Boys Won't Be Boys

Casper Hedberg / The New York Times / Redux

Children at Stockholm's Nicolaigarden preschool, which avoids gender stereotypes.

On a sunny afternoon in September, a 5-year-old girl played in a sandbox. The box contained more mud than sand, and as she whacked at it forcefully with a plastic shovel, globs of dirt stained her pink tights and pink dress. But at the Nicolaigarden preschool in Stockholm, no teacher chastised her, and certainly no one told her that girls aren't supposed to play like that. In fact, at Nicolaigarden, they try not to use the word girls at all.

Or boys either. One of the most popular toys at the...

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