Dolls of Colour month - the importance of diversity: dolls and children
This week we have a chat with Frances, founder of A Girl for All time dolls, about the importance of diversity in educational play. Come behind the scenes to learn about the creation of Bex, Max, Maya and Nisha and Frances’ plans for celebrating diversity and world cultures in Your Modern Girl and Boy range.
Why is learning about different cultures an invaluable educational experience?
I think learning about different cultures in childhood is so important because it helps reduce the likelihood of children being isolated by their peers because of how they look, where they come from, or what cultural practices they have at home.
If children grow up see diversity as something that is ‘normal’ and not as something that is scary or that they are not able to understand, then they will naturally accept and embrace differences. If diversity is the norm, then we can create a fairer and more representative society.
How is AGAT becoming more diverse and inclusive?
Our contemporary range is heavily diverse - three of our four modern dolls are from diverse backgrounds, including South American (Max), East Indian (Nisha) and Afro Caribbean (Bex). We are really focussed on continuing that diversity in the modern line and are looking at several different character developments for new dolls in the future. There are fantastic cultures to explore and, I have to admit, character research has been lots of fun. I am hoping that in 2021 when we can travel again and meet with our team in the Far East to develop more face sculpts and moulds. We take our product development quite seriously and there are lots of aspects that have to be considered when developing new characters. We are really excited to get going with our new characters next year!
We know that Maya is a direct descendant of Matilda, Your Tudor Girl and the first character of Your Modern Girl range, but what was your inspiration when creating the dolls Bex, Nisha and Max?
A big part of my inspiration was really just watching my own children play with their friends when they were younger. There would be loads of toys and dolls all over the floor and I noticed that the dolls all looked the same, even tho the children did not. And I thought that can’t be right - I clearly needed to look harder to find more diverse toys for the children’s toy box. But at the time, finding diverse dolls was not an easy task so when I developed the original historical concept of a family tree of AGAT dolls, I always knew that the next development would be for the contemporary line to be filled with diverse characters from different cultures. And I’m really so happy and thrilled with the response to the modern range of dolls - so many positive emails from parents happy to see dolls that look like their own children! It definitely makes all the hard work worthwhile!
Your Modern Girls Bex and Nisha are available for pre-order now!
Maya's Secret Diary
Bex's Secret Diary
Nisha's Secret Diary
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