As I have been reflecting on Blacks Lives Matter this summer, I have been thinking about how to teach children to have greater humanity and understanding for all people.
As part of that effort, I have considered the toys my kids play with. When it comes to dolls, I have usually purchased ones that resemble my kids. However, it donned on me recently that it’s worth considering the message we send our kids when we only have light-skinned dolls if we are Caucasian.
This last Christmas I discovered the cutest peg dolls that came in various skin tones. My girls were so excited to have dolls with light and dark coloring that resembled some of their friends.
In addition to those lovely dolls, I have collected some of my favorite, well-designed toys that represent people of color. Not only are they beautiful, but they help children normalize the diversity they see and hopefully help them cultivate acceptance for all people.
Clicques Magnetic Peg Dolls
These simple and colorful wooden peg dolls have an extra level of fun because the pieces come apart. With a simple magnet, you can interchange the clothes and heads. You can buy girl or boy dolls in sets of 2 or 6. I love the various skin tones and beautiful craftsmanship.
Minikane Baby Dolls
These baby dolls come in various skin tones and eye colors. I love the fashionable baby clothes and realistic baby features.
Maileg Chatons Kittens
While I don’t usually think about the coloring of stuffed animals, I love that these cats range from light to dark.
Meri Meri Modern Cotton Dolls
I love the bigger size of these dolls, their pretty (removable) clothing, and the whimsical embroidery details.
Plan Toys African American Families
I like both of these styles for dollhouses: the twist-and-sit peg dolls and the bendable wooden dolls. Both styles come in Asian, Caucasian and African American families.
Of Unusual Kind Paper Dolls
I recently came across this modern take on paper dolls by artist Anja Kroencke. In addition to movable paper doll kits in various skin tones, she has free printable paper dolls that kids can color and put together with brads (which my kids are obsessed with!).
Olli Ella Holdie Folk
These hand-sized little friends are perfect for a dollhouse or for carrying around the house. They come in various skin tones for boys and girls.
Eeboo Matching Game
This is one of my kids’ favorite memory games (and my favorite brand for creative card games). It illustrates ethnicities from around the world. The artwork is beautiful and the cards are thick and durable.
Maileg Brown Bunnies
I love this company for mini mice, but their bunnies are equally beautiful. I love the darker skin tone on these and their pretty clothes.
Little Biscuits Dress-Me Notepads
I bought these adorable notebooks for each of my girls for Christmas. They went crazy designing different fashion looks! There are many skin colors to choose from, which make them great for gifts.
Cuddle & Kind Knitted Mermaid
In addition to making beautiful fair trade knit dolls, this company donates 10 meals to children in need with the purchase of 1 doll.
Mon Ami Scented Dolls
I love the larger size of these dolls, their pretty fabrics and their various skin and hair colors.