compiled by the American Association of University Women. And yes, I am totally […]

  10. […] are also sending that message. The American Association of University Women, for example, created a list of 16 gifts for girls of every […]

  11. Hannah Moulton Belec says:

    The photo in Outlook references a list of clothing “I’d like my daughter to wear.” The “future librarian” shirt is one that we thought sent an empowering message. We totally agree that library science is a great subject to encourage girls and women to follow!

    The list was compiled in reaction to some shirts that promoted the idea that girls are bad at math but good at subjects like shopping. You can read the whole list here:

    I hope you enjoy the full list! Thanks for reading and getting in touch.

  12. Janis Wood says:

    Page 4 in the Fall 2013 edition of Outlook has a picture of a t-shirt for girls with the message “future librarian” along with a blurb about shirts that reinforce the myth that girls are dumb. How do the thousands of librarians who are members of AAUW feel about this put-down of our vocation? Most of us have advanced degrees, thus the “science” in Library Science.

  13. […] Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition ( […]

  14. […] Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition ( […]

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