Anti-Racist Starter Kit for Babies and Toddlers
Anti-Racist Starter Kit for Babies and Toddlers
July 2, 2020

Anti-Racist Starter Kit for Babies and Toddlers

Anti-Racist Starter Kit for Babies and Toddlers.
Anti-Racist Starter Kit for Babies and Toddlers

Raising your little one to be anti-racist starts with a simple step: exposing them to diversity. If you’re a White parent raising a White child, and especially if the racial diversity in your neighborhood or town is limited, providing examples of other skin colors can be as simple as making a few additions to your child’s playroom.

Here’s a collection of our favorite toys, books and videos that can help you teach your baby or toddler about racial diversity, featuring the faces and voices of Black people and other people of color. Keep in mind: These products and videos won’t do the job of raising an anti-racist kid on their own—you as a parent or caregiver need talk with them about race, diversity and the importance of being actively anti-racist (i.e. fighting against prejudice or racist thoughts and actions).

TOYS:

These handmade, last-a-lifetime dolls show all the beautiful shades of Black skin (including a doll with vitiligo!). Each linen doll comes with their own unique outfit—you can buy more accessories though—and styled hair or headscarf. Even better: HarperIman is a Black-owned business. Note: This product is sold out until August 1st.

Baby Stella is delightfully huggable—her soft body is like a stuffed animal (no hard plastic anywhere), and she comes with essentials like a pacifier and clothes, and available separately are tons of adorable clothing, accessories and gear. Also in 12” beige, 15” brown and 15” beige.

This magical, water-dwelling cutie has a heartwarming purpose: for every one sold, 10 meals are donated to children in North America and around the world. It’s handcrafted in Peru of premium 100% cotton yarn using only sustainable fair trade practices—yet another way this sweet character gives back. Keep in mind: This mermaid swims best in pretend water only (okay to be hand-washed, but she shouldn’t live in the water).

Extra Deep Golden, Medium Almond, Light Medium Rose…all the skin colors of the world are represented in Crayola’s new Colors of the World box, so your little artist will never be limited to just Peach and Brown crayons ever again. And you won’t see any crayons called “flesh” here—they’re all flesh-colored. Note: This product is available in mid- to late-July.

If your little one likes to stack, they’ll love these family builder blocks. Each block shows either a head, a torso or legs, and with 32 in the set, there’s endless combinations of people to make. Each face is distinct with varying skin tones and unique facial features.

It can be hard to find Black representation in mainstream playsets, so we’re glad to have this option from Fisher-Price. This playset comes with everything you need in a home: secret swivel walls, realistic toilet flushing sounds, even a dog! With most of the furniture and decor built in, it’s super simple to pack up this playset and take it anywhere.

BOOKS:

Meet Martin Luther King, Jr., before he was the reverend, but when he already had a thirst for words and a strong sense of injustice. This fast-paced overview of his life includes sides of MLK Jr. few of us have seen, shedding fresh light on the celebrated Civil Rights leader. This book creates the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with your little one about the protests and racial injustice being talked about right now.

Filled with gorgeous, emotive illustrations, this book celebrates all babies all over the world and in every skin color. Babies are born every day, and they’re not only adorable, but splendidly diverse as well.

Follow Zuri as she shows off her beautifully natural hair and all the amazing things it can do. If your toddler isn’t familiar with Black hair, Zuri’s styling (with her dad’s help!) is a great introduction. By the way, this story is also an Oscar-winning animated short (prepare to get teary eyed!).

The market is a very exciting place! As baby secretly collects food in mama’s basket, little ones will love learning about the culture of this Nigerian marketplace.

TV & VIDEOS:

CNN & Sesame Street: Coming Together Town Hall

In three videos totalling 45 minutes, the anchors at CNN pair with the characters of Sesame Street to cover the basics of racism and protesting. Done in a simplified but honest way that’s appropriate for older toddlers and preschoolers, these videos let kids (and parents) know how they can help end racism. Includes interviews with experts and children ages 4 to 12, as well as a specific example of standing up to racism featuring one of Sesame Street’s own favorite characters.

Sesame Street

Available on HBO, PBS and short clips on YouTube. All of Sesame Street is diverse and inclusive, and every episode features plenty of (human) characters of varying races, but we especially want to call out these episodes and clips as the perfect anti-racist videos to start with:

Esme & Roy

Esme (a little girl) and Roy (a big monster) run a monster-sitting business, and babysitting monsters usually involves some fun and silly adventures. Featuring a Black lead character, this show is perfect for teaching older toddlers and preschoolers about emotions and self-regulation. And the bright, cheerful colors and silly monsters make it enjoyable for babies and younger toddlers, too. Available on HBO Family, PBS Kids and brief clips on YouTube.

Molly of Denali

Molly is an Alaskan Native girl from the Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan tribes. She and her two best friends, also people of color, have lots of adventures in nature and help teach about inclusion. This show is targeted toward older preschoolers, but is still enjoyable for younger preschoolers and older toddlers. Full episodes available on the PBS Kids channel and for free on PBSkids.org.

Super Why!

Whyatt (also known by his superhero name Super Why) has a diverse group of friends, including Princess Pea (a Black fairytale princess), and together they teach pre-reading skills, including the alphabet and rhyming words. Full episodes available on the PBS Kids channel and for free on PBSkids.org.

“Hair Love”

This Oscar-winning short is based on the book by the same name, and features a little Black girl and her dad trying to get her hair just right for a special day.


These three suggestions are a great place to start with babies and young toddlers, but it’s just that: a place to start. To continue your child’s anti-racist education (and your own), here’s a list of even more TV recommendations for older toddlers, preschoolers and older kids.

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