The Toy Association trends team today announced the top toy trends of the '22 holiday season — from toys that immerse families in magical play experiences away from their devices, to purpose-driven play that introduces children to diversity, environmental causes, and social issues.
Our aim is to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” explains Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards®. “We are passionate about helping families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high-quality, great value purchases. The MCA evaluation program is designed to incorporate the expertise of scientists, physicians and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.”
“It makes me so happy to be a small part of the OneSky journey and support the incredible work of the organization through donations, both personally and through For Purpose Kids,” shared Misty, who lives with her husband and children in Florida.
I became a Mom. I kept thinking: what will I say when my son grows up and asks “What did you do when the world I was born into was so full of hate, fear, and divisiveness?” With this, the drive to connect people, especially young people, became that much more urgent. And since learning about other people, new places, and different cultures has always been the primary point of connection for me, I decided to narrow the focus to inspiring the next generation of global citizens through cultural exploration. Through several iterations, numerous conversations with parents and caregivers, ongoing research about the power of play and how imaginative stories can expand young minds, the Global Kidizens were born.
"We know that kids learn through play and we wanted to meet them where they're at, to begin introducing social and emotional skills at an earlier age," says Misty Castaneda, Founder of For Purpose Kids.
Here's where we meet the Global Kidizens – a collection of hand-knit dolls from around the world inspiring young children to discover different cultures, embrace others and encourage belonging. The Global Kidizen dolls and stories cultivate wonder and acceptance of others around the world by highlighting similarities and celebrating differences through storytelling and play in a unique and fun way.
For Purpose Kids is committed to helping kids and families journey through a world of global cultures with diverse characters and imaginative stories that build empathy, connection, and belonging.
We're a team of storytellers, educators, designers, parents and caregivers passionate about creating imaginative stories & toys that build empathy, connection and belonging.
We know, first hand, how much our hearts have been opened by connecting with others around the world, and we want to share that experience, through play, with you & your littles.
Empathy rates have declined more than 40% over the past four decades and leading child psychologists agree that exposing children to diversity at an early age will enlarge their circle of caring and decrease the empathy gap.
This can start at any age, and in fact, the sooner the better. We know that kids learn through play. And new research shows that pretend, imaginative play, particularly with dolls, provides kids a creative invitation to build social-emotional skills, like empathy and acceptance of themselves and others.
So we created the Global Kidizen Doll Collection as a fun and simple way to introduce kids to new people and places, to help expand their circle, build empathy and reaffirm the value of everyone in the world.
We've started out with a small run of dolls representing five different countries, but we need your help to expand our reach so we can include characters from every corner of the world.
Leading By Example
As part of our development process, we work closely with partners from each country to bring the characters to life, creating authentic, kid-friendly stories about their cultures and communities.
Because our work would not be possible without our partners- it’s important to us to give back to the places they're most passionate about too. For every Global Kidizen doll sold, a donation will be made to organizations chosen by our partners in their home country.
Donation tracking done in partnership with Pledge.
Global Kidizen Launch Video
Misty is the Founder & Cultivator of Wonder at For Purpose Kids, a social enterprise that connects her passion of working with children and traveling the world with her background in sales & marketing and early childhood education. She lives in Orlando with her family but can often be found spending time at the beach, traveling to her favorite place, Hong Kong or back to her childhood home in Vermont.
Rachael Parker-Chavez is an aspiring optimist, Social Impact Strategist and co-founder of Super by Design, where she uses Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design to support organizations creating civic and social change. She also has the privilege of mentoring social entrepreneurs and building impact initiatives at UCLA. Rachael is an advocate for youth in foster care, zealous fur-mom, self-appointed “cool aunt,'' and dedicated to creating a more equitable future for all people. You can usually find her between Northern Michigan and Southern California.
Gabriele N. Ward Almon
Gabriele is a writer dedicated to creating stories that inspire children and adults to feel brave, hopeful, and helpful in an ever-changing world. She leads a creative agency that specializes in story strategy and narrative shifting. Previously, Gabriele served as an advisor to Fortune 500 companies, domestic and international government agencies, and numerous humanitarian organizations on disaster and crisis efforts.
Jessica is currently studying for her B.S. in Computer Science at Cal State University of Long Beach. She enjoys expressing herself creatively, whether it be through drawing, cooking or programming. She also loves to be active biking, rock climbing and trail running.
Melissa Monroy is the Founder + Creative behind Mint and Merit, a heart-fueled and purpose-driven design studio in San Diego, California. She has a B.A in Applied Arts and Sciences from SDSU, and 15+ years of experience in branding and print design. Melissa is on a mission to create goodness, with honesty + love + typography. She loves turning a blank slate into a masterpiece and working with individuals & businesses who strive to create meaningful work. She is committed to doing good + loving people + making the world a better place, one design at a time.
Maicol Parker-Chavez is a Business Designer and co-founder of Super by Design, where he helps organizations build more effective solutions through inclusion and design. Maicol has been a designer for over 15 years and believes in bringing diverse perspectives into the development process to create shared understanding and build the foundation for more creative and equitable problem-solving. Maicol was born in Peru and raised in Southern California where he currently lives with his wife and three furry kids.
Noah Nash, EdD is an interdisciplinary leader using research, web development, and storytelling to thoughtfully move initiatives forward. His portfolio includes projects in children's rights, emerging technologies, and philanthropy. He is most proud of being a loyal brother to youth in foster care, dog-whisperer, and cool uncle. When not home in Los Angeles, Noah loves cooking with his family across the United States.
OneSky for All Children
Non-Profit Partner, Development Partner
Non-Profit Partner Relationship: For Purpose Kids donated 25 hand-knit dolls to the Hong Kong Gala in Spring 2023. We will be offering our Míng Lì doll from China. While we have five dolls in our Global Kidizen Collection of dolls and stories, we wanted to feature Míng Lì and her story and have those dolls available as an opportunity for play, to be placed in orphanages and early childhood centers in the OneSky network. While children need to learn about cultures from all over the world, it is of particular importance for children to see themselves represented in the stories they read and the toys they play with, and Míng Lì will create the perfect opportunity for that experience. Development Partner Relationship: We work with Development Partners from each culture and country we represent with our dolls and one of the ways we thank them for their contribution is to allow them to select the organization in their country that will receive donations from the sales of each doll. Our partner for Míng Lì is Selina Yu, from Jiaxing, China. Selina and I were neighbors back in the States, both with young children, and it was such a joy to collaborate with her on Míng Lì’s story. When I asked about which organization she would like to support, imagine my surprise and delight when she told me that her mother, in Jiaxing, had been connected for many years with Chunhui Children! It was one of those things that seemed so coincidental, yet completely serendipitous and meant to be at the same time.
Non-Profit Partner, Development Partner
Each Global Kidizen is developed with partners from the country and culture the doll represents. This ensures authentic experiences and details in each story. Our stories welcome children into new worlds where they learn about others, cultivating acceptance. Diverse representation of cultures allows for kids to see themselves in our dolls and books, which nurtures feelings of belonging. As part of our development process, we work closely with partners from each country to bring the characters to life, creating authentic, kid-friendly stories about their cultures and communities, and the Sunaayy Foundation in Delhi, India worked with us to develop Ravi, the Global Kidizen from India.
Social Good Partner Platform
We offer our fair trade, social good products on the DoneGood platform, whose mission is to empower people to transform from consumers to changemakers by diverting their spending away from giant corporations that keep people locked in poverty and destroy the planet—and instead to amazing brands that are reducing poverty, fighting climate change, and doing good in so many other ways.
What People LOVE about FPK
"Mommy, she has dark curly hair like me! My daughter loved playing with this beautifully crafted doll, and she was so excited that they looked alike! She enjoyed learning more about Mapenzi's culture, and she was so excited that they both love to express themselves through music. The digital story was engaging and helped start great conversations. We look forward to continuing to learn alongside For Purpose Kids!”
These dolls are sweet, endearing and lovely quality. Anything that makes what could seem foreign relatable, approachable, and explorable can help a child imagine what it would be like to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. This skill - empathy - sparked by play and curiosity is a gift for the next generation of young minds and hearts. These dolls are a great tool to help us play with our kids in ways that are culturally aware, diversified, and imaginative. Bravo!