Have you ever questioned why a lot of dolls look the same?
September is Dolls of Colour Month, highlighting the importance of inclusivity in children's play and the toy industry. It also celebrates the benefits of cultural and physical differences in dolls.
Q: How did the modern range evolve, and why?
A Girl For All Time was conceptualised by a frustrated parent. Frances (our founder) was dissatisfied with how her children's dolls and toys looked the same when the children playing did not. It was from this frustration that our unique collection of dolls emerged and the creation of a more diverse contemporary range was a natural step. In particular, the response to the modern range has been absolutely fantastic. It's been a joy to receive messages from parents happy to see dolls that look like their own children.
Q: What was important when creating the contemporary collection?
Whilst creating the modern collection, it was important that we took the time to properly research the unique characters of each doll, including their cultural heritage. All too often, toys are mass manufactured with little thought to the heritage and personality of the character that they are creating. That’s why each new character is individually researched, designed and conceptualised by our Founder and the A Girl for All Time team.
Q: How can diverse doll play benefit my family?
Having a diverse toy box offers an excellent opportunity to teach your children about other cultures and people. For example, our contemporary collection includes South American (Max), East Indian (Nisha) and Afro-Caribbean (Bex) heritage dolls. Exploring these countries, stories, and cultures can be an enriching part of their play. This can be especially effective for imagination-based toys like dolls, which can help develop social skills like empathy (Gerson et al. 2020).
Introducing diversity awareness and empathy into discussions with your family is essential for parents but can be challenging to approach. However, according to Unicef, the earlier you begin having these conversations, the better. When your child is playing with their toys, why not use it as an opportunity to bring up meaningful conversations about inclusion? For example, you can try acknowledging physical differences if your child points them out by using them as a cause for celebration. 'Yes, you're right, we're all a little bit different, isn't that amazing!'.
You can read the stories of Max, Bex and Nisha in their secret diaries.
If you liked this blog, you'd also enjoy the modern gang's adventure through London's Notting Hill Carnival. One of the largest celebrations of cultural diversity in Britain.