Are you a transracial adoptive family? Looking for adoptive parent tips, resources and support for raising children of a race different than your own? Need muticultural gift ideas? Rachel Garlinghouse recommends diversity-minded companies dedicated to representing children of different races and skin tones.
When I became a mother for the first time six years ago, I had no idea that adopting a child of another race would mean having to spend hours online trying to find a single Black doll that was affordable and realistic looking. I had no clue that when I went to buy my daughter a birthday card, I’d struggle to find one that depicted a brown-skinned girl. I didn’t realize that characters who resembled my child would always be the sidekicks or antagonists, never the heroine or central character.
Fast forward to today and thankfully, there are some diversity-minded companies dedicated to representing children of different races and skin tones. Here are some of my favorite companies who are creating multicultural products for young children like mine:
1: Lee & Low Books
Lee & Low is “is one of the few minority-owned publishing companies in the United States,” as self-described on their website. They are “increasing the number of diverse books available to children” through interesting stories and high quality illustrations.
eeBoo products include calendars, art supplies, story cards, paper dolls, masks, games, puzzles, toys and more, many of which feature a diverse cast of characters. A personal family favorite is the I Never Forget a Face matching game which allows player to match faces of 24 different nationalities.
3: World of EPI: Positively Perfect Dolls
The mission of this minority owned company, according to their website, is to “expressing joy by providing children access to dolls that encourage dreams, promote intelligence, challenge perceptions, and open their hearts to all types of beauty.” Positively Perfect dolls come in a range of skin tones, representing Hispanic and Black girls.
4: Melissa and Doug
This company offers over 2,000 products, including costumes, games, puzzles, toys, dolls and dollhouses, pool and outdoor toys, sleeping bags, puppets, art supplies (such as coloring books and stickers), and much more. Many of the Melissa and Doug products feature kids of different races.
5: ABC Me Flashcards
ABC Me Flashcards were created by two minority women who wanted children to learn their racial history in a fun and factual way. Currently, there are cards available for African American children, and the owners are in the process of creating cards for Latin American children.
6: Tru Colour Bandages
Created by an adoptive father, Tru Colour Bandages is set to release later this fall. The bandages come in three different shades of brown illustrating the company’s mantra: “diversity in healing.”
7: Global Wonders
Global Wonders is, according to their website, a “cross-cultural entertainment and education brand that introduces children to the vibrant and varied cultures of their family, friends, neighbors and the world.” The companies offer kid-friendly DVDs featuring Mexico, India, Around the World, and African Americans.
8: Pottery Barn Kids
Pottery Barn Kids was started by two moms in 1999, and today the company offers bedding, furniture, décor, toys, and holiday items. PBK offers (occasional) bedding, musical jewelry boxes, dolls, and Christmas stockings featuring brown-skinned children.
9: Personal Creations
Personal Creations offers products such as dolls, ornaments, dishes, Christmas stockings, stationary, and home décor that can be personalized with a child’s name. They offer several items depicting brown-skinned children and adults.
10: Fisher Price: Little People
Little People were first launched in 1959 and continue to be popular with young children today. The Little People characters include children who appear Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and African American, and these characters can be used with the Little People sets including a castle, pirate ship, school, racetrack, various vehicles (such as an airplane and school bus), barn, and holiday scenes.