It’s so important for our children to see themselves represented in the world around them, from those within their own community and characters portrayed on film, to the very toys they play with. But for kids who have hearing aids, cochlear implants, a cleft lip, a tracheostomy, feeding tubes, or surgery scars, it can be challenging to find that representation.
That’s why one mum took it upon herself to start an Etsy shop featuring inclusive dolls and accessories for little kids who need to see a bit of themselves in the world. I first learned about the shop, called BrightEars, from the Kids Activities blog; shop owner, Clare, explains how the store began:
I am Mum to two girls, my youngest (Matilda) is deaf and wears bilateral hearing aids. I started making retainers for her as I found the standard ones to be a little dull and didn’t really reflect her personality! I then made a doll for her…and that’s how BrightEars was born!
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BrightEars operates from the United Kingdom; shipments to the United States can take some time due to the distance, the pandemic, and the fact that each doll and its accessories are customisable. But with nearly 2,000 sales and five stars, the feedback about the shop is overwhelming glowing. Here is a sampling:
- What an amazing gift for our granddaughter. Our kids gave it to her on the day she received her hearing aids. It made the process so much easier and our granddaughter made a new best friend! Thank you for creating such a beautiful moment for our family.
- Life-changing doll for my daughter Heidi. She is beyond proud of her little doll who looks just like her!
- Lovely doll bought for my niece who is PEG fed and always tried to feed her dolly the same way she is fed; now this little baby will let her do that. Also got the baby some glasses like she wears. Would highly recommend.
- My daughter absolutely loved the doll. I’ve been searching for a doll like this for a long time. It’s not exactly her tube but super close. She said she’s going to keep it forever. Best purchase I’ve made.
You can see more of BrightEars’ updated shipping information and customisable options on its Facebook page, as well as lots of adorable pictures of kiddos with their new dolls.
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