Inclusive toys reflect the diversity of the real world. Be it a baby doll with dark skin, a children's book about a rainbow family or a tactile memory. All of these toys help children to perceive differences as normal and to appreciate them. They also stimulate positive identity development, as children feel represented with a wide range of realities. Inclusive toys are therefore an effective tool for promoting acceptance, tolerance and mutual understanding from a young age. We at Wombly adaptive kidswear explain to you exactly what inclusive toys are, what effects they can have and where you can get them.
The society in which children grow up today is diverse. It encompasses very different realities of life that make the world exciting and colorful. There's a lot of conversation among adults these days about topics like diversity and inclusion. However, if you look into children's rooms and at toys and books, you often see a very one-sided and stereotypical image of society reflected that has little to do with the lives of many children. Most toys and books represent people with white skin and families consisting of a mother, father and one or two children. Externally, they usually correspond to social norms and have neither illnesses nor disabilities. In addition, accessibility is rarely taken into account.
Fortunately, there has been a slow but steady change in recent years when it comes to inclusion in children's rooms. Inclusive toys and books that address various aspects of diversity are being produced and sold more frequently. There are now several stores and online shops in Germany that specialize in inclusive or diversity toys. Ultimately, it is still a niche product. You often have to scroll for a long time on the large trading platforms to find inclusive toys. And in the toy store around the corner, there's usually a prosthetic Ken hiding behind a dozen long-legged, blonde standard Barbies. It's still a long way from being an inclusive toy industry.
Positive effects of inclusive toys
It's a shame. Because there are so many positive effects of inclusive toys:
- Strengthening self-confidence: Playing with toys that represent different identities, body shapes and lifestyles or that are barrier-free to play with can do this contribute to all children feeling equally valued and accepted.
- Promoting empathy and understanding: Through inclusive toys, children learn to empathize with others and take on different perspectives. Children develop more empathy and understanding for other people.
- Development of social skills: Inclusive toys encourage children to play with each other. This enables them to train social skills such as communication and cooperation skills as well as conflict resolution strategies.
- A more inclusive society in the future: Inclusive toys can help shape respectful and cosmopolitan citizens of tomorrow, tolerance and carry peaceful coexistence into future generations.
Examples of inclusive toys
Inclusive toys include many different products. They are usually related to diversity criteria such as skin colors, disabilities, body shapes, family constellations, gender or role models. Here are a few examples provided to us by Wombly adaptive kidswear very much liked it.
Tactile Memories: Because as a company we always think about the needs of children with disabilities and therefore adaptive clothing, we particularly like toys that are barrier-free. In tactile memories there are cards with different surfaces that can be felt by hand and must be found as a pair according to the classic memory principle. This allows children with and without visual impairments to play together.
Skin color pencils:The fact that this pale pink pencil is still called 'skin color' in daycare centers, schools and at home is almost absurd. Because the actual skin colors of the people in this world are as different as the realities of their lives. Fortunately, some companies have now recognized this and have produced skin colors for different skin tones. This means children can now paint themselves or their friends exactly as they actually look.
Including hidden object books:There is an endless amount to discover in hidden object books. Even if you leaf through it repeatedly, you'll always find little scenes that you hadn't noticed before. In inclusive hidden object books, these scenes often represent the diversity of the world. For example, rainbow families, people with disabilities, different skin colors or religious symbols are depicted. Some correspond to the so-called social norm and some less so. All of them are part of everyday life and make hidden object books even more colorful.
Baby dolls with different features: Doll daddies and mommies can spend hours driving their babies around in strollers. Many children think it's great when the baby has the same skin color as the proud parents or looks like their little brother with Down syndrome. Role-playing games are so much fun because the children can see themselves in their dolls.
Gender-friendly and inclusive playing cards: Games like Skat, Doppelkopf or Rummy are not only played as children, but often throughout life. We therefore like playing cards that e.g. B. also depict queens, include different skin colors or represent non-binary characters.
Where can you buy inclusive toys?
For example in these shops:
Tebalou: Tebalou is not only available online, but also as a shop in Berlin.
Diversity toys: Also diversity Toys are not only represented online, but also with a store in Berlin.
diversity is us: diversity is us offers a variety of toys online and through a concept store in Niederkassel, which does not have regular opening hours but rather schedules so-called shopping events.
Kidsimply: Kidsimply is an online and mail order company that has its roots in Berlin and can sometimes be found as an exhibitor at (art) markets in the region.
We at Wombly adaptive kidswear hope you enjoy browsing and point it out here Please note that we do not receive any money or other compensation for the links to the shops mentioned. We just want to give you suggestions and make your search easier. Because as an inclusive fashion label, we also want all children to have the opportunity to find themselves in their gaming world and to learn to appreciate the diversity of people.
(Image credit | Ronstik)