What is Playing with Pronouns?
Playing with Pronouns is an educational card deck for young children designed to expand gender while learning and playing games. It rose directly from our experience as parents. We needed ways to foster inclusion and respect that were fun and could easily expand into our everyday life.
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Playing with Pronouns gives a fresh & inclusive take on alphabet matching and memory games
Through simple games you can dismantle stereotypes, interrupt assumptions, acknowledge the pressure of gender conformity, embrace difference, include every body—all through pronouns!
The card deck is based on our children's books on pronouns
Playing with Pronouns is about expanding the way we teach and talk about gender from the beginning! Not just for one kid or a select group of kids. Research shows that all kids in more inclusive environments develop greater critical thinking skills.
The alphabet cards are designed with the pronoun on the back to offer an opportunity to slow down & counteract assumptions and stereotypes
These versatile playing cards offer numerous ways to engage and give a fresh and gender-inclusive take on classic learning games. Adaptable for different ages, the card deck comes with 6+ game ideas but holds the potential for many more.
- Learning Uppercase and Lowercase Alphabet
- Matching & Memory Games
- Sorting & Organizing
- Sight Words
- Learning & Practicing Pronouns
- Writing & Spelling Games
Playing with Pronouns supports:
- Empathy & Depth
- Respectful Social Skills
- Inclusive Thinking
- Playful Engagement
- Reflection & Connection
- Letting kids be kids!
What's Included in the Box?
Playing with Pronouns includes 84 Circle Cards geared to ages 4+. Inside the game box you'll find:
- 52 GREEN Alphabet/Pronoun Cards featuring a kid, their name & an uppercase or lowercase letter on one side and their pronoun on the back.
- 15 PURPLE Sorting Cards that include both pictures and words for even the youngest players and are further grouped into broader "Hair" "Clothes" and "Accessories" categories.
- 1 YELLOW Wild Card that offers even more fun things to find in the cards.
- 4 BLUE Game/Practice Cards with game ideas as well as ways to practice using pronouns that don't rely on gender stereotypes.
- 12 Card Mini Deck for Adults to provide additional support for creating safe space, dealing with push back, things to avoid and more.
Playing with Pronouns includes 84 circle cards, 3.5 inch diameter, in a game box.
The cards are geared toward ages 4-9 because this is the time when standard pronoun use is formalized in a child's education. However, these cards can be adapted for older and younger ages and are useful for grown-ups too! (We also have a 0-3 set in development).
Uppercase and Lowercase letters are color-coded for ease of separating into a smaller 26-card deck, especially helpful for younger children
The Playing with Pronouns card deck is a powerful antidote to the rigid gender messages kids are getting every day.
No matter how consistent you are with providing alternatives, stereotypes are everywhere in children's media. Pronouns are one of the first ways that small children are taught to gender themselves and others. This makes them a powerful place to create lasting change.
The Playing with Pronouns card deck is a tool we use with our own kid not only to counteract the stereotypes they come into contact with in children's books and movies but also to create a free space for them to grow into and express their own unique self.
The cards also provide a hands-on tool to expand characters in other games and books in order to create reflection and provide trans and nonbinary inclusion.
Playing with Pronouns in children's media offers an opportunity to create new inclusive stories.
Based on our experience, we've found it's time to Play with Pronouns when:
- We start overhearing damaging and inaccurate gender messages from our kid or kids around them, like "Girls have long hair, boys have short hair", "Girls wear dresses" , "Boys don't wear jewelry"
- We hear 'THE QUESTION' over and over on the playground - "Are you a boy or a girl?"
- A movie, game or book reinforced gender stereotypes and we need to provide a counter-narrative that is based in truth
- We want to practice seeing beyond a false binary of "boys and girls" and only "he" and "she"
- We want to celebrate our LGBTQI+ community and kids of color
- We just want to relax into the truthFULL beauty of children's natural diversity!