How To Diversify Your Playroom to Teach Kids About Racism
Updated: Jun 4
While I've always been driven to spark curiosity in my daughter about her Indian roots through toys and books, admittedly, I've done a poor job introducing her to toys and books of other cultures and backgrounds.
That changes now. Consider me "woke" but I've spent the past few days better understanding what role I can play, both as a mom and an entrepreneur, to further the Black Lives Matter movement. But just as "charity begins at home" so does real change. I want to start by educating myself and my daughter, at the very least, so I hope this a step in the right direction.
I recently read that children as young as 2 use race to reason about people's behavior, and that by 2.5 years of age, most children use race to choose playmates. My daughter is now nearly 3.5 years old so it's certianly not too late to make up for lost time. Below are a list of resources I've gathered from a wide variety of sources that others shared online. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list so I'll continue adding to it as I learn more:
Since the number of books far outweigh the number of dolls available within this category, rather than list each book, I've shared articles that outline their top picks:
The Everymom - "33 Books Featuring Black Heroes and Characters That Every Kid Should Read"
The Conscious Kid - "Black Books Matter: Children's Books Celebrating Black Boys"
NY Times - "These Books Can Help Explain Racism and Protests To Your Kids"
Here Wee Read - "The 2020 Ultimate List of Diverse Children's Books"
Town & Country Mag- "30+ Books to Educate Kids and Teens about Race"
Puzzles, Games and TV Shows
Guess Who? (this may sound like an unconventional pick, but I think it's great way to help kids focus on physical attributes that we normally shy away from discussing, when teaching them about race)
While all of these items may aid you in your effort to raise race-conscious children, as parents, it is ultimately our responsibility to better understand the issue so we can incorporate it into our daily teachings. Here are some articles I've found helpful in how parents can play a role:
If you know of additional toys, books and games, I would love to hear from you. Please comment below or drop me a note here.