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:
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’.