What if children had toys that actually reflected the diversity of the surroundings that encompass them? Sociologists have found that playtime has a fundamental role in formulating a child's awareness and understanding of the world around them. By diversifying our toys, we promote a greater acceptance of different beliefs, languages, families, appearances, cultures and lifestyles. Don't limit the toy box, teach your kids to be all inclusive with these 10 toys.
1. Australian Indigenous Doll Kit
An indigenous doll kit that features Aboriginal Elder and Warrior dolls, as well as Torres Strait Islander. Each doll is hand-painted with traditional body art and comes with a Wiradjuri or Torres Strait islander name tag and English meaning. The company also has another series called Contemporary Aboriginals which includes four Aboriginal dolls in modern clothing.
2. Lego's stay-at-home Dad
The Danish company is keeping up with the times by creating a new stay-at-home dad figurine. The figure is paired with a baby and a full-time working mother in an attempt to reflect the increase in stay-at-home fathers. Last month, Lego also released its first wheelchair character which comes with an assistance dog.
3. Crayola Washable Multicultural Markers
In response to customer feedback, Crayola Multicultural Crayons were introduced in order to represent skin tones from around the world. In 1993, they further created Multicultural markers to fit with school curriculums.
4. The multicultural food set
The food play set consists of 63 pieces that encourages children to learn about food from different cultures. From Mexican tacos to Chinese steamed dumplings, the set is also realistically sized for accurate representation.
5. Introducing Teddy
'Introducing Teddy' is a children’s book about a transgender teddy bear. Former secondary teacher and mum, Jessica Walton crowd-funded the book after struggling to find a story for her son that reflected her own family. Introducing Teddy raised more than $20,000 from the public.
6. Hijab Barbie
Created by Haneefah Adam, a 24-year-old from Nigeria, hijab barbie aims to spread physical and cultural acceptance to kids everywhere.
7. Makies Dolls
A British toymaker has used 3-D printers to create dolls with disabilities. The dolls can be purchased with walking canes, hearing aids and facial birthmarks. The line will soon expand to also include wheelchairs and was launched after the social media campaign Toys Like Me gained widespread attention.
8. Gender neutral toy catalogue
Spanish toy company, Toy Planet, challenges binary gender stereotypes by showing little boys pushing prams and young girls playing with power tools in its Christmas catalogue. It has over 200 stores across Spain and now embraces a gender neutral policy.
9. A Tale of Two Daddies
'A Tale of Two Daddies' is a story-book that examines a playground conversation between two children. It aims to to shed light into how same-sex parenting is no different to any other household. It also has a spin-off book titled ‘A Tale of Two Mommies'.
10. My Family Builders
The wooden doll toy set has interchangeable parts allowing children to design and built same-sex and interracial families.