Representation Matters in Toys
Kids need to see other kids reflected in their toys and in their books. Racial diversity in toys can promote empathy, kindness, and increased self esteem for ALL kids who play with them.
Look at your toy shelf, your bookshelf, your home. Do the toys your kids play with reflect the people in your community?
Children learn through play. They learn their numbers, they learn to read, they learn all about their world through play. So come on parents, let's demand better from the toy industry.
Diversity in toys matters.
To that end, here's a list of 23 shops that sell African American Toys and racially inclusive toys for children.
Natural hair dolls from Natural Girls United
Simply beautiful dolls with a variety of handmade hairstyles. http://www.naturalgirlsunited.com/
Learn about STEAM topics featuring black and brown characters and black and brown scientists. Boxes are available for ages 4-12 https://www.browntoybox.com/
Zoe from Healthy Roots Dolls
A doll with hair you can style and a full line of naturally curly hair care products. Encourage young girls to love their natural curls. https://healthyrootsdolls.com/
Herstory Dolls - 18" African American Dolls for girls
Dolls with features and hair that mimic kids of African Descent with a variety of hairstyles available. http://www.herstorydoll.com/
Puzzles from Puzzle Huddle
Featuring kids of color doing all sorts of careers. They have puzzles of varying difficulties from super simple to super challenging. https://puzzlehuddle.com/collections/frontpage
Mouse Loves Pig - Melanin Magic Ribbon Wands
When you hear a kid say "hey look, this ribbon matches me!" Every kid needs toys that "match" who they are. https://mouselovespig.com/products/melanin-magic-ribbon-wands-multiracial-toys
Basket of Babies from Kaplan Learning Company
(they've got lots of fun multi-cultural dolls too) https://www.kaplanco.com/product/30174/basket-of-babies
Pretend Play Family - African American
African American Family Play set - there are lots of other races and families represented on this site too! https://www.childtherapytoys.com/products/pretend-play-family-african-american
Goose Grease Shop - Mulitcultural Peg dolls
Iconic people in history, multi-race dolls, and even custom peg dolls, all hand chiseled and hand painted in Columbia (the Peace Makers Set is my personal favorite) http://goosegreaseshop.com
Mix and Match Magnet People from My Family Builders
Build your family anyway you want to. https://myfamilybuilders.com/collections/frontpage/products/my-family-builders-diversity-children-blocks
Custom dolls from My Kinda Thing
Soft and snuggly crochet dolls can be made to look just like your child! She also has patterns if you want to make your own. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MyKindaThing
Soft Dolls from Best Dolls for Kids
A rainbow of dolls in a variety of styles, there is sure to be something for everyone here. https://bestdollsforkids.com/collections/best-stuffed-animals-and-plush-dolls-for-kids
Sweet little rattle dolls from Nova Reign Co.
These are truly handmade with love and oh so soft. https://www.etsy.com/shop/NovaReignCo
Customize your meals with Dylbug
You can order plates that come with characters that look like your kid AND have their name on it. Mealtime has never been so playful! https://www.dylbug.com/
Party Supplies for Kids of Color from Craft My Occasion
Need a mermaid or superhero that looks like your kid for their next party? This creative parent designed her own when she couldn't find diverse plates at the party store. http://www.craftmyoccasion.com/
Black and brown dolls from Crochet Me This
This mom owned business also has the most adorable hatching animals I've ever seen. https://crochetmethis.com/collections/toys
Hand painted in a variety of skin colors (she's got mermaids too... just sayin'....) https://tiffanyleestudios.com/
Doodle Daisy Shop - Handmade soft dolls
Safe for the littlest and huggable by children of all ages. My new favorite is this Nutcracker ballerina set http://etsy.com/shop/DoodleDaisyShop
African American Nutcrackers from Nutcracker Ballet Gifts
Speaking of the Nutcracker, here's a whole selection of ballerinas and nutcrackers https://www.nutcrackerballetgifts.com/category/215/African-American-Nutcrackers.html
Wonder Crew - Boy Dolls
Find one to match your little guy and let him explore adventure through friendship. https://www.wondercrew.com/
Personalized Bags and Gifts from Brown Kid Swag
Backpacks, bags, and other fun gear featuring black and brown characters. https://www.brownkidswag.com/
Memory Game from Little Likes Kids
Beautiful illustrations that kids will love, these memory games feature children of all skin colors. https://www.littlelikeskids.com/shop/joyful-carousel-memory-game-tzwb4
Mighty Kind Kids Magazine
If toys and gear aren't your thing, how about a quarterly magazine that evokes Mr. Rogers type feelings and acceptance in every page. https://mightykindkids.com/
It's up to us as parents to make sure that our children's toy boxes accurately represent the world around them.
If you know of any other diverse toy companies for kids, please comment below!
And please, help us spread the diversity love by pinning this post. <3