Do Dolls Need Wheelchairs?

We all know there are children who use wheelchairs.

And of course there are children who play with dolls.

But the question for today is:
Is there a need for ‘doll’s wheelchairs?’ Or doll’s glasses? Or ‘doll’s’ guide dogs / doll ‘guide dogs’ – (which are really just stuffed plush dogs anyway)?

A wheel chair for dolls

A wheelchair and crutches set for 18 inch dolls.

We sell two different doll’s wheelchairs at The Pattycake Doll Company store, the more realistic one above, which is for the American Girl type of dolls, and the one below, which is more simplistic and for Rag Dolls and Teddy Bears.

A Doll's Wheelchair for rag dolls and teddy bears

A Doll’s Wheelchair for rag dolls and teddy bears

Here are just a few of the reasons why we carry these and other special needs dolls and accessories:

  • As a teaching toy. We all know that ‘the child who is different’ can become the child who is laughed at or picked on. Introducing a doll’s wheelchair into the class room can ease the introduction of the wheelchair student into the classroom. The strange can become the familiar very easily.
  • Nurturing and caring: One of the primary reasons dolls have been a ‘classic’ children’s toy for centuries is the fact that children love to nurture. They love to nurture kittens and puppies, they love to nurture their little brothers and sisters. Sometimes it’s better to let young children learn to nurture and take care of a doll in a wheelchair, and let Mommy and Daddy nurture the real child in the wheelchair.
  • Inclusivity: For the same reason it’s important for Black children to have Black dolls to play with – This doll is Black – this doll is beautiful – I’m beautiful too, is the same reason we believe that children should have the option of playing with or nurturing dolls in wheelchairs.

So that’s why we think there should be doll’s wheelchairs and other special needs dolls and accessories.

Just so you know, there are a lot of people who disagree with us… people who think we are cruelly and unnecessarily  ‘singling out’ special needs children. They’re entitled to their opinions too.

Defining Biracial Dolls

Biracial Black-White doll

Opal – One of the Mixis dolls. Opal is Black Ghanian and White British

Growing up, our family self-identified as mutts. It was the standard answer that my family < Father (Russian – Polish with a bit of Irish) and Mother (Lithuanian – Austrian)>  gave when asked “where are you from?” Back in the ’50’s, this was a common question in the racially and culturally diverse neighborhood of New York City where I grew up.

Fast forward fifty years, and I’m scratching my head in this very ‘politically correct’ society we live in now, and I’ was trying to figure out how to best describe our dolls that were neither Black nor White, but in between. No one had ever asked us for an ‘in-between’ doll.

President Obama (Black and White)  – in a conversation about the first family’s search for a dog – had just declared to the whole world that he was a ‘Mutt.’

I didn’t think I wanted to use Mutt.

“Mutt Dolls for Sale!”
“Get your Mutt Dolls at The Pattycake Doll Company!”

At work there were two White women with Black husbands who had young girls. I asked them both: “If you were looking for dolls for your children on the internet, what would you type into the search window?”

Both said “mixed kids!”  100% agreement, right? Perfect!

I liked that a lot better than Mutt, except…. when I researched the search engine algorithms it was a ‘no-go.’ Google, Yahoo and Bing all agreed – practically nobody actually searched for ‘mixed kids dolls.’

No, what Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines seemed to agree upon was that the words ‘Biracial Dolls’ was the way to go.

We’ve since added the words ‘multicultural,’ ‘multiracial’ and yes ‘mixed kids’ to our descriptions as well. The only thing we’ve never done is describe our dolls as mutts.