Inclusivity can be taught from a very young age and these companies are doing their part to make the toy landscape a diverse one. From a doll that looks like your child to one that teaches about their medical condition, diverse toys can make us feel valued as humans and show us that there’s a whole world beyond our front door.
Barbie Inspiring Women Series
Showcasing women who've made the world a better place through determination and fighting for justice and equal opportunity, Barbie's Inspiring Women Series includes change makers like Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Maya Angelou, and Hellen Keller. Now the collection has a new doll: civil rights activities and women's suffragette, Ida B. Wells.
Wells co-founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which fight for freedom, justice, and equal opportunity to this day. Not only does the doll pay homage to this history-making woman, but Barbie has also partnered with Girls Write Now, a non-profit organization that removes gender, race, age, and poverty barriers to mentor future writers and leaders.
You can shop the entire collection here.
Teni and Tayo Creations
Teni and Tayo Creations are excited to share a piece of Africa with young children. Omobola Imoisili founded the brand after relocating to L.A. from Nigeria and wanting to give her small daughters something representative of their heritage while they attend school. Brand mascots Feyi Fay, a superhero fairy, and Captain Nosa, a Nigerian scientist, and superhero, encourage kids to do well in school and promote a love of learning in all the brand’s offerings. From STEM toys to books and apparel, there are diverse toys available for everyone.
ISH Dolls creates diverse toys and clothing that celebrate culture and the Hindu faith. Their colorful plush dolls are designed to bring joy to children of all backgrounds and to introduce them to the avatars found in Hindu culture. This mom-owned business launched at the height of the pandemic in May 2020 with its first plush, Baby Krishna, and followed up with his companions Rahda, Durga and Baby Lakshmi.
Everyone Is Awesome LEGO Set
Everything—and everyone—is awesome! Inspired by the rainbow flag of the LGBTQIA+ community, LEGO's “Everyone is Awesome” 346-piece set features 11 unique monochrome figures with individual colors and hairstyles. Once completed, it’s the perfect size for a desk or window display, to bring a colorful pop to life every day.
Qai Qai Doll from Serena Williams
Qai Qai is no ordinary doll; since appearing on social media alongside Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian, and their daughter Olympia, Qai Qai has amassed thousands of followers of her own. According to Serena Williams, "When we first opened @RealQaiQai's account on Instagram two years ago, it was just supposed to be an inside joke, but we've come to realize that Qai Qai could be the beginning of a new kind of toy story, and one that we're excited to help bring to life so our daughter and millions of other children can see and play with more toys that look like them."
Get your Qai Qai here
Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll
We love these dolls from Creatable World as they let kids change the doll's looks with wigs and clothing. Celebrate all of our differences!
Red & Olive
Your heart will melt at the cute offerings from Red & Olive. Not only are the knit ethical dolls adorable, but they also help support the artisans who handmake each one. Each fair trade doll is handmade by Peruvian artists, empowering them to provide for themselves and their families. The companion dolls come with either matching beanies or bows.
Little Biscuits Dress-Me Notepad
Part sketch pad, part paper dolls, kids can "dress up" the little people to look just like them or anything else they can imagine!
Celebrate the culture and traditions of India with Modi Toys. This family-owned small business offers plush diverse toys and gift baskets that feature Baby Ganesh, Baby Krishna, and Baby Hanuman along with books that explain their history. You can even personalize the plush toys with a baby's name—the perfect gift for a new arrival.
The Little Feminist Book Club
Diversify your child's bookshelf with the help of The Little Feminist Books Club. When you select the 7-9 age group, you will get two paperbacks or one hardcover book each month, along with a hands-on activity that goes along with the book, a discussion card, and a parent letter explaining why the book was chosen.
Subscriptions start at $23/month. Get yours here.
Healthy Roots Doll Zoe
The Healthy Roots Doll Zoe is a life-like 18” doll with hair uniquely designed with curl power that allows it to be washed and styled, giving kids the chance to learn more about how to care for their curls by practicing on hers. The inspiration for Zoe came from Yelitsa Jean-Charles, a young woman—who like many others—never had a doll that looked like her growing up.
Kids can use real products and try out countless styles from puffs to box braids! Zoe learned to love her hair after she did the big chop with her mom. Together they learned how to love every single one of her curls. Now she’s here to help other girls learn to love their curls.
Zoe is available here
Check out these dolls for girls on a mission to change the world. Inspired by their upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King sought to create dolls that spark creativity and celebrate togetherness.
Worldgirls are 18-inch dolls representing girls from around the world who are chosen to attend the top-secret school, Worldgirls Hall. Each Worldgirl is assigned 1 of 5 traits: WARRIOR, HEALER, EXPLORER, REBEL, and SCHOLAR. The company created the traits so children could connect with the dolls' unique passions rather than their looks.
The Fresh Dolls
When Dr. Lisa Williams, CEO & Founder of the only Black-owned major doll company, saw the psychological implications of the importance of your toy box no matter your race or ethnicity, she created the Positively Perfect Dolls for younger children. In recent years her company has created The Fresh Dolls featuring black and multicultural fashion dolls and accessories. The Fresh Dolls were intentionally created with fuller hips and thighs, and a more realistic waistline, with trendy fashion pieces. New this year is their Wakanda Forever superhero line!
If you’ve ever had the frustration of finding dolls that look like your family (or friends!), you’ll LOVE this. Multiracial families, same-sex families, single-parent families, and adoptive families can now construct dolls that capture the beautiful reality of their households. MyFamilyBuilders is a unique, educational wooden diverse toy that is stackable and magnetic to create the perfect doll.
Nostalgia on the Go: Play Maysie
Created by single adoptive mom Kayla Lupean, Play Maysie is a portable, customizable world in a case for the pint-sized bunch. Noted as “everything a dollhouse should be,” this diverse toy is a gender-neutral classic childhood favorite that is made for adventures. Play Maysie’s design was inspired by the nostalgia of vintage tin lunchboxes. It folds out on both sides to showcase interchangeable, magnetic rooms with fixed wooden furniture—built for frustration-free play, less mess and no more lost pieces! With an eye on teaching sustainability, each Play Maysie is made of eco-friendly, renewable materials for indoor and outdoor play either at home or on the go.
At the core of the company's mission, for every three Play Maysie cases purchased, they will donate another one to a child who is entering the foster care system. Their hope is, with an integral sense of ownership, foster youth can open their Play Maysie case at any time to create an experience where they feel safe, secure, and in control during a time where nearly everything in their world is unfamiliar.
Mouse Loves Pig's Melanin Magic Ribbon Wands
While you might be used to seeing ribbon wands in rainbow or pastel colors, the Melanin Magic Ribbon Wands are a celebration of melanin. Kids need to see all skin tones all together all on the same toy. Each ribbon deserves a place and the rainbow would look incomplete if it were missing one. These simple toys make a wonderful gross motor skills tool for dancing, twirling, jumping, and shaking. They also make a great conversation starter for kids. Purchasing one of these diverse toys support Brown Babes Rep Too, an organization dedicated to ensuring a diverse environment in small business advertising.
Dolls with Autism, Dwarfism and Hearing Loss from Lottie Dolls
Lottie Dolls introduced a doll inspired by an autistic boy who loves astronomy. The diverse toy comes with an astronaut-in-training jumpsuit, companion dog, noise-reducing headphones, and sunglasses to reduce visual sensory overload.
Custom Dolls from Kay Customz
Crystal Kaye is the artist behind Kay Customz. Not only are Crystal’s custom dolls cute, but they’re also inclusive. She goes beyond creating dolls in a few different skin tones, and makes dolls with freckles (and not just the traditional two or three that are meant to look cute but don’t really represent what a normal person looks like freckles), vitiligo and albinism.
Build-a-Bear & Vermont Teddy Bear Company Amputee Bears
For kids with limb differences, Build-a-Bear and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company are there to create a bear with the same limb difference. Both offer customization that allows this treasured bear to match its owner.
Differently-Abled Dolls from Barbie's Fashionistas Line
The Barbie Fashionistas line, which already includes Barbie dolls with various body types and hairstyles, also offers two differently-abled dolls. The first doll is in a wheelchair and the second is fitted with a prosthetic leg. “As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” Mattel said.
To encourage their daughter's interest in African culture, two parents created this doll company with different shades of skin complexions and hair textures available. They even have a buy-one-gift-one program!
Plastic Army Women from BMC Toys
Inspired by the letter from a six-year-old girl, the iconic green army men sold by BMC Toys now have an addition—women soldiers. They are available in four different military poses
Audio and Braille Instructions from LEGO
LEGO believes brick building should be inclusive for everyone, which is why LEGO Audio and Braille instructions were introduced in 2019.
The idea was inspired by Matthew Shifrin who was born blind and loved to play with LEGO bricks. As a child, he had a friend, Lilya who would painstakingly write down all of the LEGO building steps so that he could upload the written directions into a system that translated them in a Braille reader. For the first time in his life, he was able to build LEGO sets entirely on his own.
When Lilya passed away, Shifrin decided he wanted to share his experience with others like him. A friend from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology introduced him to the Creative Play Lab at LEGO Group and his wonderful idea was developed into the LEGO Audio and Braille instruction. LEGO also has LEGO Braille bricks!
American Girl Truly Me Dolls
With dozens and dozens of looks to choose from in the Truly Me collection, your child can bring home an American Girl doll who brings out exactly who they are. From singing to soccer to so much more, every child can find outfits and accessories to match their interests.
Kids can even have their dolls fitted with a prosthetic leg by the company A Step Ahead Prosthetics.
Lakeshore Learning's People with Differing Abilities
We all want our kids to be open-minded, but in order to understand other people's differences, it's important that kids see those differences first-hand—and talk about them. Lakeshore Learning's People with Differing Abilities include people with realistic details and adaptive equipment—from a girl in a wheelchair to a boy with leg braces. For younger kiddos, Lakeshore also has a "Soft and Safe" version of these diverse toys that feature children with various disabilities.
Wonder Crew Boy Dolls
If you've got a superhero-loving kid who wants a doll—but not that kind of doll—Wonder Crew dolls are the perfect addition. The collection of boy dolls was designed to have the "adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of the favorite stuffed animal." They're soft and perfect for cuddles, but they're also superheroes. What's even cooler? Each doll comes with two masks and capes: One for the doll and one for the kid who plays with it. Genius.
Jerry the Bear Teaches Kids about Diabetes
By taking care of Jerry's diabetes, children gain hands-on practice with counting carbs, monitoring Jerry's blood sugar and dosing Jerry with insulin. Kids care for Jerry using the virtual diabetes tools and the digital pantry in the product's app.
Follow along with Jerry's journey to train for the All-Stars Games! All 21 interactive storybooks are paired with care tasks to reinforce important diabetes lessons. The curriculum is co-designed with doctors, educators and families to create educational content that kids love.
Learn more here.
Lammily Dolls with Realistic Proportions
Do you know what's not empowering? Dolls with body proportions that are impossible to have in real life. That's why the makers of Lammily Dolls decided to make a collection of dolls using proportions akin to the average 19-year-old American woman. That means everything from the hands, arms, and neck to the waist, legs, and feet are realistic. The makers hope that playing with "normal" dolls will help young girls see their own bodies more positively (because sadly, studies show girls start worrying about their looks by age five).
Maru and Friends
Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to this line of dolls. Maru and Friends dolls are making a statement, and it’s one that’s long overdue. These dolls are more than just pretty playthings. Maru and Friends tell the tale of life as an immigrant. And your child can learn Maru’s story, as well as what it’s like for her friends to grow up in America.
Handmade Keepsake Dolls from HarperIman
This line of dolls and accessories was created by Cynthia Watkins and Kathryn Burnett, a mother-daughter duo, in 2017. Different skin tones, sizes, and hair types are available and each doll is handmade with painstaking detail given to outfits with the ability to match a specific outfit if desired.
Get yours Shop the collection here.
I Never Forget a Face Memory Game
This award-winning game matches faces to countries. Twenty-four pairs of illustrated cards depict the happy faces of children from all over the world and make for a fun and educational memory game. At times challenging, the game helps sharpen recognition and memory skills. The back of the game box shows which country each child is from.
SunWorks Multicultural Construction Paper
Great for multicultural arts and crafts activities. This set includes 10 sheets of each of these five colors: Manila, Salmon, Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown.
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