As a parent, you want your child to have access to a variety of toys that will help them learn and grow. You want your children to be well rounded, empathetic and considerate, not just to loved ones, but to people they might be meeting for the first time. Here are some facts about how culturally diverse toys can help you achieve this:
I would love for the days where it is thought that only girls should play with dolls and tea sets, while boys play with trucks and tool sets, to be long gone – but I know this is far from reality so I want to talk about why dolls (in general) are important in every child’s playroom, regardless of gender; and why black dolls specifically are also important, regardless of your child’s skin colour or ethnic background.
- Developing empathy and social processing skills
Children make sense of the world through play; and of people through doll play. When children role play using dolls, they are able to talk through and process varying emotions, developing and rehearsing social skills that help them relate to other people in the real world.
You want your children to be happy, healthy, and strong…but I think most of all you want them to be kindhearted, empathetic and considerate - leaving the world a better place than they found it…am I right or am I right? 😉
Apart from living out these values and being an example for our kids, I think books are a fantastic way of introducing and encouraging the concept of empathy and kindness to children and getting them to think about the impact of their words and actions.
Here are some books in no particular order, loved by the boys, that do this so well, IMO:
Eeeeek!! I said it!! I said two words that you’d never expect to be strung together in a sentence – ‘excited’ and ‘chores’. I feel like I’ve broken some cardinal rule by even suggesting this, because surely, this is not possible!! :D
Looking after your living space, keeping it clean and tidy, and having consideration for anyone you may share this space with is nothing but a vital life skill, regardless of your gender. So why not make it fun for everyone?!
Ever consciously thought about how best to provoke discussions of responsibility, compassion, and mindfulness with young children? I think these are all concepts that should be introduced to and instilled in children from a young age so that they don’t depart from such behaviours as they grow up and face the ‘big bad world’.
"Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child's future success - more than their family circumstances, their parent's educational background or their income" (Source: OECD)
Like everything else, things are looking a bit different this year including #WorldBookDay.
It is customary for children to wear costumes on World Book Day and then go to their local bookstore, and buy books with the £1 token they would've received from school.
I thought about how we show love to our Littles and how easy it is to do so through the right toys. For me, these are mainly open-ended toys. Toys that can be used in a variety of ways depending on the child, their mood and how they may be feeling on any given day ie toys that encourage imagination and foster creativity like building blocks, magnetic tiles, figurines among many others.
So…it’s 2018 and my first son is turning 3. I desperately want to find ways to bond with him and create opportunities to learn while playing. As a Nigerian mother in diaspora, I also want to find exciting ways to keep him connected to his culture. I want him to see the vibrant colours and the beauty of Yoruba culture. I want him to experience as much of it as possible through the toys and books he reads. But after searching high and low – I cannot find anything that would help me achieve this purpose.