Meet Míng Lì, the Global Kidizen from China!
When we wonder about people and places we don’t know, we learn so much more about our world and ourselves – and just how much we all have in common too.
As the parent of a seven year old, this is one of the most important things I want to teach him.
I want to inspire him and other kids to discover different cultures, embrace others and cultivate a community of belonging for all. I know, first hand, how much my heart has been opened by connecting with others from around the world, and I want to share that experience, through play, with you & your littles.
We chose to highlight the beautiful and rich culture in China, because I lived in Hong Kong for 2 years and it captured not only my heart, but my soul. I felt I “belonged” there in a way I have never experienced anywhere else, and can’t wait for you and the kids in your life to learn about this WONDER-ful place.
Let’s Meet Míng Lì from China and learn more about how she expresses her feelings!
Nĭ hӑo (NEE-how), my name is Míng Lì (Ming-LEE) and I’m 5 years old.
Nĭ hӑo means “Hello” in Mandarin, the language we speak in my home. I live in Jiaxing (jyah-SHING), China - which is not only the biggest country in Asia, but has the most people of any country in the world!
My favorite thing to do is paint.
I have a lot of things inside that I want to share with the world and I feel best when I do that through my art - especially because some people have told me I should keep my ideas to myself. I’m so glad I discovered how to do this at such a young age- that way my ideas don’t get all bottled up inside.
Some other fun things you might like to know about me:
I love going to art museums and art supply stores, my favorite thing to eat are Zhajiang (zhaa-jee-YAHNG) Noodles and I love jumping rope, especially when I compete with my friends! Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by too many people, in my home and in my city, but I’m too little to go out into the world by myself. That’s why I can’t wait to grow up and travel the world.
In honor of AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, we’d like to share a bit of a conversation we had with Selina Yu, our Development Partner who helped us develop both the character and story of Míng Lì, the Global Kidizen from China:
Q: 4. How do you think it makes kids feel to see a doll and story that represents them? Do you believe this is important for kids to see themselves reflected in the dolls, toys and games that they play with?
A: Yes it's definitely important. Though I'm not a child psychologist, I think that playing with dolls serves as an important pathway for kids to see who they are and how they behave in the outside world. Most of the pretend play they do with the dolls is a vital way for them to know the life around them. With that being said, having the dolls that can represent their appearances and culture can greatly help build the ties up.
Yes, we couldn't agree more. From a developmental perspective, it's extremely important for children to see themselves represented in both the books they read and the toys they play with. This builds self-esteem and let's them know they matter, particularly in a world that can, at times, be fearful of differences.
Now that we’ve told you all about Míng Lì, we invite you to share her story with the kids in your life and engage in a conversation with them about what seems similar and what seems different between their lives and Míng Lì’s life. It is in this discussion that we begin to nurture curiosity and wonder in the minds of our children about different cultures around the world, and this lays the foundation for building empathy* at the earliest of ages. Something I think we can agree we need a lot more of in this world.
*For additional tips on building empathy, please don’t forget to grab our FREE DOWNLOAD, 5 Tips to Build Empathy in Kids, available here.
Conversation Guide for you and your littles (best for ages 3-8):
Do you like to create art?
What do you like to do best- paint, draw, use clay to make things?
How does it make you feel when you are being creative?
Do you and Míng Lì like similar, or different things?
Do you live close to, or far away from Jiaxing, China?
Would you like to travel there?
Would you like to be friends with Míng Lì? She can’t wait to be friends with YOU!
Oh, one more thing! As a special offer for our community, we’d like to offer a free gift to welcome Míng Lì into your home. Use code GLOBALKIDIZENS at checkout for 10% OFF of Míng Lì or any of her friends on our website today!
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.
Our hand-knit, all natural cotton, fair trade Global Kidizen dolls and stories cultivate wonder and acceptance of others around the world by highlighting similarities and celebrating differences through play and storytelling in a unique and fun way.