Finally, Toys That Help Kids Explore the Whole Wide World!
Whole Wide World Toys aims to inspire curiosity and respect for people of all cultures so kids will be ready for this big, beautiful world. Our toys and books bring the world home to play.
Our search for multicultural toys led us to design our own play worlds for families who travel, have adopted internationally, who study foreign languages, who love geography and world cultures and who want to offer their kids creative play in heirloom-quality toys.
Ready world, here I come!
I believe that folks of different cultures can get along just fine if they get to know each other one-on-one. I’ve experienced this myself.
I spent the early part of my career interviewing hundreds of people in their homes all over the globe. I wanted to understand their lives in hopes of designing useful products for Procter & Gamble. But I came away with so much more than a better diaper or cough medicine.
Living and working on four continents in 10 years changed my life, and shaped the lives of my children. Our entire family has a curiosity about what makes people and places the same and different.
Back in the States, finding toys that showed everyday life in another country was impossible. There were language-learning aids, maps, and multicultural dolls, but nothing that felt like being there. That’s why I started Whole Wide World Toys.
Why did you choose multicultural toys?
I have a deeply held belief that we might even have world peace if people understood each other better. I lived in Iowa until I graduated from college, and then lived overseas for 9 years in Germany, Poland, Egypt and India, as well as 5 more U.S. states. Most expatriates will tell you that the experience of being the odd one out deepens your empathy for folks who are different. Even if you’ve moved around the U.S., you’ve learned to be resilient.
How did you get the idea for the first World Village Playset?
It started with the playmat and the wooden figures as a way to encourage storytelling – the kind of creative play that I love. There are so many benefits to kids’ future selves in free play! They will spin stories with other kids that involve sharing, taking turns, making rules, and negotiating. Those skills are vitally important and help them understand themselves better.
Why did you choose China as the first culture?
It’s a vast and fascinating country with an ancient culture. Today’s kids will likely benefit from understanding and valuing Chinese culture. I also thought of families who have adopted from China and how important it might be for to them to learn about Chinese culture.
Founder, Whole Wide World Toys
World Village Playsets + Imagination = Almost-Like-Being-There World Exploration