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  • Need some ideas for making ethnic toys

    Am registering as a child minder and was told by the ofsted inspector I need more toys to back up inclusion of other races, apparently my 'white middle class' toys arent enough. Have looked through what we have and tbh I am struggling. I cant see any toys that are particularly white middle class (do robot dogs have a class system?) but I prob also dont have many ethnic ones either. We do have a whole rainbow of little people toys, I guess I could buy some more of those but its more of the same.

    So I was wondering if anyone can point me at a book or at traditional toys from other cultures that I can knit or sew, or just ideas really! I have loads of vehicles, animals, books, jigsaws etc and am a bit stuck as to what else I can buy. Will be asking on the childminding forum aswell but would like some ideas for things I can make.

    Thanks!
    flickr
    blog
    my website
    etsy

  • #2
    Sorry cannot help tbh I thought that toys were universal and crossed the race divide. You can get dolls that are different races, is this what they meant. Could you ask them to be more specific, perhaps they have a list they could give you. I don't think they can just say this without offering you the support of what to buy.

    Children being children probably don't even associate race equality with toys, they just play with them and have fun.

    Good Luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Carolee you have summed up exactly why I am stuck! It feels so false, I dont buy toys because they are aimed at white children, I buy them because they are aimed at children. I did say that I would ask new parents for ideas of things to buy when a new child starts (regardless of race) and I understand why they need to make sure childcare is inclusive but the way I read it you could totally lack the attitude of inclusion but pass based on the toys you have.

      Thats why I thought traditional toys might be nice, most of our character toys are based around cbeebies or films the kids like, not much I can do about skin colour there (couldnt begin to guess where the night garden characters come from!), the only baby doll we have is black and thats nothing to do with inclusion, ds was 1 and chose it himself. As you say, kids dont care.
      flickr
      blog
      my website
      etsy

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      • #4
        First I had the really naughty thought of pointing you to our thread about golliwogs (it is all about how we loved these toys and the nasty PC People snatched them from us).

        Then I thought I'd be helpful and point you to a favourite toy shop but was really shocked! All their dolls are white or pink.
        Here are some other shops:
        www.positive-identity.com
        www.urban-africa.co.uk
        http://www.kidslikeme.co.uk/dolls-c64.html
        Just be careful if the toys are not made in Europe they might not conform to EU standards. (They should not be being sold - but they are.) (I was sold some dolls that had wire in their arms from someone who should know better.)

        Then I thought I'd be cheeky and helpful. If you go to www.littlechile.co.uk and look at the fingerpuppets they are really easy to make. I knocked myself up a (red) devil and a (blue) butterfly to help with my finger puppet story telling. It'll depend a bit on the thickness of wool you use but I had 3 ply and started with 20 stitches. Knit the height of a finger then k2tog along the last couple of rows to make an arched top. Sew up and decorate. I dressed some (Barney Rubble from the Flintstones) puppets up in ponchos to be banditos so I suggest you knit some puppets ranging from goldy to dark brown and then think carefully. You could dress then in Japanese kiimonos, saris and bright Nigerian cloth - but should you? Out in the street the kids dress in Western clothes....
        It tickles me pink that I had the thought of selling dolls in traditional dress representing the South American countries. The joke is that Chileans would be dressed in miniskirts and jeans. They are a MODERN country .

        GG if you are interested I am off to Chile in a fortnight and, apart from the little matter of my son's wedding, I'll be on a mega shopping fest (for Little Chile). Last time I saw several stalls selling ethnic dolls in the handicraft markets. They were out of my Little Chile price range - £5, £7, £10 each -
        If you'd like some, let me know and I'll pick some up for you.

        AnnieAnna

        Comment


        • #5
          this world is far too pc now, i think Annie maybe on to something
          lets start a campaign to.... "bring back the gollywog"

          its not abot race nor class its about what the children finds fun, educational and comfortable

          but hey i guess if we did that then we would be branded as something nasty by about 17 religious and ethnic groups

          what is this world coming too bring back the good old days ( i say that and i'm only 33 )
          Cheers
          HDevents

          Web - www.hardydaviesevents.co.uk
          now on Twitter - http://twitter.com/HDevents
          Blog - http://s8.invisionfree.com/HDeventsforum/

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know about making them your self but here is a link for some lovely multi colured knitted and black ragdolls.

            http://www.tishtashtoys.com/products_play_dolls_etc.htm
            Harriet

            www.seasparkle.co.uk


            www.thechildrensjewellerycompany.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              Children feel loved and accepted for who they are until someone tells them they are 'different' based on the colour of their skin - then they get told they are equal regardless of the colour of their skin! Yet these same do-gooders keep focussing on skin colour! The very same people who say forget skin colour, continue to harp on about it!

              I find it very patronising to give kids toys of differing plastic colours to 'represent' them again focussing on the colour of the skin of the doll. By all means have a variety of dolls but the kids will choose the one they like and their decision wont be based on plastic colour.
              The children you will be looking after are likely to have been born here and will be comfortable in a Western society, they want to feel included not told 'they are from somewhere else'.
              Whatever their heritage they will know all the kiddies programmes/toys etc from TV and the best place to learn their heritage is from parents and grandparents, not a social workers opinion of what defines them.

              So in my opinion forget people and perhaps get some animals from different countries.
              Weaving is a very popular skill in many countries so you could get the kids to do some art in brightly coloured wool and beads. Painting is also universal. Let them make play dough things and draw pics and see what they come out with.

              Kids are beautiful for who they are as individuals, the adults mess it up and then try to fix it.

              Ok I am slinking off my soap box, sorry PC gone mad is patronising and degrading and not at all culturally sensitive IMO.
              Terry xxx
              You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
              Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy

              Comment


              • #8
                ty harriet
                Cheers
                HDevents

                Web - www.hardydaviesevents.co.uk
                now on Twitter - http://twitter.com/HDevents
                Blog - http://s8.invisionfree.com/HDeventsforum/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm sorry, but children should be able to play and the fact childminders are now required to be inspected by Ofsted is stupid. Social work to make sure the house was safe and the kids likewise was enough. Record keeping is beyond a joke and the planning is ott. Ok, off soapbox.

                  Not much help with making but if you include some 'ethnic' things in your imaginative play stuff - eg mini wok, chopsticks. There are food knitting patterns you could try at http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/food.php

                  Don't forget to include 'multi-cultural' food in snacks or meals - pizza, edam cheese, noodles, naan bread, bananas. Festival celebration is another good way of including other cultures, Chinese New Year, Divali are two easy ones.

                  Disablities should also be featured, playmobil person in wheelchair is the usual one (rolls eyes). Books are a great resource and it's easy to find ones with characters from different cultures these days.

                  signed
                  one ex-playgroup leader who got fed up with the PC brigade!
                  Julia

                  http://www1.freewebs.com/jaydee67/index.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree totally with everything everone above has said. Not much help on the making ethnic toys front, but complete sense to me.

                    I really think you should take the point about asking the department to be more specific.

                    In my children's primary school they have multi-cultural days where each child has their own passport and goes off to the country they have been told to visit. When they get to that country (class) they go through passportcontrol and then spend the day trying out foods and clothes from that country, they will also learn a couple of letters and numbers from that country and have a story from that country.

                    My children have also learned in RE about other cultures.

                    All well and good but these children are 4+ and I take it the children you will be minding are pre-school so I really fail to see how you are going to include multi-culture/ethnic cultures in your toys?????

                    Sorry not much help I know but if they can be more specific then perhaps we can point you in the right direction
                    Diane
                    Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh Diane, what a lovely idea (as long as you don't think of the Israeli/Gaza border control). I had a friend (when we were teaching 5 and 6 year olds) who sent her teddy off round the world. The children would get a postcard from Italy and do a day on that, then from somewhere in Africa etc. They had a pretend post office in the class room so they could send the teddy cards from England.
                      In the old days when I was a childminder my social worker was delighted with a pan and a wooden spoon for toys.....
                      The best game ever was invented by a three year old who put a stick in an abandoned glass bottle and pushed it down the road for a walk. My two year old son, delighted by the noise, copied him and both boys grew up to get firsts at university.

                      Back to GG what about dressing ups? Metre square pieces of cloth from different countries the children can drape them selves in and daft hats?
                      How about a nice day out visiting your local ethnic shops, market and charity shops? The kids would love it!

                      AnnieAnna

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Would rag dolls do? As long as you used the right stuffing, they wouldn't take long to do and kids love them. Then you could make whatever race you wanted. (Better still, they're machine washable!)

                        Does sound a load of tosh, though. Kids play with what they take a liking to, not what's politically correct - haven't OFSTED realised this? Does anyone at OFSTED have kids?

                        Ah well.

                        Debbie
                        Debbie
                        http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...?id=1262375772

                        http://www.folksy.com/shops/purplemac

                        http://purplemac.misi.co.uk/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gigglinggoblin View Post
                          Am registering as a child minder and was told by the ofsted inspector I need more toys to back up inclusion of other races, apparently my 'white middle class' toys arent enough. Have looked through what we have and tbh I am struggling. I cant see any toys that are particularly white middle class (do robot dogs have a class system?) but I prob also dont have many ethnic ones either. We do have a whole rainbow of little people toys, I guess I could buy some more of those but its more of the same.

                          So I was wondering if anyone can point me at a book or at traditional toys from other cultures that I can knit or sew, or just ideas really! I have loads of vehicles, animals, books, jigsaws etc and am a bit stuck as to what else I can buy. Will be asking on the childminding forum aswell but would like some ideas for things I can make.

                          Thanks!
                          I have photos of our traditional dolls on my site.I am from Moldova.Maybe you can use them as draft for your future dolls.If you have any question, just PM me.I'll try to help you.
                          My site

                          my flickr.com/photos


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi. I used to childmind myself, so I know how you feel.
                            I used to have a set of dolls- one in a wheelchair, one on calipers, cant remember the others, OFSTED loved them, but they never got played with. Sometimes it felt like I had things just tio please OFSTED and not the kids.

                            I made some jigsaws from pictures of children from various cultures/abilities- lust laminated pictures cut into sort of jigsaw shapes!
                            I googled various cultures and made laminated books of facts and images from the sites below.

                            Try http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/index.htm for multicultural paper dolls!


                            Some sites with ideas

                            http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/index.htm

                            http://www.underfives.co.uk/Mcultural.htm

                            http://www.theequaloppshop.co.uk/toy...urces-43-c.asp

                            If I can think of anymore I will let you know
                            Hope that helps!
                            With love
                            Em
                            xx

                            www.pixiedoodles.co.uk
                            www.facebook.com/pixiedoodles1
                            http://twitter.com/ pixiedoodles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First of all I am glad that I am not the only one who feels like that. As I am only starting out I probably wont voice it - but by the time I feel I can they will almost certainly have changed their policy again so it wont matter!

                              Thanks for all the ideas and support. Great idea to have multi cultural cooking things like the wok, I wouldnt have thought of edam and bananas being multicultural but they are so I will point that out!

                              Finger puppets are a great idea, I could probably whip up some of those quite easily and I remembered about Jean Greenhowes rainbow baby knitting pattern so will get a few of those on the go. Mandarine thanks for the link to your site, if you are happy for me to use the costume ideas I will def do that, those dolls are just gorgeous. I would love to buy them but I would be a nervous wreck about them getting damaged!

                              I love the jigsaw & making your own books idea, thats really clever. Shame about the disability dolls but I agree a lot of stuff is not done for the kids benefit which is sad, we are wasting precious time that could be put to better use.

                              Ted is a lovely idea, I never go abroad but I guess I could send it with mindees or my parents/friends if they did and ted could send postcards home. Are wales and scotland classed as other countries for inclusion purposes?

                              Dressing up fab idea, I just need some pretty fabric and they can do what they like, could get some pics from internet or library to give them some ideas of how to wear them. (oh what a hardship browsing fabric)

                              Will check out all these links later, have got loads to work on now
                              flickr
                              blog
                              my website
                              etsy

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