At least that's the impression I got while trying to come up with a gender neutral project for my daughter's birthday party last week. Model projects weren't going to cut it, because of the time and expense involved.
I'm all thumbs (and was pressed for time) so I was willing to pay for a fun, age appropriate craft set that came complete with instructions. There were plenty to choose from but they were all stereotypically feminine, light colors, lots of frill. And while I would gladly offer a child of either sex a chance to decorate a wood cut-out of a ballerina, I want to give both girls and boys some choice in the matter.
I finally settled on little foam baskets. Pastel in color, but the candy I put in them would make any kid happy. Dentists and parents are another story.
Ironically, the male party guests had some of the most intricately detailed baskets. And because the school environment doesn't enforce gender stereotypes (and presumably neither do their homes) they were fine with the choice of pink, purple or turqoiuse.
I'm not sure if my son's party will include a craft but at least I know I need to scour stores well before the big day.