Raising emotionally intelligent, empathetic and congenial children is a priority for many parents. It may sound like a massive feat, but there are simple ways to instill important lessons early on. For starters, toys go a long way in helping to shape a kid’s view of the world. Babies and toddlers develop core values and learn abouts compassion, self-esteem and equality—through play. So multicultural toys are a great tool to promote understanding and inclusivity amongst the youngest members of your family.
Of course, it’s also important that children of color see themselves represented in books, media and toys; when a doll or action figure looks like them, kids become engaged and excited to play. What’s more, all parents should include some diversity in their kid’s toy collection, in an effort to celebrate the beauty in our differences.
Ready to start your search? Here, you’ll find a few of our favorite multicultural toys for boys and girls—from African American dolls and interactive bilingual toys to games that teach about inclusivity.
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Doll
This adorable and snuggly African American baby doll is ideal for little ones learning to self-soothe. It’s super-soft with embroidered features, meaning it’s safe for babies and tots to cuddle up with. Plus, playing with dolls encourages nurturing behavior, making this toy a great pick for older siblings too.
Buy it: $39, Nordstrom.com
Little Likes Kids Learning Through Play Puzzle and Game Pack
This pack of multicultural toys reflects everyday scenes of childhood—from rope jumping on the sidewalk to playing soccer at the park. The set includes two jumbo puzzles and a pack of playing cards that boast vibrant, inclusive illustrations.
Buy it: $37, Maisonette.com
Crayola 4-in-1 Colors of the World Coloring Set
Allow your kiddo to express themselves in full color with this art set from Crayola. Designed to reflect skin tones of all shades, these crayons, markers and pens are formulated to better represent the growing diversity worldwide. Plus, it comes with a Colors of the World book filled with fun scenes from around the globe.
Buy it: $21, Crayola.com
Pottery Barn Kids NAACP Give Back Teddy Bear Plush
Searching for diversity toys that give back? Check out this classic teddy bear from the Pottery Barn Kids x NAACP collaboration. The plush toy wears a cute sweater adorned with a tonal rainbow that celebrates all shades of brown. The best part? When you purchase this inclusive design, 30 percent of the purchase price goes to the NAACP, the largest civil right’s organization in the US.
Buy it: $49, PotteryBarnKids.com
Miniland Baby Doll African American Girl with Down Syndrome
This African American baby doll with Down syndrome is a great pick for children of all abilities. Miniland dolls help raise kids’ awareness of diversity and inclusion and promote values of equality, integration and acceptance. Bonus: The brand also makes adorable doll outfits.
Buy it: $41, Maisonette.com
Puzzle Huddle Super Hero
Puzzle Huddle is an inclusive toy company specializing in empowering puzzles for toddlers and kids. There are tons of options to choose from, but we adore this colorful superhero design.
Buy it: $12, PuzzleHuddle.com
Paper Play and Wonder Rapunzel Fairy Tale Story Printable Paper Puppet Theater
Kids love fairy tales—unfortunately, they’re not always reflective of our diverse and multicultural world. That’s why we love this paper theater set, complete with diversity dolls inspired by the modern classic Rapunzel. Print out the digital files, build the set and act out the story with your child. It’s a fun DIY project that will get their creative juices flowing.
Buy it: $8, Etsy.com
Just Like Me! Box
Just Like Me! Book Box was created with a mission of exposing children of color to characters, illustrations, authors and stories that are reflective of them. But it’s also a great option for parents teaching their children about diversity. The team has access to thousands of African American books, and they handpick two to three inspiring stories for each book box.
Buy it: $28 per month, JustLikeMe.com
Minikane Las Amigas Doll
Minikane is another great brand for multicultural dolls. Each toy is made using an eco-friendly, BPA-free material which is lightly scented with vanilla. (Yum!) Parents and kids adore the Las Amigas doll, with one reviewer writing: “My daughter absolutely loves her doll! She saw it and immediately said ‘Mumma! She has hair just like me and brown skin like me!!’” How’s that for a seal of approval?
Buy it: $58, BohemianMama.com
ABC Play Mat
Teach your child the ABCs with this cute and inclusive play mat. It’s made from a durable cotton-canvas blend, and is decorated with vibrant pictures of animals, objects and people.
Buy it: $40, BlackToyStore.com
Our Generation Tyler 18″ Horseback Riding Boy Doll
Leap into playtime with Tyler, the horseback rider, a multicultural toy with an equestrian theme. This cool rider has short, curly brown hair, rotatable limbs and brown eyes that open and close. Plus, this doll can be seated on the Our Generation horse figurine.
Buy it: $25, Target.com
Worldwide Buddies The Book of Cultures Sticker Book
Multicultural toys and books are great tools to teach your child about diversity and other cultures. This pick contains over 120 stickers inspired by people, places, animals and activities from different countries around the world.
Buy it: $15, Nordstrom.com
KidKraft Wooden Poseable Doll Family of 7
How sweet is this simple wooden African American toy set? It includes three generations of dolls for your little one to play with.
Buy it: $24, Amazon.com
Darling and Co ABC Affirmation Card
Uplift and educate your child with these daily affirmation cards based on the alphabet. Each card features a boy and girl character paired with an inspirational message to match the letter of the day. Plus, bold, colorful illustrations stimulate visual and brain development.
Buy it: $20, DarlingandCo.com
Kemi Tignor Portrait of a Modern Family Puzzle
Diversity toys that celebrate family are always winners. Case in point: This multicultural floor puzzle that depicts a modern family portrait. It’s made up of 48 chunky pieces that are easy for little hands to manipulate.
Buy it: $16, UncommonGoods.com
Just Play Barbie Tie-Dye Deluxe 22-Piece Styling Head
Mini-stylists can brush and braid Barbie’s beautiful hair. Designed for ages 3 and up, this African American doll comes with tons of accessories and a scrunchie tie-dye set. How cool is that?
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com
Sesame Street Tickliest Tickle Me Elmo
Children will be in fits of giggles with this interactive toy. As kids reach to tickle Elmo, he’ll begin to laugh and kick, and before you know it they’ll both be in stitches. The plush toy says words in English and Spanish, making it a great talking toy for bilingual littles as well as those that want to learn more about other languages and cultures.
Buy it: $40, Walmart.com
Kaplan Early Learning MyFamilyBuilders
This magnetic block set is one of the best multicultural toys we’ve seen. Kids can explore a world of possibilities by building unique figures that look like their friends and family. Each block features a different head, body and legs, which can be combined to make different characters. It also comes with 25 cards to kickstart games and conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Buy it: $74, Target.com
Floss & Rock Zoey Magnetic Dress Up Character
How about this sweet, stylish dress-up doll? The wooden doll comes with a reversible backdrop scene and 40 magnetic accessories. Dress her up as a cheerleader, ballet dancer, gymnast and more.
Buy it: $23, Maisonette.com
eeBoo I Never Forget a Face Memory Matching Game for Kids
Next up is an award-winning memory game by eeBoo. It includes 24 pairs of cards, featuring illustrations of children from different cultures and indigenous groups around the world. Kids will rise to the challenge of matching each card to its double, and have fun learning about different countries and customs.
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com
Firebird Workshop Personalized Kids Nesting Dolls
Nesting dolls fascinate people young and old, so you can imagine our delight to discover this personalized set on Etsy. The diverse wooden dolls are made from eco-friendly materials and are fully customizable. You can choose the skin tone, hair color and more.
Buy it: Starting from $23, Etsy.com
Barbie Fashionistas Doll #166 with Wheelchair & Crimped Brunette Hair
Barbie has upped their game with Fashionista Dolls, a line of inclusive toys that celebrate the beauty of diversity. The collection features dolls with different body types, skin tones and hair textures—including natural Afro hair and braids. We also love that they offer dolls with prosthetic limbs and Vitiligo too.
Buy it: $20, Target.com
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
Inspired by Indigenous-led movements across North America, this picture book is centered around the importance of protecting and sustaining the Earth’s water resources. Written in lyrical prose with stunning illustrations, this story will inspire younger generations on the path to environmental activism.
Buy it: $11, Amazon.com
Brown Toy Box Oscar Marine Biology STEAM Kit
Discover the mysteries of the ocean with this marine biology kit. It comes with an activity book—plus, puzzles, glow-in-the-dark stickers, a DIY coral reef grow kit and more! Bonus: This toy was created by a Black-owned brand. Suitable for ages 5 to 8.
Buy it: $35, Target.com