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Behind the Business: My Diffability

Behind the Business: My Diffability - Team

My Diffability Australia was one of the first businesses I came across when researching inclusive children’s products. The name really stood out to me. ‘Diffability’ is a combination of ‘different’ and ‘ability’. It really highlights the focus on equality and inclusion. The team behind My Diffability is made up of Renee, a speech pathologist, and Tarryn, an occupational therapist. They have combined their experience and knowledge to provide children with different abilities and their families with a wide range of books, toys, and resources. Read on to find out more!

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Behind the Business: Hats of Faith

Behind the Business: Hats of Faith Book Page 2

A lot of the time, racism and discrimination stem from a fear or lack of knowledge of ‘the other’ – people who look or act differently to us or have different abilities. In addition to skin colour and other physical features, religion and customs are often a cause of discrimination. This is why it is incredibly important to teach our children tolerance and understanding from a young age.

Head coverings are common in many religions and cultures, and are very much a visible feature distinguishing people of a range of faiths and backgrounds. Walking around a multicultural city with an inquisitive child, I am sure there will be many questions about what these head coverings represent and who wears them. Luckily for us, Medeia Cohan spotted a lack in the market and created a gorgeous book teaching children and adults about the shared custom of head covering. Read on to learn more about her motivation and inspiration!

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Ten Ideas for Inclusive Easter Presents (with links for last-minute purchases!)

Easter Eggs Ten Ideas for Inclusive Easter Presents

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Many of us will be celebrating Easter next week. Quite often, we overindulge in chocolate and other goodies. Anyone who has had to convince a child on a sugar high to go to sleep knows that this is far from ideal. So why don’t you replace a little bit of that yummy chocolate with an inclusive book, toy, or t-shirt this year? You will be grateful when your little one goes to bed at a reasonable time. Plus, it is something the entire family will be able to enjoy and treasure for weeks and years to come.

I have put together a list of ten ideas for inclusive Easter presents. And as Easter is just around the corner, I have included product links to our featured businesses or Amazon to save you time searching.

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Behind the Business: Anyone Can Be Clothing

Behind the Business: Anyone Can Be Clothing Family Shot 1

A common denominator of the business owners I work with is that they have a personal interest in making the world a more inclusive place. Usually their children inspire them, as they want to ensure they have the best possible experiences growing up without being bullied or teased because they may look or behave differently to ‘the norm’. This is the whole reason why I started Our Comfy Corner, so I love speaking to business owners who are exactly on the same wavelength.

When I came across Anyone can be Clothing, I was amazed by the similarities Lisa and I have – from our journey and motivation down to our wedding cake toppers (thanks to our football-loving husbands!). Like my son, Lisa’s children have mixed heritage. Having struggled to find clothes that truly represent her kids, she decided to make her on. And I for one am absolutely grateful for this, as the designs are just stunning.

Read on to hear more about Lisa’s WHY and her plans for the future.

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The Benefits of Unstructured Play for Children of All Ages

Unstructured Play: Boy At Beach

(This post contains affiliate links.)

A few weeks ago my son’s childcare centre notified us that they were taking part in Global School Play Day, which fell on 7 February this year. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the importance of free, unstructured play. Children love to play but sadly unstructured play time has been replaced by structured activities in recent years, particularly as our children get older.

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Behind the Business: One Dear World

Behind the Business: One Dear World Family Shot

I hope you enjoyed hearing more about Bright Tomato Learning the other week (read their fascinating story here if you haven’t already!).

This week, we’re shining the spotlight on One Dear World. As an interracial couple, Winnie and her husband became acutely aware of the lack of diverse dolls when they wanted to buy a doll for their son, so they created their own set of multicultural dolls. And a story book starring these dolls followed shortly after.

My son insisted on taking the book to daycare last week, and the other kids absolutely loved it. This week, one of the girls asked me if I’d brought the book back so you know it’s a winner.

Read on to hear more from Winnie, the founder of One Dear World, and their journey.

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Behind the Business: Bright Tomato Learning

Behind the Business: Bright Tomato Learning Aboriginal Family

Inclusive books, toys, and other products aren’t often found in mainstream stores. However, there are plenty of them if you know where to look (in our directory, for example!). So who creates and sells these products?

That’s the purpose of our Behind the Business blog series! I’ll be introducing you to a range of amazing businesses and the people who run them, and their motivation behind creating and selling inclusive books, toys, clothes, and so forth.

Our first blog post is dedicated to Bright Tomato Learning, an Australian business selling educational toys, including a range of multicultural toys and toys for children with disabilities.

Read on to learn more about this amazing business, and the lovely owner, Slava.

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The Importance of Reading with Your Child from an Early Age

Baby Boy and Dad Reading

(This post contains affiliate links.)

As parents or carers we do everything we can to give our children a great start in life and help them grow into intelligent and empathetic adults. Formal education will teach our children about our history, science, languages, and so forth. But our brain actually develops more in the first few years than at any other time in our lives! And the process starts before we are even born.

Why books?

Books are an incredibly rich resource. They teach us about the importance of language, stimulate our imagination, and expand our understanding of the world around us.

Parents are often advised to start reading or singing to their babies during pregnancy, as babies are able to hear outside sounds and noises from about 15 weeks onward. Don’t worry if you didn’t do this, though, as your little one will have listened to your conversations, music, and other sounds and noises anyway.

Once baby is born, reading to them regularly is even more important. Not only do they learn about sounds and grammar, but there are also plenty of visual and sensory inputs. Again, don’t stress if you were caught up in a flurry of tiredness, tears, and trying to wrap your head around being responsible for a little person in the first few weeks. I admit that I didn’t start reading to my now 2-year-old son until he was about 8 weeks old, and he just LOVES books.

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Ten Inclusive Christmas Adverts 2017

Family decorating Christmas tree 1920x1280

Many of us will be celebrating Christmas over the coming days. I must admit I am not in a Christmassy mood just yet given that it is sunny and over 30 degrees (Celsius!) outside. Having grown up in Germany, I still haven’t quite got used to Christmas by the beach in Australia.

One thing that is bound to get you in the holiday spirit wherever you are, are the Christmas ads some of the big retailers release every year. I am particularly excited when I see adverts that truly represent our society, including people with a disability, all ethnicities, and modern families.

Here is a round-up of ten Christmas ads that promote inclusion. So if you are not feeling Christmassy just yet, sit back and watch these video clips. They are sure to have you dancing around the Christmas tree in no time!

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Three Reasons Why Representation in Children’s Books and Toys Matters

Representation Matters Diverse Children

Think back to your childhood. Try and remember your most precious books or toys you played with. If you are a parent or carer, you may be revisiting some of these old favourites at the moment.

If you are white, able-bodied, and growing up with your mum and dad, then it is safe to assume that you would have had dolls that looked similar to you or other family members and friends. You also would have been able to relate to characters in books, TV shows or movies purely because their lives looked like yours.

But if you did not fit that description – maybe you are black, or from the Middle East or an Asian country; you were adopted; or use a wheelchair – you probably would have struggled to find toys or books representing children just like you. As a woman, there is a good chance that you did not read many books centred around females working as doctors or engineers, and you probably grew up playing with dolls rather than cars and trains.Continue Reading →