INSIDE: The best anti-racism toys for kids! Build a fun and beautifully diverse playroom with this list of 25+ anti-racism toys and craft supplies for kids to help create an anti-racist home. An home that is against anti-black racism as well as racism against all visible minority groups.
In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracistby Angela Davis
As a black woman married to a white man with three bi-racial children, it was always important to me to make sure that the toys my children played with reflected them and their family. Since our family included, a diverse range of skin tones our toy room has always looked liked the world around us. But this is not the case with many toys rooms around the country.
It starts at home
There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race — scientifically, anthropologically.Toni Morrison
Part of the work that needs to be done to combat racism and create a wholly anti-racist society starts at home with our children. The two most effective ways to bring up your child to be anti-racist is my having a variety of books and toys that reflect the diversity around you.
Not all in one day
To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.Rosa Parks
As parents we all know that toy rooms aren’t built in a day, nor are diverse playrooms. It has taken me six years to accumulate the diverse range of toys, craft supplies and books for my children. So if you are looking to create a diverse play space for your children remember that you won’t be able to (and quite frankly shouldn’t) create one in a week or two weeks or even a year. It will and should grow with your child.
Furthermore, your diverse playroom should reflect your aesthetic and your child’s taste. Toys are toys whether they are black, white, brown, yellow or red. If you like wooden toys, look for diverse wood dolls and figurines. If your child is really into LEGO or Little People, try and include a diverse range of figurines.
List of toys to help create an anti-racist home
…’Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerabilityBarack Obama
First off, if you can find a local store that sell black and brown dolls, toys and books START THERE FIRST! Support your local community stores so that they will continue to bring in black and brown toys and dolls for all children.
If there are aren’t any local stores to shop from or if you are looking for specific toys, this list below will give you an idea of where to begin.
Anti-Racism Toy List for Kids
A toolkit for raising anti-racist and inclusive kids. They currently have three sets of boxes available; The Black Box, The LGBT2SQ+ Families Box and The Gender-Expansive Box. Each of them is available in Baby, Preschool, and Elementary levels.
My toddlers love playing with their toy food. This little set featuring food from a variety of cultures is a great addition to our collection. When playing with them, don’t forget to mention where a particular food comes from!
This adorable sushi set is a wonderful way to introduce a different culture’s food. I used to live in Japan and letting my kids experience the foods I loved to eat there as well as here in their play is amazing.
Make play doh faces using colours that can match a variety of skin tones.
This memory game encourages kids to match a diverse range of faces. Memory games like this also help to sharpen recognition and memory skills.
This cute Black doll would be a great addition to any doll collection and a great way to diversity your collection. It includes a seat carrier, bottle, sippy cup and rattle.
A beautiful Indigenous or Native American doll and a great way to ensure that your doll collection is truly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour). When you buy a Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, $1.00 is donated to World Vision, a global humanitarian organization, that aims to help better the lives of children and their communities worldwide.
Learning to be anti-racist goes hand in hand with learning about different people with diverse abilities. With this set your child can learn positive awareness and inclusive attitude towards individuals with physical challenges.
Another adorable food set that is specifically Mexican food and a great way to allow kids to appreciate other cultures in a positive way in their play.
Do your kids love LEGO? Mine love their Duplo set and these little people are a great way to incorporate a variety of people that look like them and those around them.
Another cute set of diverse families and a great set to play with blocks, or playing with other toys.
A 500 piece puzzles, perfect for kids 5 years +. It includes images of key black artist like Maya Angelou and Ella Fitzgerald; and activists like Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. It’s a wonderful way to highlight the contributions of all people in a fun and not overly educational way.
This is one of our favourite books. This little doll makes are great accompanying toy the book. When I saw they had a doll I knew we had to get it!
Friends and Neighbours is a cooperative game where players try to find a token that represents something that will help a friend in need. This game is used to teach empathy and compassion for others. Good for 3 years +.
A black family Little People set. Diversifying your Little People toys is easier than ever!
A doll for boys! Wonder Crew was developed by a licensed therapist to promote social and emotional learning, build confidence and imagination, and empower boys to see themselves as caring, creative and strong people. Wonder crew combines the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a stuffed animal to give children a best friend!
Super soft plush doll has an adorable embroidered smile and comes dressed with a colorful outfit. Help children learn to embrace similarities and differences with other children and classmates. This toy encourages children to bond with others who may have a different ethnicity, hair color, gender or skin color.
Educational toys that represent cultural and ethnic differences accurately and clearly to children can be hard to find. That is why Little Likes Kids made it their mission to provide fun, interactive, and colorful toys that represent children of all backgrounds interacting and playing together.
Happy Family Card Games Set uses characters from all walks of life to instill lessons about the countless family dynamics that exist. Depicting men, women, boys and girls of all races, cultures and gender identities.
Increase children’s cognitive skills with this multi-cultural hand puppet set. These 15″ tall boy and girl puppets are light, medium and dark skin toned to encourage dialog about diversity, and loving our neighbors.
Anti-Racist Craft Supplies
Celebrate diversity and educate acceptance of our differences with this 5 different shades of paper cut into the shape of people and faces. They include most skin tones. You can also buy full sheets on construction paper for fun crafts.
When your child coloring and making a picture of their family and friends they can do so with these skin-tone colors that add realistic hues to multicultural activities. When I bought these for my daughter she was excited to find her “colour” and everyone in our family. They are also available in crayons and pencil crayons.
I made sure my 6 year olds had these in her pencil case this year!
Celebrate all ethnicities and skin tones with Multi-Cultural Washable Tempera Paints! Includes naturalistic skin tone colors ranging from light, medium, and dark hues.
There is still more
Acquiring a diverse range of toys and talking about race is just part of the work that needs to be done to combat racism and to become anti-racist.
Check out these amazing resources:
Maya Looks on the Bright Side by Stephanie Jean-Pierre
Multicultural Toys to Celebrate Diversity by Toy Ideas