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March 18, 2021

15 Comments

When people come to my home, they often make passing comments such as “oh your girls have quite the collection of dolls, or I’ve never seen a doll like that before.” Truth be told they do have quite a few dolls, however, this is by choice, not the random accumulation of unwanted gifts or impulse buys over the years.

Let me tell you why…

As a child, my favourite doll was a Caucasian female with blue eyes and blonde hair, and whilst I loved her dearly, being a brown-eyed brunette myself, I was never really able to identify with this doll or any of the other dolls we had in our home. I was not exposed to any diversity of race or condition as they were all Caucasian and they ALL had blonde hair – pretty common for an 80’s kid.

After reading about the importance of roleplay for emotional and social development, I started to research the ‘best’ dolls for children, as I wanted to gift my daughter Hazel her first doll for her upcoming second birthday and I wanted it to have dark hair like hers.

Like most online research, my first search returned an overwhelming number of offers from the usual mainstream brands, but it wasn’t until I dug a little deeper that I discovered a brand that was a cut above the rest; Miniland Dolls.

These Dolls Are Different

Miniland Dolls are a Spanish brand of dolls that feature African, Asian, Caucasian and South American dolls in different sizes. Their diversity allows many children to play with dolls that look like them, often for the first time. There are boy as well as girl dolls and they are all anatomically correct, meaning they have a defined gender with all the appropriate ‘parts’ which help children to understand differences in anatomy. The Caucasian range features redheads and brunettes, as well as blondes, so that was a huge bonus as far as I was concerned. I became an instant Miniland Dolls fan buying different dolls from each of their ranges.

When my girls play with their dolls, they instinctively nurture and care for them. By having a range of dolls that look both different and also similar to themselves, they are learning to care for others regardless of their appearance and by doing this they are building the foundation for inclusivity and empathy towards all people. This is an important early lesson and will shape how they will contribute to their communities later in life.

Dolls With Down syndrome

Recently Miniland announced the addition of four new Dolls with Down syndrome to their range, further strengthening their core values of diversity and inclusivity for all. Adding these dolls to our dolly family was a no brainer. I want to raise girls who are accepting of all people, regardless of race or condition. The addition of these Miniland Dolls with Down syndrome to our home adds another tool that helps me to educate my girls in a language they understand – PLAY! They are also quite beautiful too I might add.

This Sunday (21 March 2021)  is World Down syndrome Day, a global awareness day that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012 to celebrate the achievements of those with Down syndrome and raise awareness for the inclusion of all.

This week I have encouraged the girls to take their Miniland Dolls with Down syndrome to their kinder and day-care to help open dialogue in the classroom about helping others to feel a sense of belonging, regardless of our physical differences. They have been well received by the educators, and to quote my daughter (age 4). “On the outside, we can look different, but inside we are all the same.”

Win A New Miniland Doll With Down syndrome

Want to win a new Miniland Doll with Down syndrome? ENTER HERE!

How important do you think it is for dolls to reflect diversity? Tell us in the comments below.

Image Credit: Sally Westra @squareofus

  • Beautiful, very much needed in today’s world

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  • My daughter is Chinese wish these were around back when she was younger

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  • Yes somehow the ideal seemed to be blonde and blue eyes never realised it may have been subliminal from a doll

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  • I love that Kmart has dolls with hearing aids, wheelchairs, and other such things. I agree that it helps if kids see dolls that reflect real life.

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  • It’s so different seeing all these different dolls. To be fair tho, if you go to China…you’ll find Chinese looking dolls. Go to Africa, African looking dolls. Australia…..mostly Australian looking dolls. But it is great to see diversity in dolls

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  • I think this is a great idea.

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  • Do kids really learn about diversity from dolls!? Are they really intellectually capable of realising diversity just from playing with dolls? Do they really see the differences?

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  • I loved dolls so much myself and still love to play with them together with my kids !


    • Children learn so many skills from play and have such fun too.

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  • Dolls should and do reflect diversity. Dolls that represent everyone is so important! We have a lovely selection/collection of diverse dolls.

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  • Beautiful dolls.

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  • Absolutely gorgeous dolls! Would love to get one for my kids

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  • I honestly have never seen or heard of these dolls until now but I’m glad that they are making waves with diversity.
    I’ve also noticed that the ever popular barbie has also taken to being much more inclusive with dolls with different coloured skin and culture – I bought my toddler an Asian one because she’s half Asian. They even have one that’s in a wheelchair which is something I find great as children are able to be educated about those with disabilities. They even have barbies who are a bit plumper than your average size zero.
    The best thing is that they aren’t super expensive!

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  • This is very good idea

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  • It’s great to have lots of different body shapes, ethnicities etc shown in toys.

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