6 Anti-Racist Kids Brands To Support
Here are six Black-owned brands with toys, games, and books focused on education, diversity, and representation.
If there is one thing 2020 made clear, it is that non-BIPOC need to be talking more about race. And not just talking about it—but evaluating our everyday choices and learning ways to actively be anti-racist. If you're a parent, talking to your child about race and working on raising anti-racist children is one of the most important ways you can be involved in dismantling racism. Studies show babies recognize race as early as 3 months old—so it's never too early to start introducing your child to race.
Since play is vital to every child's development, it can be used as an important tool to teach your kid about race and racial bias. We rounded up some amazing anti-racist brands you can support that offer a variety of toys, games, and books created with diversity in mind. Many of these companies were founded by parents who had a hard time finding toys and literature that represented their own kids. So, they got to work creating products to help other families like themselves feel seen, and to provide parents with the right resources to raise anti-racist kids.
1. Little Likes Kids
This Black-owned company was founded by a mom and offers puzzles and games for kids ages 3 to 9. These brightly colored jumbo-puzzles feature characters from all backgrounds doing different activities like going to the barbershop, going camping, and playing outside with friends. Little Likes Kids is highly rated by users, boasting tons of five-star reviews and testimonies on Amazon and its own website. One user wrote: "My three-year-old is obsessed with the park and water play. Two things he is missing during the pandemic. I mostly love the diversity of the people represented in the puzzle… There are lots of things to discuss in the picture." The brand's 72-piece "Musical Crossroads" puzzle even won a 2021 Tillywig award in the Best Children's Products category. The puzzle is currently sold out—but the brand promises a restock soon, and there are other great options to shop in the meantime! Shop here
2. Fresh Dolls
Fresh Dolls was created by mom and professor-turned-entrepreneur Dr. Lisa Williams to promote self-love in young kids through dolls that look like them. Dr. Williams was inspired to start her company, World of EPI, after watching a study where a young girl said a brown doll was not pretty because its skin was nasty, and then touched her own similarly hued arm. World of EPI is now the largest Black-owned multicultural doll company. The brand features multicultural dolls with diverse skin tones, authentic facial features, and hairstyles from curls to wavy hair to afro-puffs and braids. The Fresh Squad and Fresh Dolls are a collection of male and female fashion dolls with trendy outfits and matching accessories, while the Positively Perfect collection features multicultural baby dolls. Shop here
3. The Black Toy Store
Founded in 2019 by teacher and mom of three, Claudia Walker, The Black Toy Store is a one-stop shop for toys, games, and books that aim to celebrate Black culture. "I know how important it is for children to see toys and books that look like them, so I created an online presence where parents and educators can easily find toys that affirm the Black experience," the company bio reads. The online store is carefully curated by Walker and her kids (who she calls her Chief Toy Officers) to ensure that each item was either created by a Black artist, showcases African heritage, or features Black children in their marketing. Shop here
4. Just Like Me Box
Diversifying your child's bookshelf is a great way to engage them in conversations about race, and educate them about experiences different from their own. But if you're stuck on where to start, or you're a Black parent looking for books that represent your child, Just Like Me Box has you covered. For $28 per month, Just Like Me Box will send you two to three books based on your child's age featuring Black characters and written by Black authors. Each box also comes with educational activities and the books get more advanced with your child's age and reading level. Before it's added to the box, each book is discussed by the team to make sure it is inclusive and educational. The subscription service believes "Everybody should read Black children's literature" and was founded by Tamara McNeil after struggling to find books that represented her young son. Shop here
5. Brown Toy Box
This subscription service wants to make STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) more accessible and "culturally affirming" for Black children and highlight the work of Black trailblazers. For $40 per month, each box comes with a book on a Black leader in STEAM, along with an activity and other educational tools that further explore the theme. Black people continue to be underrepresented in STEAM fields, with only 9 percent of workers being Black. Brown Toy Box aims to change that by "normalizing Black excellence" in STEAM fields and giving Black children the tools to explore these subjects. Brown Toy Box also has STEAM resources for educators, and an online store where you can individually shop its STEAM-focused books, toys, and games. Shop here
6. Brave + Kind Bookshop
This Georgia-based kids bookshop is currently only open online and has a variety of inclusive, multicultural books for kids of all ages. It has picture books, young adult books, non-fiction, graphic novels, and books in Spanish. Brave + Kind has titles like Anti-Racist Baby, A Kid's Book About Racism, and This Book Is Anti-Racist that engage your child in conversations about race and anti-racism at every age. There is also a section for adults with award-winning books on privilege and racial equality, so you can learn along with your child. The bookshop even holds virtual book fairs and storytimes with authors! Shop here