The Black Lives Matter movement is more than just a trend or a hashtag. We need to continue to teach our kids to see diversity and that starts in our homes. For the last couple of weeks I have been educating myself, having difficult conversations, and speaking up about systemic racism. I began to look in my own home and realized that though I preach diversity I don’t really exemplify it. I’m starting with adding more diversity in the girls’ playroom. Something that really stood out to me while I searched for more POC toys, was that there aren’t tons of choices. For example, it is difficult to find different black Kens or even options of dolls. There is just one black version of each toy and that’s it. Though we’re a long way to being completely inclusive in the options we have, I did also find some great things that will be a welcome addition to our home and could be to yours. Below I’ve linked things I’ve found.
All books about Black people shouldn’t be about the suffering that has occurred. That’s not to say don’t speak to your kids and use literature to help. I’m just saying it’s also important to highlight strong Black character leads.
- Sulwe by Lupita Nyoung’o– “From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.”
- Making Voices Heard by Vivian Kirkfield– “This warm story emphasizes Ella’s role in her success, thus avoiding the trap of the white-savior narrative. Many white artists have benefited from imitating black ones; this is the rare narrative to acknowledge that… saturated with color, they capture the iconic looks of the two stars. A good volume to include in a larger conversation about friendship, allyship, and social justice.”-Kirkus Reviews
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio– A book about electoral votes, polls, and the reason every vote counts.
- The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow– “This inventive book embeds the classic holiday ballet in the elegant Harlem Renaissance world of the 1920s…[Ransome’s] rich jewel-toned art makes both indoor scenes and the New York City night vibrate with life and holiday wonder.” (New York Times Book Review )
- Just Us Women by Pat Cummings– “No boys and no men-just us women,” Aunt Martha tells her niece. And together they plan their trip to North Carolina in Aunt Martha’s brand-new car. This is to be a very special outing-with no one to hurry them along, the two travelers can do exactly as they please.
If Tiana is the only Black doll your kid has then you’re adding to the problem. We should continue to teach our kids that EVERYONE is beautiful even if they don’t look like us. If they don’t have toys that highlight different skin tones then they are already being trained to favor light skin.
- Barbie Baby Doctor
- Ken Fashionistas Blue Floral Top
- Ken Beach Doll
- Birthday Wishes Barbie
- Ken Firefighter
- Careers Ken Dentist
- Barbie Made to Move Doll
My girls don’t have any black dolls. I don’t know if it’s because I never bought them so in turn they don’t ask for them. Either way I’m changing that. Here are some great finds that I know my girls would love. Remember it’s about loving all the dolls even if they don’t look just like you.
- Soft Baby Doll
- Cuddle + Kind Mermaid
- My Generation Director Doll
- My Generation Movie Doll Malika
- 1:13 Doll House Family
- Lilly Pulitzer Mermaid
Arts & Crafts
This brought me back to being a teacher. I love these skin color sets (which by the way Crayola is coming out with an improved set in July) that allow our kids to color people more than just peach or brown. Also, look at this skin color construction paper! It’s these little things that show our Black friends, students, or kids that their skin color matters too.
- Multicultural Skin Color Crayons
- Multicultural Skin Color Markers
- Multicultural Skin Color markers, crayons, pencils bundle
- Skin Color construction paper
It’s just a start, but making sure my girls have toys of all colors helps them see color and respect it. We tend to pick what we are accustomed to so it’s important we start being diverse in our homes. These are small steps and lessons that will mold the way they act as adults. Hope this is helpful to you guys too!
Love to all who have love for all,