No two families are alike. Some families have 1 parent. Some families have two moms or two dads. Other families may have stepparents or several generations living under one roof. Each family is unique, and it is important for kids to learn that love is what makes a family. Thankfully, there are lots of amazing books and products available now to help kids learn about all of the different family dynamics out there. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to a company that wants to teach kids about different families through play. I also gathered a list of some of the top books to help kids learn about what makes a family,
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Celebrating Diverse Families Through Play
MyFamilyBuilders is a toy company that aims to create toys which recognize all kinds of families. When founder Eze Karpf couldn’t find a toy that represented his friend’s multiracial family, he set out to create a line of toys that would allow families to feel represented in the toys they are sharing together. We were lucky enough to try out their latest product, the MyFamilyBuilders™ Magnetic Mix & Match Wooden Shapes.
This set of magnets includes 60 pieces, which allow for up to 6800 possible combinations! The pieces include a mix of heads, upper bodies and lower bodies in different sizes including various skin tones, hair colors and heights. There are also pieces that include wheelchairs. I do wish that there were pieces with gray or white hair to accommodate grandparents or older parents. However, for a starter set, it covers a lot of bases! It even includes a little cat and dog which were my daughter’s favorites (of course!). It also comes with a nice storage bag which is helpful for keeping all the pieces together. I also love the little magnet which reminds kids to be who they are. Such an important message for kids to learn and embrace!
Safety & Quality
I am the mother who is always worried about magnets. So I was thrilled that these pieces had the magnets along the entire back of the wooden shape, so there aren’t small pieces that could detach. The designs are also painted directly onto the wood with nontoxic water based paint, so they are durable for small hands. This set is labeled for 3 and up due to small pieces, but my 2 year old really enjoyed playing with them too (under supervision).
This set is a great way to introduce kids to diversity and start a conversation about differences. MyFamilyBuilders also offers block sets and wall stickers, giving families even more ways to play together. I highly recommend checking out their products and introducing your kids to other types of families.
Recognizing that All Families are Unique
Giving kids the opportunity to see themselves in the books that they read and the toys that they play with is so important. It’s never too early to teach kids that all families are different, and that love is what makes people into a family. I love that diverse families are being celebrated by companies like MyFamilyBuilders. Check out these awesome read-alouds for more ways to celebrate what makes a family.
One Family was written by George Shannon and illustrated by Blanca Gomez. This spin on a counting book shows kids how families can be large or small, and can be made up of people of all different races, ages and genders. But they all make up one family.
Stella Brings the Family was written by Miriam B. Schiffer and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown. This sweet story follows a little girl named Stella who is worried about the Mother’s Day party at school. She has two dads, and she doesn’t know who she should invite. This adorably illustrated book reminds readers that a lot of people can make up a family, and that love is the most important part!
Heather Has Two Mommies was written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell. Heather loves the number two, and she loves her two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, she and her classmates learn that not all families are alike.
Celebrating all kinds of differences
The Family Book was written and illustrated by Todd Parr. This book celebrates families who are different in all kinds of ways. From big differences to small ones, this book reminds us that all families are unique, and that all of us share love.
My Family Tree and Me was written and illustrated by Dušan Petričić. This book tells the story of both sides of a young boy’s family over many generations. Reading the book from the beginning shows the father’s side, while reading it from the end introduces the mother’s side. The middle of the book shows both sides of the family in a two page spread. This book shows how families develop over generations, and how everyone in the family is connected.
Who’s In a Family was written by Robert Skutch and illustrated by Laura Nienhaus. This colorful book shows many ways that families can be different. It also shows how families are made up of the people who love you most.
All Families Are Special was written by Norma Simon and illustrated by Teresa Flavin. When they find out that their teacher is about to become a grandmother, all of the kids in the class want to share about their own families as well. This book covers a wide array of family dynamics, teaching kids that all families are unique.
Celebrating What Makes Your Family Unique
MyFamilyBuilders provides kids with an opportunity to play with toys that resemble the unique individuals who make up their family. These open ended toys also allow for families to have an important conversation about similarities, differences and what makes a family. With everything going on today in our country and in the world, it is more important than ever to encourage the next generation to celebrate diversity and embrace our differences!