Monday, 7 April 2014

Multicultural dolls

Dolls are often top of the list for a lot of children whenever birthdays or Christmas is on the horizon, or indeed whenever we see a craftily placed toy advertisement on TV. I still have fond memories of my first doll, that was only thrown away a few years ago when the damage was a little too much to treasure any longer. Typically, my favourite doll was a blonde haired, blue eyed piece of plastic that could be found in every toy shop. Growing up, I cannot recall seeing much in the way of diversity when it came to toys and dolls and sadly, despite some effort, multicultural dolls are still hard to come by. Multicultural dolls can definitely be found online but their is often limited choice and high pricing.Stocking multicultural dolls was always at the top of our list when we were looking for storytelling accessories for our business. A puppet or a doll can really help bring stories to life and can enhance imaginative play, during and after storytelling sessions. There will be some stories in which the use of dolls would not work or are not necessary, but where a story can be enhanced with the use of props, it can add another dimension to the story. We use the excellent range of Wilberry Fun Dolls in our story and play sessions. They are a great size, very cute and very diverse.


In order to encourage diversity and inclusion,we must provide an environment in which our children can be accepting of others. Stories, books, activities, crafts and role play, that allow children to immerse themselves in different cultures will help to build conversations around difference and acceptance. If children are only given toys and tolls that are familiar to them or look similar to them , then it may be difficult to embrace differences as they grow older. Equally, if children do not own any dolls that look like them, with the same hair colour, skin colour etc, they may struggle with their own self esteem. Choice and variety are essential when it comes to children's toys and play. Dolls can often be a child's best friends and we need as many friends in life as possible.

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