You Can Be

#YouCanBe Campaign

For Parents and Carers

We all know children are happier and more confident when they are free to explore their interests and express themselves. Play is vital to help children develop their full potential – but too often children’s play is limited by stereotypes about what boys and girls should do and be.

Parents have a big responsibility here - but we know you also have a lot on your plate. We’ve sifted through hundreds of resources and play ideas, so you don’t have to. You can find everything here from extended games to keep them entertained on a long rainy day to easy activities you can do with things you already have at home – and even the best TV shows for when you all need a break. All these activities are stereotype-free and perfect for girls and boys.

All children need time and space for play every day, now more than ever. Through play we can teach boys to be comfortable expressing their emotions and girls to be confident expressing their strengths. Meaning all children can feel proud of who they are and develop their full potential.

What can you do?

Have fun!

  • The range of activities included in the Wakelet will help you turn this time that is limiting us all, into a time for limitless fun! To see the Wakelet click HERE


Disclaimer: We haven’t personally tried and tested all the activities and resources in this collection; however, they’ve been recommended by parents and/or teachers.

Co-create this collection with us!

  • Let us know if there is anything you would like to add by completing this simple form HERE or email

Ask your nursery to join our campaign

  • Ask your nursery to join our campaign they can join by signing up HERE
  • Here is a PDF with all information that you can download and attach to an email.

Spread the word

  • Like, comment, and our campaign posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Please share link to this website and help other families to turn this time that is limiting us all, into a time for limitless fun!
  • Share our social media resources. To see the Wakelet click HERE

Have we missed something?

If you have any useful resources or tips you would recommend to friends and family about gender, race, sexuality, and disability please just let us know – we’d love to include it here!

Please email with any suggestions for additions or ideas.

About You Can Be Campaign

This campaign is a part of our work to raise awareness of gender stereotyping in the early years and how to encourage gender equality so that children are protected from the negative consequences of inequality and discrimination as they grow into adults.

We know that in societies with more gender stereotyping there are higher levels of violence against women. To prevent this violence from happening in the first place we need to start early and question what is seen as ‘normal’ or what is traditionally expected of boys and girls.

This campaign was inspired by a You Can Be book by a Canadian children's book author and illustrator - Elise Gravel. You can see her work HERE.

You Can Be Campaign
For Early Years And Childcare Practitioners

You Can Be Campaign for ELC Practitioners is a nursery-based project which is being piloted at Duloch Nursery in Fife in partnership with Fife Violence Against Women Partnership. The pilot activities had to stop because of the COVID19 but it will resume once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We are looking for nurseries and practitioners working in ELC settings to to take part in the campaign. It is likely to be launched later this year and if you would like to take part please sign up HERE

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Related downloads

‘The default setting’: What parents’ say about gender stereotyping in their children’s early years: Zero Tolerance 2015‘The default setting’: What parents’ say about gender stereotyping in their children’s early years: Zero Tolerance 2015 This report is the result of a large scale survey Zero Tolerance undertook with over 1300 parents and caregivers on gender stereotyping and children.

Anyone Can Play PostersAnyone Can Play Posters Print out and display our Anyone Can Play posters!

Gender Equal Play in Early Learning and ChildcareGender Equal Play in Early Learning and Childcare This resource has been co-produced by the Care Inspectorate and Zero Tolerance in order to help practitioners enhance gender equality for children across all ELC settings.