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Black Dolls: Why Children Benefit from Playing with Diversity Dolls

Children love imaginative play, and one of the best ways is playing with dolls. As a brand that specializes in handmade black dolls (as well as other skin colors), I feel that giving your child a diverse selection of dolls can help their growth and development in so many ways.

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Black Dolls and Other Dolls of Color Help Children

to Become More Culturally Aware

When you were young, did you ever receive a doll that someone brought back from their travels that represented that country’s culture? These types of dolls were so fascinating, and reminded you that the world we live in is filled with a wide variety of beautiful people and it's good to have dolls that reflect this diversity.

Black Dolls and Other Dolls of Color Make Children More Appreciative

of All Races and Ethnicities

A joint research study done back in 2008 by the departments of Psychology at the University of Sheffield (UK), University of Delaware and University of Exeter (UK) found that newborns did NOT prefer faces from their own racial background, however, this changed by the age of three months. The feeling was that children begin quite quickly to absorb their parents’ attitudes and biases towards race, especially by the time they are toddlers. In other words, racism is a learned behavior.

Giving your children toys that are representative of the world around them is a great way to introduce them to other races. This is particularly helpful in situations where you might not live in a diverse neighborhood. If your child plays with a black doll starting at a young age, then the first time they see a black child or other children of color will not seem like anything out of the ordinary. 

Black Dolls and Other Dolls of Color Nurture Acceptance in Children

Dolls that represent different ethnicities and cultures help to nurture awareness, acceptance and inclusivity, and it gives parents an opportunity to talk to kids about race early on. This is an important conversation to have, otherwise your children’s thoughts and opinions might be negatively impacted by others. By normalizing skin color, your child just sees a doll, not the skin color, thus allowing them to just see a person, not their race.

Representation is Important Through Black Dolls and Other Dolls of Color

As parents, we do want to see our children happily playing with dolls that look like them, to help them feel seen and represented. It has been proven that a black child wants to own a black doll that looks like them, as do children of other races. However, we also want to raise kids who are loving, accepting and appreciative of children who look different than they do. It is through playing with a diverse set of dolls that young kids can truly learn about these differences and naturally accept them.

Black Dolls and Other Dolls of Color Prepare Children for The Future

Do you only allow your children to play with kids of their race? Of course not, so why do they only have to play with toys of their race? Young kids’ minds are very impressionable. We have to raise kind, compassionate children if we want them to turn into kind, compassionate adults. Giving your children a multicultural perspective of the world at an early age is a good start! 

At StepStitches, I have long known the benefits of offering a range of dolls in all skin tones. Each one of my soft plush dolls is lovingly handmade for your child to love and treasure forever. In fact, Cinnamon Annie Dolls were selected as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things Holiday List 2021, and my dolls have also been featured in Essence, New York Magazine, and Shoppe Black. Be sure to see more of the dolls

in the look book and learn more about Stephanie.

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