Look, some girls love dolls and trying on Mom's lipstick. It's totally common — but it's also common for girls to take an interest in a million other things instead. For every little girl who is champing at the bit for a princess dress, there's another who is super-excited to get that new catcher's mitt. Kids are kids, and they like what they like. And (for the most part) they should be allowed to indulge in whatever they find entertaining and inspiring.
Our poor parents — and grandparents, and beyond — didn't have the luck our kids have in this department. Can you picture a little girl getting a sports-related holiday gift in the 1920s? We're not saying it didn't happen, but such joys were probably few and far between.
Thank goodness times are changing and we're finally (slowly) learning to throw gender norms out the window. And there are plenty of non-princess picks to choose from. The toys ahead are great for any little girl, boy, genderqueer kid, whatever. Because guess what: Fun knows no gender.
Originally published February 2016. Updated November 2017.