Researchers, educators, and parents are aware of the importance of play during childhood development. The toys that are available for children to choose from have a significant role. Dolls and other popular toys have traditionally reflected one aesthetic standard and life experience. Today’s innovative toy makers are shaking up traditions and stocking shelves with inclusive options. Young eyes can see themselves and all their possibilities as they play. Consider the following ways that diverse toys help children grow.
1. Encourage Safe Play
A diverse array of toys and picture books can make group playtime safer for everyone. Direct children to be kind and understanding by offering them toys like the Mattel transgender barbie doll and other inclusive items. It is especially important to use toys that reflect the identities and family structures of their friends or classmates. Kind play habits can translate to respectful treatment of new acquaintances from unfamiliar backgrounds.
2. Bridge Divides
Many children grow up in small towns and tight-knit families. A diverse array of toys and books can aid in their perceptions and expectations of people outside their immediate circle. A varied play experience can be a bridge between young people from different communities. Historic divisions can be bridged by the next generation, and the changes start at playtime.
3. Enable Teaching Moments
Children naturally ask many questions out of genuine curiosity, without judgment. Use diverse toys to start educational discussions and teach children about all manner of subjects. Teaching can happen anywhere, from the classroom to the living room floor. Create space and avenues for constant learning.
4. Boost Self-Confidence
The new wave of inclusive toys, such as dolls with visible disabilities, is helping children to grow in confidence. Seeing their faces, hair, skin color, limb differences, medical devices, or mobility aids on their dolls helps children to center their experience and not feel othered. This has a real impact on how confident young students feel in diverse classrooms and play environments.
5. Foster Friendships
Early friendships are a vital part of developing social skills and a healthy concept of self. Enabling each child to choose toys that reflect their life experience helps to place them on an even playing field. In diverse play environments, the toys have a role in reinforcing the idea that all of the children are equal rather than elevating one experience.
6. Build Positive Outlooks
Diverse toys are a piece of the wider effort to help children form positive outlooks about their futures. Using a variety of toys that reflect many life experiences teaches children that different does not mean bad. A positive outlook can support diverse communities of children as they form aspirations and goals. The positivity permeates individual and collective development.
7. Reflect the Real World
Providing a variety of diverse toys can prepare children to be good citizens. Toy boxes that reflect the real world enable children to play out scenarios that they may be curious or apprehensive about in a safe environment. Inclusive playtime teaches children that the diversity of the real world is a normal and positive thing.
8. Challenge Biases
Children may reflect the biases of their parents due to their specific nurturing environment. Diverse toys and play narratives can challenge those biases and help both parents and children to interact with the world in a better manner. Challenging biases is an important part of shaping the next generation of constructive leaders.
9. Make Social Groups Accessible
Disabled children have typically been excluded from social groups due to inaccessible spaces and toys. Diverse toys include accessible toys that follow the principle of universal design. Provide toys that are accessible to children with potential motor delays, language differences, visual impairments, and hearing impairments. Children can be remarkably adaptable and often embrace each other’s differences when adults provide the right environment.
10. Expand Imaginations
A veritable rainbow of diverse toys is an amazing spark for young imaginations. Enable children to dream and play without societal divides and limiting concepts. Diverse toys support innovative minds and allow them to think big.
Children benefit from diverse toys, and the world benefits from inclusive thinking.
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