It’s never too early to introduce your child to diversity. And the launch of a new toy suitable from birth onwards this Christmas can show you how.
In a world sadly still all too familiar with prejudice based around colour, gender and disability it’s encouraging to know that 98% of those parents asked in a recent survey are fully primed to introduce activities into their children’s lives to promote and encourage equality, diversity and inclusion.
But the survey also revealed that only 26% of the sample knew at what age their child will start to recognise different skin tones. Leading experts in childhood learning show the age to be as young as six months*, whereas most parents in the survey opted for ages 3-5. It is also widely accepted that children can start to internalise racial bias from between the ages of 2 and 4*.
It is unsurprising, therefore that diversity toys and aids for children are forging a category in their own right in the worldwide toy market. The latest to hit the shelves in time for Christmas is dena Diversity – the only toy that focusses specifically on different skin tones and that is suitable for use from birth onwards.
dena Diversity is a passion of Julia Minchin, founder of Hippychick, a baby and toddler business that has been given the exclusive rights to distribute dena in the UK.
Commenting on the launch, she said: ‘Exposing your child to a diverse range of people and cultures in their very early years is critical. But not all of us are fortunate enough to have this at our fingertips. Dena, we believe can start to work its magic from day one, helping babies to start to open their minds before they even become receptive.
But no toy is going to work in isolation. We would encourage parents to incorporate dena Diversity into a varied toy box and to engage in a whole programme of activities to include story telling (and dena makes a great prop) socialisation outside of your own cultural bubble, different foods, and keeping an eye on what they are consuming digitally. But dena is a great way to get babies off to a sound start.
We were immensely encouraged to note from our survey that almost every parent asked (98%) is committed to talking openly about the subject of diversity and inclusion with their children. This is so important in the effort to ensure that future generations will honour and embrace everyone’s identities, whoever they are, without any kind of judgement or discrimination.
dena Diversity is a boxed set of 12 figures in various colours designed to emulate various skin tones. The figures are made from a food grade silicone and like the rest of the range, offer imaginative free-play opportunities for babies from birth onwards. It can be thrown, sucked, chewed, bounced, stacked, flexed and, when they are older, can even be used as moulds for cooking. The possibilities with dena are endless.
dena Diversity is now available from Dena Kid 12 Piece Set – Diversity – Hippychick at £39.50
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