When my daughter played with her Barbies, they often had “guests” for tea. The guests included stuffed elephants and ducks, sometimes wearing clothes(stuffed animals were always considered dolls here), and Little People. The Little People are toddler toys, about 2 inches tall, in a variety of skin tones, hair colors and ages(indicated by balding and grey hair). She had elaborate stories about which ones were related and how.

It never occurred to my daughter that there was anything odd about the disparity in size and shape of her tea party participants. They were all dolls and all played together. I didn’t think it would be a good lesson to have her keep the dolls segregated by type.

She still has doll families (mostly stuffed animals) where you cannot tell who is related just by looking at them…you have to ask. After all some of them are adopted, and there might not be an obvious familial resemblance.  It makes me happy that she plays this way.  It makes me happy that she accepts that family members don’t have to look alike to love each other and be together.

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