Saturday, January 15, 2011

House No. 15: Easy Bake House

House No. 15: Easy Bake House
repurposed chipboard, packing tape
4 in. x 3 in. x 2.5 in.
015/365; 01/15/11

Today, when cleaning out a closet in an old house, I found two boxes of Easy Bake frosting from the eighties and made this house out of them. In essence, Easy Bake ovens are the training toys for homemaking, modern day little girl hearths.

It's funny to think that these boxes are from the time when I was coveting them. Though I had always wanted an Easy Bake oven, I never had one as a child, but as an adult I have a couple antique ones. People have differing views of the gender role-playing that homemaking toys encourage. What are yours?


  1. Martin thought this one was for him.

  2. I never encouraged gender specific toys and clothes, and it always drove me crazy when I would encounter people who were so rigid about the issue. I will say though that I am very much into whatever works for the child. I happen to have a girl, who *wanted* an easy bake oven. I taught her about the real oven instead. She hated dolls, and Barbies, but she happens to love traditional "girly" things, and my boy, he likes skateboarding, and music (though not sports) He never played with the dolls I offered him. I love to hear other opinions.

  3. Ah, fond memories of my Easy Bake oven! I'm surprised I didn't burn the house down with that thing. Instead of buying mixes for my oven, though, my mom taught me to make my own mixes to save money. I didn't/don't have a problem with the gender-specific part of it, though I suppose that's part of what I learned. But my dad counter-balanced the traditionally female homemaking skills I learned by teaching me woodworking, lawncare, and how to change the oil in my car. That last one didn't stick, though, unfortunately!

  4. gender roles is one of the things about raising small children that terrifies me. it's probably more the idea of it that terrifies me than anything. mostly i want my future children to love life and love who they are, no matter where that takes them. just get mixed reviews on how to cultivate that.

  5. The gender role playing that homemaking toys encourage doesn't bother me because the manufacturers don't have the final say as to which gender plays with them. Ideally, the children do. It's when rigid parents intervene that bothers me.

    I was at a family gathering recently where a young pregnant woman was talking to her parents about getting some of her old toys out of storage. They mentioned that they still had her dolls and she was very quick to say that her still in utero son wouldn't be interested in those. I bit my tongue and did a big inward cringe.

    The difficult part is when you raise a child who has very obvious preferences for things associated with the opposite sex. It's not difficult for me, personally, but I've had to have conversations trying to explain how society might not be as accepting, and that is difficult to explain while trying to protect the child's self image.

    I loved my Easy Bake Oven and fishing with my Dad.

    Cute house.

  6. I never had an Easy Bake Oven...I guess my parents didn't trust me with things that could, potentially, burn the house down. And, if my cooking skills of today are any indication, they were very wise! :)

  7. I love all the feedback that this house has generated! I equally loved my "domestic" toys and my dump truck. I think what I have a beef with in toys are Disney Princesses and licensed merchandise in general.

    As an adult, the message of Disney movies* makes me more and more uncomfortable. The princess trend particularly makes me cringe.

    Licensed toys in general are a huge racket. It's as if we are training children to be hard core consumers from the womb! I think simple is best, and I love, love, love Waldorf-style toys.

    Of course, I don't have wee ones, but I'm talking about myself here. Yes, I have Waldorf toys. An adult can only be grownup so many hours of the day.

    *I exclude Pixar films in this generalization. Also, I do have some faves that I adore like Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins and The Sword in the Stone and the animated 101 Dalmations ... I also love Sleeping beauty almost solely because of Malificent. That's a morally ambiguous movie for me, a guilty pleasure, if you will.

  8. the problem with disney is that it's so damn singable. nearly every woman my age (~20s) can belt "part of your world" from a little mermaid (we were six when "betcha on land, they'd understand; bet they don't - reprimand their daughters!" came into our collective consciousness.)

    interestingly, nearly all the movies you exclude were made in the sixties. but yes, real women don't have waists the same size as their necks...

    you are completely right about pixar, however. pure unadulterated awesome.