As a multi-racial woman and mother, I’ve always focused on finding toys that represent my kids and other POC and/or marginalized groups.
Representation really, really, matters and if you are lucky enough to understand that, it probably means you have seen yourself in popular forms of media and art. For me, it’s problematic for my daughter to only find beauty in an Elsa doll or for my son to think it’s “weird” to be in a wheelchair.
Understanding and inclusion, I believe, comes from contact. Most, if not all, generalizations don’t hold up to contact with the group being generalized.
Toys & books are a good starting place and I love every item on this list.
Olive Paper Doll Kit \\ ‘‘Golden Domes & Silver’ Lanterns Children’s Book \\ Ballerina Jewelry Box \\ Angel Ornament Doll \\ Ali – Maxi Doll \\ Ashlyn Doll \\ Faces From Around The World Matching Game \\ Diverse Abilities Doll Set \\ ‘Love Is’ Children’s Book \\ Mr. Sun & Friends Dolls \\ ‘Jeremy’s Dreidel’ Children’s Book \\ Heart For Hearts Native Doll \\ LEGO ‘World People’ Set
I am big advocate for creative and imaginative play. I think kids should be allowed to be kids and child-like for much longer than the majority of society deems acceptable.
I wasn’t always like this. When I first became a mom, I thought I would be a hard-nose, academically focused kind of mom. Then I saw my kids thrive and flourish in nature, with open play, with creative prompts and I realized that my kids are creative; most (if not all kids) are creative.
I think it will benefit the child in the long run, academically, if they are allowed to play longer in their early years. This is not meant to be a rant or a shaming of parents who don’t agree at all. I just think play is good and it’s even better with great toys that are easy on the eye.
Here are some of my favorite toys for creative play this holiday season.
Dress Up Cape – Every kid loves a good cape and they feed into so many good story lines for kids to act out on their own or with a sibling or friend. Both my kids have multiple capes of their own but this one is just beautiful.
Hazel The Deer – Stuffies are a staple in childhood. They are great for snuggles and road trips but also for acting out stories!
Victorian Doll House – This is the doll house of my dreams. No offense to Barbie but that giant pink, plastic, doll house of my childhood is an eye sore. I would have no problem with this beauty in my home. I may even let Milly play with it in other rooms besides her bedroom. 🙂
Explorer Play Kit – If you have a curious child who thrives in outside play prompts, this is the gift that will make a big splash. It includes binoculars, a pocket compass and a bunch of other goodies that any adventurer will love.
Four-Stage Rocket Ship – If you have a space lover on your hands, this will feed right into that desire during play time. Oh, how far the imagination will go when it can get all the way to outer space!
Workbench – If you are a DIY/handy family, this would be a great way to get the kiddos involved without putting an actual hammer in their hand! Don’t get me wrong, my mom has already taught RJ how to use a hammer. Supervised use of real tools is great but if you want to take a more hands-off approach, this is a great option!
Gourmet Grill – This toy is sure to put your kid on the right track to outdoor grilling. Living in Texas, this is a mandatory part of life. All you’d need is a griller’s apron and you’re cooking.
Wooden Camera w/ Kaleidoscope Lens – My kids are always grabbing my camera so i figure this wooden one would make them really happy. They love a good kaleidoscope and, what’s better, I get to keep my camera for myself!
Mars Mission Space Playhouse – If your kids room is big enough for a playhouse, I say ‘Go For It!’ Milly and RJ are always building forts and playing under the beds; that’s because kids love creating their own worlds. Why not cut out the process of turning a room upside down with sheets and blankets and offer up a beautiful playhouse like this one?!
Unicorn Hand Puppet – A unicorn puppet? I mean….there isn’t much to say besides, I. LOVE. IT.
Animal Adoption Set – This is for all the animal whisperers out there. Milly loves caring for her animals; stuffed and real, alike. At this point, she wants to be a vet so this present is a no brainer.
Paper Doll Kit – Paper dolls are so old school but such a perfect childhood play thing. These from Of Unusual Kind are gorgeous and high quality.
Nesting Dolls – Another toy that carries a lot of nostalgia. These are gorgeous and modern and are a great open-play toy. And when they aren’t being played with, keep them on out your baby’s window ledge and enjoy the view.