Do you let your kids choose their own toys or do you try and influence them?

A government minister says gender-specific toys harm girls’ career opportunities.

But I just wonder how much the toys children play with shape their future prospects in the job market?

We all  have wonderful  memories of toys we have loved playing with as a child don’t we?

What was yours –  building blocks or a train set, a doll house or a tea set?

Did your choice of toy influence your decision to be in the job you are now in? Perhaps it doesn’t necessarily mean if you played with them that you grew up to be construction workers or train drivers, housekeepers or tea ladies.

However education minister Elizabeth Truss recently warned children’s toys could affect their careers. She said gender-specific toys risked turning girls off science and maths and urged parents to buy their daughters Lego to get them interested in engineering which I think is a great idea.

There is a wonderful toy called GoldieBlox designed to encourage girls to become future engineers that I discovered through Twitter.

In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and maths…and girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8, GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys”. By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, they aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.

They believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. I really  think GoldieBlox can show them the way.

As we all know women have made great strides in the UK workforce over the past few decades, but there are still overwhelming gender divides in some professions. Just over 80% of “science, research, engineering and technology professionals” are male, according to ONS figures.

So why not ponder what your children are learning from the toys they choose to play with and why not just buy a few more “out of the box” toys to encourage new ways of exploring for them whether they are girls or boys this week?

Read more on BBC News here  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25857895