Racially diverse dolls in day care

Colorado day-care providers would be required to provide dolls representing at least three races, under a proposal being considered by the Department of Human Services.

In other rule changes: Children over age two must not be served whole milk without a note from a doctor, kids over age one can’t drink more than six ounces of juice per day, TV and computer time will be capped at twenty minutes daily, and staffers must wear clothing that covers the lap and shoulders. (What’s so bad about bare shoulders? Search me.)

That’s why they call it the nanny state.

I’m not sure children that young are conscious of race unless adults work hard to make them think it’s important. We’re visiting the grandkids today in Maryland.  Julia, who’s two, is very fond of Elmo on Sesame Street. He’s red.  Grover is blue. Are they different races? Who cares?

About Joanne


  1. Doesn’t your lap go away when you stand up?

  2. Soapbox0916 says:

    Doll makers are often very careful nowadays to avoid mention of race when possible when it comes to dolls. This is a secondary reason why many doll have non-natural hair colors such as pink, purple, blue, etc. Also, a contributing reason why some parents are more comfortable with animal toys, avoiding humans altogether.

    As much as I would like to just think that the Department of Health and Human Services is being silly on it’s own, this does remind me of parental complaints that I have seen directed at toy companies on message boards.

    I suspect that there is an overreactive parent somewhere at Department of Health and Human Services, but this could also just be government policy micromanagement out of control too.

    Hey, as a doll collector and kind of a doll expert, maybe I sure consider a new line of work. Become a consultant to determine if dolls meet three or more race standards. LOL

    I have also considered making my own toys to sell, but seriously it is this kind of stuff that gets in the way. It is not enough anymore for toys to be toys.

  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I don’t understand why a state mandate is necessary for any of this — parents select the daycare. So, if a parent finds bare shoulders offensive or the doll selection uninspiring, she can take her kids, and her money, elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, new regulations just provide more work for state daycare inspectors– they don’t really increase the quality of childcare and, by making opening a center even more onerous, they probably work to RESTRICT its availability.

  4. Meanwhile, children are harmed and even killed by unlicensed daycares. Shouldn’t enforcing existing rules be the priority?

  5. I think children are aware of race, as they are of sex, but not necessarily of the ways in which these characteristics are socially salient to the adults around them. But that’s not where the mischief comes in. What happens when the nanny-state inspector comes around and notices that every child is playing with a doll whose skin is the same color as the child’s? Or no child is playing with the dolls? Must the selection of dolls match the racial proportions of the daycare facility? Of the city where it’s located? Of the state? How must Hispanic children’s doll-identification needs be served?

  6. Not a nutritionist, but the whole milk ban thing is dubious. Americans have gotten chubbier and chubbier while drinking milk that has less and less fat in it.

    Also, would it be OK to serve unlimited Kool-Aid instead of juice?

  7. Seriously, how did humanity survive for so long without drinking skim milk?! And why is it a doctor’s call, not a parent’s decision, for a child to get whole milk? Grrr.

  8. Start that indoctrination early when it works best.

  9. Welcome to America, the home of the overregulated. What is with these stupid government agencies – they don’t have enough real situations to address, so they go ahead and create inane rules like these to make themselves look important?

    Geez. With this fixation on race, we are farther than ever from MLK’s notion of judging people (and dolls, I guess) by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

  10. What both Diedre and Crimson Wife said. Parents choose day cares – so they should be able to vote with their wallets. Better a day care be proven safe for the kids than that they have “equally resprentational” dolls.

    I wonder if some day cares may go out of business, not being able to live up to these mandates. I could see that happening. (And then of course the govt. will have to step in and set up day cares in “underserved” areas).

    Also: Can our governments really AFFORD to be spending money on this? I mean, it’s not like the feds or any of the state governments are actually rolling in surplus dough.

  11. I think these are all good ideas. A racial mix of dolls matters. Fat in milk is a bad habit and TV is worse.

    But let them remain good ideas, not regulations.

    I had a principal once who thought the more rules he made, the better job he was doing. Really. Well, it doesn’t work that way.

  12. If I were running a day-care in Colorado, I would be tempted to provide dolls whose races were Klingon, Ferengi, and Romulan, or Wookie, Ewok,and whatever race Jar-Jar Binks is, or Elf, Dwarf, and Orc, or all of the above. That would satisfy the letter of the law and might actually please the kids more.

  13. Deirdre Mundy says:

    heh! We were thinking Minbari, Centauri and Vorlon around here! 😉

  14. SuperSub says:

    Wow, Babylon 5 fan!

  15. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Best. Show. Ever.

    And not just for scifi.

    Of course, Babylon 5 dolls didn’t get a good reception. Sheridan spaced his, and G’kar smashed his.

    Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves might be better.

  16. Deirdre Mundy says:

    So, would I be a bad parent for getting my preschoolers hooked on Bab 5? Because whenever they see the WB ,logo now, they all start chanting “Bab5! Bab5!”

    (Note: I have my limits. I have NOT let them see Firefly.)

    Also, given that Scifi fans make up so little of the general population, why are they so predominant in comboxes?

  17. LOVE Dr. Weevil’s comment! Just love it. 🙂

  18. Okay, how much of a total NERD am I that within 30 seconds of reading Dr. Weevil’s post, I’m thinking to myself, “Isn’t Jar-Jar Binks a Gungan?” And he’s by far my least favorite Star Wars character *EVER*.

  19. supersub says:

    Is exposing children to Firefly like getting them hooked on crack?

  20. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Supersub—worse, I’d say— because with Crack, at least you can find a dealer– if they get hooked on firefly, they quickly run up against the fact that there’s ONLY ONE SEASON!

  21. Yes, this is the type of intervention necessary to help the children do well in school in a couple of years.

  22. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Exactly! Because everyone knows that scifi fans do better in STEM classes! So a set of dolls introducing the children to the major races of science fiction will help them succeed at Algebra in 8th grade!!!!!

    Dude. I totally need a grant for my “all scifi preschool program.” I mean, how could it fail?

  23. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Deirdre saith:

    Because everyone knows that scifi fans do better in STEM classes! So a set of dolls introducing the children to the major races of science fiction will help them succeed at Algebra in 8th grade!!!!!

    I know you were speaking lightheartedly, but in all seriousness, there’s probably a little truth to that.

    SciFi fans also tend to enjoy reading — the TV shows are just a gateway drug to the books.

    How easy it is to derail a comment thread….

  24. Deirdre Mundy says:

    But is it correlation or causation? Maybe it’s just that high IQ kids with a tendency to succeed at Math and reading gravitate toward scifi? Saying “Scifi leads to academic success” may be as faulty as saying “Taking Latin/Algebra in 8th Grade/ AP Chem” leads to success in college.

    Obviously, we need more studies…..

  25. Wow. I’m not happy with my home state. This is so stupid!! Why would the state of Colorado bother to make legislation like this?

  26. Richard Aubrey says:

    Dr. Weevil
    Great suggestion, you racist. Didn’t you know that jar-jar binks and LOTR’s orcs are actually proxies for African Americans? You know, eating children and tripping over stuff and so forth.
    I used to think the days when you could get creds with the libs for pretending to find racism where nobody else could see it were over.
    But, swelpme, both my examples are actually true.

  27. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I thought the Orcs were proxies for Axis soldiers?

  28. Richard Aubrey says:

    Tolkien said nobody was to draw analogies to current events. So, you’re wrong. Also, you aren’t paying attention.
    As Jonah Goldberg said, libs look at orcs and see blacks. I look at orcs, see fangs and slavering jaws and say, “Cool. Orcs.” Goldberg is, obviously, a racist trying to cover up an evil plot.
    Try to do better.

  29. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Goldberg also once pointed out that all it took was a day without power to turn black people into cannibals! (His commentary on Katrina coverage)

  30. Richard Aubrey says:

    Goldberg was wrong. There was no incidence of cannibalism recorded.
    Now, in Iowa which flooded massively a couple of years ago, there was a shortage of casseroles. But no ink. Ditto the Nashville floods.
    Talked to a lady working in an insurance office in Iowa back then. They had abandoned the first floor and were working above that. Had generators and portapotties. Getting by. Unfortunately, they had misplaced the flood procedures manual and neglected to loot and riot. Flyover country. Such ignoramuses.

  31. Apparently I’m not the biggest Star Wars nerd in my family, because today as we were driving, my 8 y.o. casually pointed out the Rebel Alliance symbol on a car ahead of us. I guess it was in some Star Wars Encyclopedia that she borrowed from the library one time.