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December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Latina Moms Seek Bilingual Toys

Submitted by on April 18, 2012 – 7:01 am13 Comments


OK, if we’re talking about wanting bilingual toys for our kids, let me say this:

This Latina mom definitely looked for bilingual toys and dolls, but did ban the daughter’s grandparents from buying la nena a Spanish-singing little furry red dude. I didn’t care how well he habla-ed el espanish, no way, was that doll coming into my house.

So, I am only sort of like the Latina moms surveyed by BabyCenter en Español about their toy-buying habits.

The survey, released yesterday, found:

  • Only 5% of the 400 respondents picked dolls with features and skin color that matched their family, but 16% looked for bilingual toys.
  • 50% of the moms chose musical toys like drums, pianos and guitars. (At my house there long has been an accessible basket of musical instruments and I care not how loud it gets, as long as she bangs around on something.)
  • And, it looks like we shop often, mi’jas. Twenty-one percent (21%) of the mamis buy toys every.single.month. Guau. Five percent buy something every week. (Are you wondering where they put all those trastos? I am…)

Around here, we put an emphasis on bilingual books and bilingual music, and even now that my daughter is 8, books and music still are her most common play things. Dolls never have been a big deal for her. And, gente, never would I buy a toy every single week. Ni me lo imagino!

And you?

What are your toy-buying habits for your little one?

Do you look for dolls that look like your child, your family?

What do you think about the options in bilingual toys?



Share, por favor!


  • I have no daughters but always love the dolls! I loved playing as a child to look after them and comb, also I made dresses, jajajaj!

  • i don’t see a benefit… these manufactures are trying to milk the cultura for all they can. I have 8 nephews and nieces that are fully bilingual and don’t have bilingual dolls. having one wouldn’t show a difference in their speaking abilities or interests… music, books and speaking is the best way to go…

  • Que interesante! No me había puesto a pensar en esto y la verdad que quede sorprendida con los números. Cuando pequeña no existían tantos juguetes bilingues en el mercado :(

  • Ericka says:

    Bilingual books or apps are the way to go. These are great stats.

  • ruby says:

    I don’t buy toys every week but I do know parents that do!!! it’s a mad house! I do go for dolls with my kids and i’ve always searched for colored dolls my kids could relate to. My kids love barbies now and they love stuffed animals. Even when it comes to bears we go for the darker browns. I think it’s my way of trying to have them relate to things. Most our Bilingual products are in fact apps and books though.

  • Silke says:

    I love bilingual toys! why? because my kids grew up playing with them. Bilingual Ricky, the chatter box bilingual phone and my son’s favorite abuelito Pancho! He learned to sing “campanitas” along with this doll. And that’s why I started http://www.growingbilingual.com hard to find variety in the States but trying to do my best to get the kids favorites :-)

  • I never thought about buying bilingual toys before. this is pretty cool! Glad to see you back, Carrie!

  • Monica says:

    My kids aren’t so much into dolls. Instead they love stuffed animals, games, books, and art supplies. I’ll admit that I frequently agree to buy them little notepads and books on a fairly frequent basis. But I also homeschool, so a lot of these are used in our class time…

  • Weekly? Estan locos? They get new toys for holidays or special occasions, rarely just because. I will let them get a little something in the dollar section but it has to be functional like a pen or magnet or notepad. I can’t stand clutter!

    As for the bilingual toys, I looked for awhile but since we stay away from anything batter operated, it didn’t really work out. My girls love dolls and I do make a point to pick out diverse dolls. They could mother their dolls all day long!

  • There weren’t many bilingual toys around when my kids were little, but I bought anything in Spanish that I could get my hands on. When we came back from Mexico the aduana guys must have thought I had a toy store. Those fomi maps that they sell at the feria de libros, Turista Mundial and other juegos de mesa, revistas, libros de pasatiempos, música. It probably added up to a toy a month… or is that a toy for each kid? Mine had to share.

  • Carrie, I don’t have children, but I love the little furry Red dude and have given him to my nieces. From what my friends and sis tell me, it’s better than it was in the past, but they find it hard to find “authentic” books, toys that are not “translations” from American toys or books, i.e., looking for Mafalda…

  • Eva Smith says:

    I love the idea of bilingual toys. When my daughter was little I bought her a cabbage patch doll that looked just like her. She had 2 ponytails just like my daughters favorite hairstyle. I still keep it in my closet.

  • jai says:

    I can’t believe some Mami’s buy toys every week! My son barely plays with the toys he does have!! I also go for music and books in my house. He learns while doing so the Spanish he has learned so far is from music or talking to him back and forth. Those statistics are eye opening though.

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