Children are able to learn directly and indirectly through play. The toys children play with help shape their version of reality. Through toys, children often decide what is “normal” in their reality. It is our job as parents and caregivers to provide children with the tools to teach them of the diversity in our world. Below you will find a list to help you promote diversity in your child’s world.
1. Board Games
Board games such as Guess Who and I Never Forget a Face are a great way to teach children to recognize the many differences in all people. The more we expose our children to differences, the more “normal” it is for them when they come across a person that might look different than them.
2. Dolls and Action Figures
Help your child create a community with their toys that is more diverse than the one they live in. If they play with action figures, are there different races of “good” and “bad” guys to create the characters of their storylines? If they play with dolls, are there multiple races to play mommies and daddies? What about dolls with differing abilities? Barbie has a variety of differing abilities and multicultural dolls in their Fashionista line. If expanding your child’s doll and action figure collection is out of your budget, consider helping them make multicultural paper dolls.
3. Coloring/Art Activities
Art is a great way for anyone of any age to express themselves. Children often draw and color pictures of their surrounding world. Unfortunately, we sometimes limit them by not having the
tools and art supplies for them to be able to explore the many shades of people. Crayola has a multicultural crayon pack to accommodate more than just “white” skin tones.