The Best Toys, Games, and Art Supplies for Diversifying Your Kids Play

Having a variety diverse toys representing different races, cultures, gender expressions, and abilities is so important! For children who are a part of majority groups (like white, cisgender, or able-bodied) often times grownups lean towards giving these kids toys and books featuring children that look like them. While this is often well intended, is also important to expose kids to different kids of people early on. This helps reduce biases and just helps kids have a broader I understanding of the world. It also helps normalize these marginalized identities for children and helps open up dialogue about issues like gender, disability, culture, and race. I’ve curated a list of some examples of great purchases you can make to help diversify your playroom or classroom. 

Click on either the name of the product or image to be linked to a website where you can purchase the item. We tried to link to the creator and not third party retailers and avoid Amazon when possible. Ideally, we promote buying from local small businesses, especially ones owned by folks from marginalized communities!

 

DOLLS AND FIGURINES

Dolls and Figurines are a great way to  expose your kiddos to different kinds of people! Here are our top picks for the best dolls and figurines for diversifying your play space!

BASKET OF BABIES

This is a great set of six soft baby dolls in a variety of skin tones. Especially useful for classrooms and daycares, but also a nice addition to a home playroom as well.

[Image Description: A brown plush fabric basket with four soft baby dolls of varying skin tones inside of it. They are all wearing sleep sacks of varying colors. There are also two baby dolls outside of the basket. The one on the left is naked and next to it is it’s green removable sleep sack.]

[Image Description: A brown plush fabric basket with four soft baby dolls of varying skin tones inside of it. They are all wearing sleep sacks of varying colors. There are also two baby dolls outside of the basket. The one on the left is naked and next to it is it’s green removable sleep sack.]

BABY STELLA DOLLS

These individual soft dolls come three skin tones and with several textures and styles of hair. You can buy a premade doll or create your own!

[Image Description: Four soft baby dolls. Top left: A peach colored doll with a blonde sprout of hair on the top of their head. They are wearing a pink and white striped dress. There is a pink heart-shaped pacifier next to them. Top Right: A brown doll with a sprout of dark brown hair on the top of their head. They are wearing a blue top with pear’s on it and yellow and white striped pants. They have a yellow heart-shaped pacifier in their mouth. Bottom Left: A tan doll with brown pig tails. They are wearing a blue and white striped dress. Bottom Right: A peach colored doll with back pig tails. They are wearing a pink floral dress. Next to them is a pink heart-shaped pacifier”.]

[Image Description: Four soft baby dolls. Top left: A peach colored doll with a blonde sprout of hair on the top of their head. They are wearing a pink and white striped dress. There is a pink heart-shaped pacifier next to them. Top Right: A brown doll with a sprout of dark brown hair on the top of their head. They are wearing a blue top with pear’s on it and yellow and white striped pants. They have a yellow heart-shaped pacifier in their mouth. Bottom Left: A tan doll with brown pig tails. They are wearing a blue and white striped dress. Bottom Right: A peach colored doll with back pig tails. They are wearing a pink floral dress. Next to them is a pink heart-shaped pacifier”.]

 

MULTI-ETHNIC DOLLS WITH ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT ADD-ONS

These hard dolls by Lakeshore Learning come in four different ethnicities. They also sell a set of adaptive equipment for the dolls including a service dog, a walker, hand crutches, a wheelchair, a protective helmet, glasses, and hearing aids. The links will lead you to the full set, but you can also buy the dolls and equipment individually on Lakeshore’s website.

[Image Description: Eight hard dolls. Top Left: Two asian-coded dolls. The doll to the left has long straight black hair, a green headband, a green striped shirt, a denim skirt, and white shoes. The one to the right has short straight black hair, and orange striped shirt, denim shorts, and white shoes. Top Right: Toe caucasian-coded dolls. The one to the left has short blonde hair, a blue, green, and white striped polo shirt, green shorts, and white shoes. The one to the right has curly blonde hair with two blue bows in it. They are wearing a blue and white gingham shirt, denim shorts, and white shoes. Bottom Left: Two Black-coded dolls. The one on the left has curly dark brown hair in pigtails with two pink bows. They are wearing a white and pink striped dress, and white shoes. The doll on the right has short curly dark brown hair. They are wearing a yellow polo shirt, khaki shorts, and white shoes. Bottom Right: Two hispanic-coded dolls. The doll on the left has short brown hair, a red t-shirt, denim overalls, and white shoes. The doll on the right has long brown hair with a purple bow. They are wearing a light purple t-shirt, dark purple shorts, and white shoes.]

[Image Description: Eight hard dolls. Top Left: Two asian-coded dolls. The doll to the left has long straight black hair, a green headband, a green striped shirt, a denim skirt, and white shoes. The one to the right has short straight black hair, and orange striped shirt, denim shorts, and white shoes. Top Right: Toe caucasian-coded dolls. The one to the left has short blonde hair, a blue, green, and white striped polo shirt, green shorts, and white shoes. The one to the right has curly blonde hair with two blue bows in it. They are wearing a blue and white gingham shirt, denim shorts, and white shoes. Bottom Left: Two Black-coded dolls. The one on the left has curly dark brown hair in pigtails with two pink bows. They are wearing a white and pink striped dress, and white shoes. The doll on the right has short curly dark brown hair. They are wearing a yellow polo shirt, khaki shorts, and white shoes. Bottom Right: Two hispanic-coded dolls. The doll on the left has short brown hair, a red t-shirt, denim overalls, and white shoes. The doll on the right has long brown hair with a purple bow. They are wearing a light purple t-shirt, dark purple shorts, and white shoes.]

[Image Description: Toy adaptive equipment for dolls. From top left to bottom right: Service dog with harness, walker, wheelchair, protective helmet, arm crutches, round wire-rimmed glasses, and hearing aids.]

[Image Description: Toy adaptive equipment for dolls. From top left to bottom right: Service dog with harness, walker, wheelchair, protective helmet, arm crutches, round wire-rimmed glasses, and hearing aids.]

AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS & ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT ADD-ONS

American Girl Dolls are a classic! Although they only offer “girl” coded dolls, they do sell dolls with short hair. They offer a variety of skin tones, hair colors, and hairstyles as well as Dolls With No Hair. and Dolls with Hearing Aids You can buy a premade doll or create your own! They also offer an impressive variety of add-ons including a Wheel Chair, Diabetes Kit, Arm Crutches, Service Dog and Vest, Asthma and Allergy Set

[Image Description: Six American Girl Dolls standing side by side. From Left to Right: Doll with tan skin and straight brown hair in low pig tails wearing a pink sleeveless shirt, a turquoise and pink skirt, and turquoise sandals. The second doll from the left is asian-coded. They have long black straight hair, and are wearing a mint-colored tank top, turquoise shorts, pink shoes, and holding a mint colored bag with floral detailing. The next doll has light skin and blonde hair done up in two high buns. They are wearing a purple t-shirt with floral dealing, pink shorts, and pink shoes. The third doll from right has medium brown skin and long curly dark brown hair. They are wearing a blue and turquoise dress with turquoise sandals. The second doll from right has light skin and long straight red hair with a single braid in the front. They are wearing a mint-colored shirt and a long purple, pink, and mint striped skirt with pink shoes. The doll on the far right has tan skin and straight brown hair in a side pony tail. They are wearing a turquoise tank top with a ruffle at the top, a white, mint., and pink skirt, and turquoise sandals.]

[Image Description: Six American Girl Dolls standing side by side. From Left to Right: Doll with tan skin and straight brown hair in low pig tails wearing a pink sleeveless shirt, a turquoise and pink skirt, and turquoise sandals. The second doll from the left is asian-coded. They have long black straight hair, and are wearing a mint-colored tank top, turquoise shorts, pink shoes, and holding a mint colored bag with floral detailing. The next doll has light skin and blonde hair done up in two high buns. They are wearing a purple t-shirt with floral dealing, pink shorts, and pink shoes. The third doll from right has medium brown skin and long curly dark brown hair. They are wearing a blue and turquoise dress with turquoise sandals. The second doll from right has light skin and long straight red hair with a single braid in the front. They are wearing a mint-colored shirt and a long purple, pink, and mint striped skirt with pink shoes. The doll on the far right has tan skin and straight brown hair in a side pony tail. They are wearing a turquoise tank top with a ruffle at the top, a white, mint., and pink skirt, and turquoise sandals.]

[Image Description: Six Images. From Top Left to bottom right: American Girl Doll with no hair. Doll wheelchair. Diabetes kit for dolls. Arm crutches for dolls. Service dog with vest. Doll with hearing aid.]

[Image Description: Six Images. From Top Left to bottom right: American Girl Doll with no hair. Doll wheelchair. Diabetes kit for dolls. Arm crutches for dolls. Service dog with vest. Doll with hearing aid.]

MATTEL FASHONISTA DOLLS

Mattel recently released a line of diverse “Fashionista” dolls. There are 176 dolls in total with 9 body types, 35 skin tones, and 94 hairstyles. While the body types tend to still read as skinny (aside from the “curvy” model”), in general these dolls do a good job. They include dolls who are a wheelchair users, a doll with a prosthetic leg, a doll without hair, and a doll with vitiligo. Definitely a step in the right direction if your kid is a fan of traditional Barbies or Barbie-style dolls.

[Image Description: Seven Barbie dolls. From left to right: A short, asian-coded doll with dark brown hair in high pigtails. They wear an orange crop top that reads “Feelin’ Bright” and a long metallic blue pleated skirt. The second doll from the right is male-coded. They are tall and light skinned with straight long blonde hair. They wear a tye-dye tank top and denim Bermuda shorts. The third doll from the right is medium height. They have dark brown skin and black hair which is done in two pigtails. They are wearing a light blue dress with star detailing. They also have a gold prosthetic leg. The middle doll is medium height. They have medium skin and no hair. They are wearing a pink dress with floral detailing and gold hoop earnings. The third doll from the right is medium height with light skin and long straight blonde hair. They are using a wheelchair and they are wearing a white t-shirt with colorful stripes and blue jeans. The second doll from the right is medium height and has medium brown skin and colorful streaked wavy hair. They are wearing a long-sleeved dress that reads “Dream Often”. The doll on the far right is short and has dark brown skin wth vitiligo. They have black hair tied back in a poof on the top of their head. They wear a striped pink, white, and yellow dress and a brown fanny pack.]

[Image Description: Seven Barbie dolls. From left to right: A short, asian-coded doll with dark brown hair in high pigtails. They wear an orange crop top that reads “Feelin’ Bright” and a long metallic blue pleated skirt. The second doll from the right is male-coded. They are tall and light skinned with straight long blonde hair. They wear a tye-dye tank top and denim Bermuda shorts. The third doll from the right is medium height. They have dark brown skin and black hair which is done in two pigtails. They are wearing a light blue dress with star detailing. They also have a gold prosthetic leg. The middle doll is medium height. They have medium skin and no hair. They are wearing a pink dress with floral detailing and gold hoop earnings. The third doll from the right is medium height with light skin and long straight blonde hair. They are using a wheelchair and they are wearing a white t-shirt with colorful stripes and blue jeans. The second doll from the right is medium height and has medium brown skin and colorful streaked wavy hair. They are wearing a long-sleeved dress that reads “Dream Often”. The doll on the far right is short and has dark brown skin wth vitiligo. They have black hair tied back in a poof on the top of their head. They wear a striped pink, white, and yellow dress and a brown fanny pack.]

THE FRESH DOLLS & THE FRESH SQUAD DOLLS

These Barbie-esque dolls feature a variety of skin tones and hairstyles. They are also made to have a fuller, more realistic body type. They are a great alternative to Barbie for folks who may not be fans of Mattel and for folks who want to support a black-owned business.

{Image Description: Six female-coded dolls of the same height. From Left to Right: The leftmost doll has tan skin and curly red hair pulled back in a pony tail. They are wearing a black and red dress with black strapy heels. The second doll from left has dark brown skin and curly purple hair done up in a poof at the top of her head. They wear a stripy purple long sleeved crop top, long white pants, and strappy white heels. The third doll from left has caramel skin and black curly hair worn in an afro. They are wearing a grey dress and sliver strapy heels. The third doll from right has light skin and thick shoulder length auburn hair. They are wearing a long sleeved pink sweater, denim shorts, and yellow strapy heels. The second doll from right has light brown skin and brown curly hair which is pulled behind them. They wear a white t-shirt and denim overalls with white sneakers. The doll to the far right has light skin and long straight blue hair. They wear a white crop top that reads “The Fresh Dolls”, denim shorts. and white shoes.]

{Image Description: Six female-coded dolls of the same height. From Left to Right: The leftmost doll has tan skin and curly red hair pulled back in a pony tail. They are wearing a black and red dress with black strapy heels. The second doll from left has dark brown skin and curly purple hair done up in a poof at the top of her head. They wear a stripy purple long sleeved crop top, long white pants, and strappy white heels. The third doll from left has caramel skin and black curly hair worn in an afro. They are wearing a grey dress and sliver strapy heels. The third doll from right has light skin and thick shoulder length auburn hair. They are wearing a long sleeved pink sweater, denim shorts, and yellow strapy heels. The second doll from right has light brown skin and brown curly hair which is pulled behind them. They wear a white t-shirt and denim overalls with white sneakers. The doll to the far right has light skin and long straight blue hair. They wear a white crop top that reads “The Fresh Dolls”, denim shorts. and white shoes.]

Three male-coded dolls. The doll to the left has caramel skin, curly brown hair in an undercut, and a goatee. They are wearing a white shirt with olive colored pants and brown boots. The middle doll has dark brown skin, a neatly-trimmed beard and is bald. They are wearing a black shirt, red blazer, black pants, and black loafers. The doll to the far right has light brown skin, a trimmed moustache and beard, and their black hair is pulled back into long braids. They are wearing white t-shirt with a red short sleeved plaid shirt over it as well as blue jeans and red sneakers".]

Three male-coded dolls. The doll to the left has caramel skin, curly brown hair in an undercut, and a goatee. They are wearing a white shirt with olive colored pants and brown boots. The middle doll has dark brown skin, a neatly-trimmed beard and is bald. They are wearing a black shirt, red blazer, black pants, and black loafers. The doll to the far right has light brown skin, a trimmed moustache and beard, and their black hair is pulled back into long braids. They are wearing white t-shirt with a red short sleeved plaid shirt over it as well as blue jeans and red sneakers”.]

MATTEL CREATABLE WORLD DOLLS

These are my absolute favorite out of all of the “Barbie style” dolls. Also created by Mattel, these Creatable World dolls each come with a short hair and long hair option as well as a variety of traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” clothing. The reason I love these so much is they allow kids to explore gender expression! While they are not particularly body diverse, I think these do a great job and could also open the door to talking about trans and gender issues with kiddos as well as help the trans and gender-non-conforming kiddos in your life feel represented!

[Image Description: Six dolls that are each split down the middle. The right of each doll is a more feminine expression with long hair and the left of each doll is a more masculine expression with short hair. The doll to the far left has caramel skin and curly light brown hair. The second doll from the left has light skin and straight blonde hair. The third doll from the left has dark brown skin and dark brown hair. The third doll form the right had light brown skin and dark drown curly hair. The second doll form the right has light skin and straight black hair. The doll to the far right has light skin and straight auburn hair.]

[Image Description: Six dolls that are each split down the middle. The right of each doll is a more feminine expression with long hair and the left of each doll is a more masculine expression with short hair. The doll to the far left has caramel skin and curly light brown hair. The second doll from the left has light skin and straight blonde hair. The third doll from the left has dark brown skin and dark brown hair. The third doll form the right had light brown skin and dark drown curly hair. The second doll form the right has light skin and straight black hair. The doll to the far right has light skin and straight auburn hair.]

SOFT AND SAFE CHILDREN WITH DIFFERING ABILITIES

These are great for younger kids who like the “Little People” style toys. This collection features five kids with varying ethnicities and abilities. A great way to start conversations about disabilities with young kids.

[Image Description: Five soft dolls of varying abilities. The doll to the far left has light brown skin and brown hair in a pony tail. They have a service dog. The second doll from the left has medium brown skin and black hair done up in braids. They have a hearing aid and are using sign language. The middle doll has light skin and short red hair. They are using a wheelchair. The second doll from the right has tan skin and straight black hair and they are using arm crutches. The doll to the far right has dark brown skin and short curly black hair. They are using a walker.]

[Image Description: Five soft dolls of varying abilities. The doll to the far left has light brown skin and brown hair in a pony tail. They have a service dog. The second doll from the left has medium brown skin and black hair done up in braids. They have a hearing aid and are using sign language. The middle doll has light skin and short red hair. They are using a wheelchair. The second doll from the right has tan skin and straight black hair and they are using arm crutches. The doll to the far right has dark brown skin and short curly black hair. They are using a walker.]

ALL ABILITIES PEG DOLL SET

These hand-painted peg-dolls from Etsy Seller Rainbow Peg Dolls are a fun alternative to traditional dolls! This set features kids of varying abilities and of various racial and cultural backgrounds. They also make many other kinds of peg-dolls in their shop so be sure to check them out.

[Image Description: Nine peg dolls of varying abilities. From the top left to bottom right there is a doll with autism, vitiligo, a yellow and blue ribbon (could not find the significance of this), a cleft palate, hearing aids, crutches, a wheelchair, a smaller arm, and blindness.]

[Image Description: Nine peg dolls of varying abilities. From the top left to bottom right there is a doll with autism, vitiligo, a yellow and blue ribbon (could not find the significance of this), a cleft palate, hearing aids, crutches, a wheelchair, a smaller arm, and blindness.]

MY FAMILY BUILDERS

My Family Builders are building blocks that you can use to create diverse people and families. There are adult and children-sized blocks and they come in a variety of skin tones. There are heads, torsos, and legs that can be mixed and matched to create endless combinations!

[Image Description: A box that reads “My Family Builders Create One-of-a-Kind Characters and Families 32 Piece set” The box features cylindrical blocks with various faces, skin tones, and hair colors. In front of the box are two figures build of three blocks each, one head, one torso, and one bottom. There is also a head, torso, and bottom that have seemingly fallen over. In the top right corner there is a golden seal that reads “Parent’s Choice Gold Award”]

[Image Description: A box that reads “My Family Builders Create One-of-a-Kind Characters and Families 32 Piece set” The box features cylindrical blocks with various faces, skin tones, and hair colors. In front of the box are two figures build of three blocks each, one head, one torso, and one bottom. There is also a head, torso, and bottom that have seemingly fallen over. In the top right corner there is a golden seal that reads “Parent’s Choice Gold Award”]


DIVERSE DIGITAL PAPER DOLLS BUNDLE

These paper dolls from Etsy seller Joy Creating area great alternative to traditional paper dolls. The gender-neutral bases come in four skin tones, two body types. There are also bases with prosthetic legs and some with wheelchairs. The sets come with a large variety of clothing and accessories. Just know before you buy them that these were initially intended for digital use so they do not come with tabs and some of the accessories will be too small to cut out and use. This was not a problem for me as I laminated and used magnets for them, but if you wanted to use tabs, you could easily just cut out your own!

[Image Description: Two rows of eight paper dolls standing side by side. The first four in each row are thinner while the second for are a bit thicker. There are four different skin tones, peach, tan, caramel, and brown. The dolls on the bottom row have prosthetic legs. The image reads “Set of 134 300dpi Digital Dolls, PNG and SVG images transparent backgrounds.]

[Image Description: Two rows of eight paper dolls standing side by side. The first four in each row are thinner while the second for are a bit thicker. There are four different skin tones, peach, tan, caramel, and brown. The dolls on the bottom row have prosthetic legs. The image reads “Set of 134 300dpi Digital Dolls, PNG and SVG images transparent backgrounds.]

[Image Description: Two rows of four paper dolls using wheelchairs. The top row is thinner while the dolls on the bottom row are thicker. There are four different skin tones, peach, tan, caramel, and brown. Text reads '“4 skin tones 2 weight groups Digital Dolls 2 special needs with accessories”.]

[Image Description: Two rows of four paper dolls using wheelchairs. The top row is thinner while the dolls on the bottom row are thicker. There are four different skin tones, peach, tan, caramel, and brown. Text reads ‘“4 skin tones 2 weight groups Digital Dolls 2 special needs with accessories”.]

AMAZING WOMEN IN HISTORY PAPER DOLLS

These paper dolls from Adventure-in-a-Box feature famous women from history. They’re a great way to teach about famous women from around the world.

[Image Description: Two female-coded paper dolls, one with light skin and one with brown skin. There are also various dress up outfits for the dolls and cards explaining who the women were. The cards displayed include Harriet Tubman, Valentina Tereshkova, Frida Kahlo, Sacagawea, and Marie Curie. The image reads “Amazing Women Dress-up Dolls”.]

[Image Description: Two female-coded paper dolls, one with light skin and one with brown skin. There are also various dress up outfits for the dolls and cards explaining who the women were. The cards displayed include Harriet Tubman, Valentina Tereshkova, Frida Kahlo, Sacagawea, and Marie Curie. The image reads “Amazing Women Dress-up Dolls”.]

MIX & MATCH REUSABLE FAMILY DIVERSITY STICKERS

These reusable stickers from My Family Builders are a favorite with the kids I nanny! They stick to many surfaces including walls and windows. We like to play with them on the windows personally! They include a variety of heads, tops, and bottoms that can be mixed and matched for over 10,000 combinations of unique people and families!

[Image Description: A set of stickers that reads “100 Wall Stickers My Family Builders Mix and Match Create One-Of-A-Kind Characters and Families” There are also two water-bottles and a cup filled with pencils featuring the stickers with people of varying abilities, skin tones,, and hair colors as well as varying family make-ups.]

[Image Description: A set of stickers that reads “100 Wall Stickers My Family Builders Mix and Match Create One-Of-A-Kind Characters and Families” There are also two water-bottles and a cup filled with pencils featuring the stickers with people of varying abilities, skin tones,, and hair colors as well as varying family make-ups.]

GAMES & PUZZLES

Games are another great way to showcase different kinds of people. Here are our favorite games for featuring diverse kiddos and families. 

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD MEMORY GAME

This matching game is a great way to expose kids to what some kids from all over the world might look like!

[Image Description: Box featuring various pictures of different kids form around the world. The box reads “Children of The World Memory Game Learn 36 Ways to Day Hello!”]

[Image Description: Box featuring various pictures of different kids form around the world. The box reads “Children of The World Memory Game Learn 36 Ways to Day Hello!”]


I NEVER FORGET A FACE GAME

This is another great matching game featuring the faces of all different kinds of children! A great way to show kids the diversity amongst people!

[Image Description: Box featuring cards with various pictures of different kids form around the world. The box reads “ I Never Forget A Face Memory Game”.]

[Image Description: Box featuring cards with various pictures of different kids form around the world. The box reads “ I Never Forget A Face Memory Game”.]

LITTLE FEMINIST PUZZLE

This is a cute little puzzle featuring famous women from around the globe. As an extension activity, it could also be fun to research these women together!

[Image Description: A box that reads “ Little Feminist 500 Piece Puzzle.” The box features cartoon illustrations of 16 famous women including Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Indira Gandhi, Cleopatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Queen Elizabeth I, Hillary Clinton, Harriet Tubman, Gloria Stinem, Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Billie Jean King, Marie Curie, and Josephine Baker.]

[Image Description: A box that reads “ Little Feminist 500 Piece Puzzle.” The box features cartoon illustrations of 16 famous women including Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Indira Gandhi, Cleopatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Queen Elizabeth I, Hillary Clinton, Harriet Tubman, Gloria Stinem, Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Billie Jean King, Marie Curie, and Josephine Baker.]

ALPHABET AFFIRMATION FLASH CARDS

These flashcards feature an affirmation for every letter of the alphabet! The illustrations feature diverse kiddos as well!

[Image Description: A box that reads “Alphabet Affirmation Flash Cards (For Boys & Girls) 0+ 26 Positive Affirmation Flash Cards That Build Confidence”. The box features a boy and girl with brown skin smiling. Beside the box is a card that reads “A is for Amazing. I am totally amazing.” The card features the same boy form the cover of the box smiling."]

[Image Description: A box that reads “Alphabet Affirmation Flash Cards (For Boys & Girls) 0+ 26 Positive Affirmation Flash Cards That Build Confidence”. The box features a boy and girl with brown skin smiling. Beside the box is a card that reads “A is for Amazing. I am totally amazing.” The card features the same boy form the cover of the box smiling.”]

MINILAND FAMILY DIVERSITY BLOCKS GAME

This is a fun game that combines recognition and building skills. Using a wheel, you build different people and families.

I[mage Description: A box of Family Diversity Blocks, instructions, and blocks in different configurations to make people with various skin tones, hair colors, heights, and family makeups."]

I[mage Description: A box of Family Diversity Blocks, instructions, and blocks in different configurations to make people with various skin tones, hair colors, heights, and family makeups.”]


FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: THE HELPING GAME

This is a fun cooperative game for kids. They each get a board with different kids who need help with different things, Then you pull tokens from a bag and see if anyone needs help with that thing. Illustrations feature diverse children and the game helps build social-emotional skills.

[Image Description: Image of the Friends and Neighbors Helping Game. Features various images of children. For ages 3 and up. 1-4 players. 10 minute game length.]

[Image Description: Image of the Friends and Neighbors Helping Game. Features various images of children. For ages 3 and up. 1-4 players. 10 minute game length.]

PLAYING WITH PRONOUNS GAME

by Maya Gonzalez

This deck of cards is truly phenomenal! It comes with up to six games to play including memory, matching, and sorting games, but the potential is limitless! The cards help dismantle gender stereotypes and teach kids that all kinds of people can use all kinds of pronouns! We highly recommend this one! And definitely check out Maya Gonzalez’s books about gender and pronoun as well.

[Image Description: A set of Playing With Pronouns cards scattered across the table with the green box they come in. The cards are circular and feature tex that is indecipherable in the photo.]

[Image Description: A set of Playing With Pronouns cards scattered across the table with the green box they come in. The cards are circular and feature tex that is indecipherable in the photo.]

HAPPY FAMILY CARD GAME

Another great game from the folks at My Family Builders! The game features cards with families of various make-ups as well as individuals. Each player gets a family card and the goal is to find all of the members of your family first! Families featured are diverse in make up, skin tone, and ability! A great one for teaching kiddos about different kinds of families.

[Image Description: The Happy Family Game Box. The cover of the box features eleven individuals of varying ages, abilities ,and races.]

[Image Description: The Happy Family Game Box. The cover of the box features eleven individuals of varying ages, abilities ,and races.]

PLAY FOOD

Having play food from a variety of cultures is a great way to diversify play! If you’re even a little crafty and have some felt, there are lots of easy ways to make different kinds of foods. I will show you some of my favorite products, as well as some things you can easily make at home!

MULTICULTURAL PLAY FOOD ASSORTMENT

This is a great set of play food from the people at Lakeshore Learning. The plastic food play set includes traditional foods from Italy, China, Japan, and Mexico. A good one shot option for teaching kids about the foods of various cultures.

[Image Description: A clear plastic tub with a variety of plastic play food spilling out of it. There are many foods including pizza, spaghetti, cheese, ravioli, muscles, tomatoes, sausage, sushi, rice, shrimp tempura, shrimp, dim sum dumplings, noodles. fish, soy sauce, sushi, gyoza, tofu, tacos, tortillas, beans, peppers, and burritos.]

[Image Description: A clear plastic tub with a variety of plastic play food spilling out of it. There are many foods including pizza, spaghetti, cheese, ravioli, muscles, tomatoes, sausage, sushi, rice, shrimp tempura, shrimp, dim sum dumplings, noodles. fish, soy sauce, sushi, gyoza, tofu, tacos, tortillas, beans, peppers, and burritos.]

MELISSA & DOUG MULTICULTURAL PLAY FOODS

ITALIAN, MEXICAN, & SUSHI

Melissa & Doug have a few higher quality food play sets. There is a wooden sushi set, a Mexican set where you can fill your own tortillas, and an Italian set with a variety of pasta. If you have the money, these are worth investing in! They are really well made and long lasting.

[Image Description: Top: Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Sushi Playset with various pieces of wooden sushi and chopsticks. Reads “Wooden Sushi Slicing Playset. Includes over 20 wooden pieces". Bottom Left: Melissa & Doug Mexican Food Playset. There is play food including a jar of salsa, a bottle of hot sauce, a box of yellow rice, a bag of queso, a wooden spoon and knife, a skillet with wooden shrimp and vegetables, toy taco, toy burrito, and a toy can of pinto beans. Bottom Right: Melissa & Doug Italian Food Playset. Four pretend boxes of pasta including Penne, Ravioli, Linguini, and Bow Ties. There is fabric pasta inside the boxes. Also pictured are a menu, pot and pan, as well as a fork, butter, and wooden salt shaker.]

[Image Description: Top: Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Sushi Playset with various pieces of wooden sushi and chopsticks. Reads “Wooden Sushi Slicing Playset. Includes over 20 wooden pieces”. Bottom Left: Melissa & Doug Mexican Food Playset. There is play food including a jar of salsa, a bottle of hot sauce, a box of yellow rice, a bag of queso, a wooden spoon and knife, a skillet with wooden shrimp and vegetables, toy taco, toy burrito, and a toy can of pinto beans. Bottom Right: Melissa & Doug Italian Food Playset. Four pretend boxes of pasta including Penne, Ravioli, Linguini, and Bow Ties. There is fabric pasta inside the boxes. Also pictured are a menu, pot and pan, as well as a fork, butter, and wooden salt shaker.]

FELT PLAY FOOD (FROM VARIOUS ETSY SELLERS)

Pasta, Mexican, Sushi, Dim Sum

These play felt food sets from various Etsy sellers are great options for multi-ethinc food play! I’ve chosen these both for quality and affordability, although these hand-made sets don’t tend to come cheap. I;ve included and Italian pasta set, a Mexican set with tacos, burritos, and nachos, a Japanese set with Sushi, and a Chinese Dim Sum set.

[Image Description: Top Left: Felt pasta including bow-ties, linguini, ravioli, and tortellini. Top Right: Felt tacos, nachos, and burritos. Bottom Left: Felt sushi including four maki and four nigiri rolls. Bottom Right: Eight piece felt dim sum.]

[Image Description: Top Left: Felt pasta including bow-ties, linguini, ravioli, and tortellini. Top Right: Felt tacos, nachos, and burritos. Bottom Left: Felt sushi including four maki and four nigiri rolls. Bottom Right: Eight piece felt dim sum.]

MAKE YOUR OWN!

These are some examples of no-sew foods I have made with just some felt, (stuffing for some of them), and hot glue! They’re super easy to make and fun for kiddos! For the sushi I used cotton balls!

[Image Description: Top Left: Felt sushi including two maki rolls and three nigiri rolls. Top Right: Tow felt tortillas with felt tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce. Bottom Left: Three felt gyoza (dumplings) and one felt fish. Bottom Right: Felt bowl with yarn noodles and felt mushrooms and bok choy.]

[Image Description: Top Left: Felt sushi including two maki rolls and three nigiri rolls. Top Right: Tow felt tortillas with felt tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce. Bottom Left: Three felt gyoza (dumplings) and one felt fish. Bottom Right: Felt bowl with yarn noodles and felt mushrooms and bok choy.]

 

ART SUPPLIES

Another thing to consider in keeping art supplies around in a variety of skin tones. Crayons just came out with a great new set of crayons and they also have paints in various skin tones as well. You can also buy packs of paper, face cutouts, and body cutouts in different skin tones as well. When I was a classroom teacher, I would allow the kids to pick the color they felt most closely matched their skin tone. I would never comment on the kids choices even if they picked a color that was wildly different from their skin tone. Here are some of my favorite arts and crafts products that come in different skin tones!

PEOPLE COLORS CRAYONS

This is a great set of 24 crayons form Lakeshore Learning in a multitude of skin colors. This set was around before the newer Crayola Colors of the World set, so I like to promote supporting them!

[Image Description: Clear plastic container with handle with 24 crayons of various skin colors enclosed. White and blue label features five children of various colors and reads “People Colors Crayons”. To the right there are three crayon drawings of children of different colors.]

[Image Description: Clear plastic container with handle with 24 crayons of various skin colors enclosed. White and blue label features five children of various colors and reads “People Colors Crayons”. To the right there are three crayon drawings of children of different colors.]

CRAYOLA’S COLORS OF THE WORLD CRAYONS

This newer set from Crayola is an updated and more comprehensive version of their older “Multicultural Crayons”. The set features 24 crayons in varying skin tones.

[Image Description: A box of crayola crayons with yellow and green packaging. There are four children of varying skin tones pictured and the box reads “Crayola Colors of the World Crayons 24 Nontoxic”.]

[Image Description: A box of crayola crayons with yellow and green packaging. There are four children of varying skin tones pictured and the box reads “Crayola Colors of the World Crayons 24 Nontoxic”.]

CRAYOLA WASHABLE PAINT

Crayola also carries washable paints in various skin tones as well for all your painting projects!

[Image Description: Eight bottles of paint in various skin tone colors. Blue and white labels on each bottle read “Crayola Washable Paint”.]

[Image Description: Eight bottles of paint in various skin tone colors. Blue and white labels on each bottle read “Crayola Washable Paint”.]

PEOPLE SHAPES

These people cutouts are another great option for craft supplies to keep handy. They come in 12 different skin tones!

[Image Description: Foam cutouts in the shapes of people in various skin tones are fanned out. The one on top is brown and is decorated with a white shirt with a blue collar, blue pants with polkadots, blue shoes, black hair, googly eyes, a nose, mouth. and pink cheeks.]

[Image Description: Foam cutouts in the shapes of people in various skin tones are fanned out. The one on top is brown and is decorated with a white shirt with a blue collar, blue pants with polkadots, blue shoes, black hair, googly eyes, a nose, mouth. and pink cheeks.]


MAKE-A-FACE SHEETS

Another great craft option, especially for the classroom or daycare setting! These foal face cutouts feature eight skin tones. They can be decorated and used for many different kinds of projects!

[Image Description: Foam face cutouts in eight skin tones fanned out. The top one is brown and is decorated with paper hair, googly eyes, a purple pom pom nose, and a red pipe cleaner smile.]

[Image Description: Foam face cutouts in eight skin tones fanned out. The top one is brown and is decorated with paper hair, googly eyes, a purple pom pom nose, and a red pipe cleaner smile.]

PACON MULTICULTURAL CONSTRUCTION PAPER

Out final recommendation for art supplies is Pacon’s Multicultural Construction Paper. It comes in two different sizes, 9×12 and 12×18. There are five different skin tones. They also offer a ten skin tone variety, but it is unfortunately harder to find, which is why I linked the five skin tone one here. Pacon is known for having heavyweight construction paper that does not fade in the sun. These can be used for all kinds of projects like self portraits, hand cut outs, or really anything you can imagine!

[Image Description: A package of Pacon brand Multicultural Construction Paper. On the front there are cut out people of various skin tones holding hands. The packaging reads “Pacon Sun Works Multicultural Constrution Paper 5 Assorted Colors Cuts & Folds Evenly Heavyweight 50 Sheets”]

[Image Description: A package of Pacon brand Multicultural Construction Paper. On the front there are cut out people of various skin tones holding hands. The packaging reads “Pacon Sun Works Multicultural Constrution Paper 5 Assorted Colors Cuts & Folds Evenly Heavyweight 50 Sheets”]

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