Being deliberate in the toys and games you choose for your kids to play with at an early age will have long term payoff.
We know that play is an important part of your kid’s development. To make sure they’re getting the most out of their toys, games and books, we’ve rounded up a selection of items that are not only fun to play with, but offer multiple perspectives on the world.
1. Expand your play food offerings
Let little ones explore the different flavours of the world with these play food sets that go beyond basic fruits and vegetables.
Sushi Slicing Play Set – Wooden Play Food
Kids can cut their own rolls, practice their chopstick skills and dip their nigiri in soy sauce with this cute wooden sushi kit. $29, melissaanddoug.com
African Play Food Set
This colourful set includes, fish, okra, meat kebab, rice pancake with jam, peanut round, fufu and baked plantain. $34, louisekool.com
Hispanic Multicultural Food Set
Kids can serve up refried beans, yellow rice, tacos, avocado and flan for dessert with this pretend play kit. $33, scholarschoice.ca
2. Buy games that promote inclusivity
Games are a great way to get kids engaged and excited about learning. Here are some fun options that will help kids develop empathy, awareness and curiosity.
Friends and Neighbors Game
By pulling tokens out of the “Helping Bag”, this game encourages kids build and foster emotional intelligence. $20, dillydallykids.ca
I Never Forget a Face Memory Game
Kids learn to recognize and match the 24 faces of people from across the globe. $23, toysense.ca
Mudpuppy Little Feminist 500-Piece Family Puzzle
This puzzle is a great way to start the conversation about some incredible women throughout history, from Rosa Parks to Malala Yousafzai. $18, indigo.ca
3. Look for diverse dolls
The doll aisle in many toy stores used to be a sea of the same. But with way more options on the market now, kids can choose a doll of any skin colour or one that doesn’t conform to the gender binary.
These Spanish-made dolls are extremely lifelike and come in four different ethnicities. From $28, minimono.ca
Creatable World Dolls
Do away with labels with this customizable doll kit, which allows kids to create more than a hundred different looks that show the full spectrum of gender identity. $40, mastermindtoys.com
4. Stock up on craft supplies in a variety of skin tones
Give them the right tools and kids can create art that’s representative of themselves—and everybody else.
Crayola’s Multicultural range of markers, coloured pencils, crayons and paint
These kits offer kids a variety of skin tones to choose from when they’re drawing or painting. From $1 to $43, crayola.ca
Pacon Multicultural Construction Paper
Similar to the drawing supplies, this coloured construction paper offers ten different skin tone options. $17, walmart.ca
5. Read books with diverse characters
Books are a great entry point for teaching your kid about the world outside of their home or neighbourhood. Take a look at your collection to see if you have books that offer a variety of experiences and have characters with a range of ethnicities and backgrounds.
Penguin Bedtime Classics
Classic bedtime stories are retold with Black children as the main characters. $11, knowledgebookstore.com
This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe
Experience daily life through the eyes of seven different kids from across the globe. $27, adifferentbooklist.com