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Teachers love Child's Play!

Teachers come back to Child's Play books time and time again, confident that they will find innovative and fun teaching tools.

A number of the books published by Child's Play are not only suitable for reading for pleasure but also can support learning objectives of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and the National Curriculum. Many of the books can also support development in PSHE and Citizenship.

Child's Play aims to reflect our diverse society and challenge stereotypes. Diversity does not simply refer to heritage and disability, but also gender, nationality and culture, sexual orientation and age. Inclusive images are casual and incidental, meaning that all children are included as part of the landscape, rather than singled out for special attention.

Child's Play products cover the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, moving into Key Stage 2. Child's Play products bring out the best in children (and adults) of all levels of ability, enabling them to work and play together.

What is a Storysack®?

Storysacks enable parents to contribute in a major way to their children's literacy and provide a valuable resource to teachers.

A Storysack® is a large cloth bag containing a quality children's picture book with supporting materials to stimulate reading activities. To bring the book to life, soft toys of the main characters, artefacts relating to items in the story, a non-fiction element relating to the fiction theme and a game based on the book are included. A guide and prompt suggest ways of developing listening, reading and writing skills using the contents of the Storysack®.

Child's Play Storysacks®

Diversity and Equality

Child's Play aims to reflect the diverse society in which we live and challenge stereotypes. Diversity does not simply refer to heritage and disability, but also gender, nationality and culture, sexual orientation and age. Inclusive images are casual and incidental, meaning that all children are included as part of the landscape, rather than singled out for special attention.

Seeing inclusive images is important so that everyone perceives themselves as equal. Inclusion in books allows readers to become familiar with characters that may seem slightly different to them; look or behave slightly differently, or have a different kind of family, but are fundamentally just the same.

We are the products of our own experiences, and as adults we are often unaware of our biases - the beliefs and attitudes that we hold and have acquired from our families, our education and the communities we grew up in. Without realising it, we can unintentionally perpetuate these beliefs and attitudes in the learning environments we create for children.
Anne O'Connor, Early Years Consultant
Equality & Diversity Part 1, Nursery World, 23rd September 2009

Child's Play works in liaison with a number of agencies and diversity specialists to ensure that inclusion is accurate and effective, and to avoid tokenism.


Child's Play aims to ensure that disabled children are fully represented in its books for young children. Just like our other characters, disabled children should be portrayed as good and as mischievous and as three-dimensional as any other child. Inclusion should help disabled children to perceive themselves as equal; inclusion in books allows readers who are not disabled to become familiar with characters that may look slightly different to them, or use different equipment, but are fundamentally just the same.

We are not attempting to create a separate strand of children's literature tackling disability issues, simply trying to reflect society as it truly is.


Although much has changed, traditional gender roles are portrayed and reinforced far too often in our society, which can lead to children building assumptions from an early age about expected gender roles. Boys are often seen to be rugged and adventurous, and girls more passive; men are seen in highly skilled roles, while women are seen doing domestic tasks.

In order for girls and boys to have high aspirations, and believe that they can achieve their desires, we endeavour to avoid, and on occasions challenge, these stereotypes.

Heritage, Nationality and Culture

Children of all races and nationalities should be respected and feel valued, and this can be supported by full representation in the books available to them. It is important to be aware of the possible existence of inbuilt racist stereotypes, assumptions or attitudes, and to ensure that these are not reinforced.

Child's Play aims to represent children from a variety of different races and nationalities, including dual-heritage children and families, as well as gypsies and travellers. Our books reflect the fact that we live in a multicultural society. Diversity is not only portrayed through the illustrations, but also through the text.

Family and Sexual Orientation

There are all sorts of families and all sorts of relationships. A child's parents could be two fathers, two mothers, a single parent, grandparents, adoptive parents or foster carers, yet still it is mainly only the 'traditional' family that is represented in books.

Children raised by parents who are gay or lesbian need to see their families acknowledged in the books they read. Other children also need to see positive images to challenge the stereotypical views that can be inadvertently passed on and expand the boundaries of what they think is possible and acceptable.

Although Child's Play doesn't explicitly focus on 'non-traditional' families, we aim to represent a range of family set-ups, whether they are the main characters, a family in the background, or even reflected in a child's drawing.

Fuller and more realistic representation of the diversity of human relationships in children's literature helps to tackle homophobia and challenge the culture of homophobic bullying that affects so many children and young people.

Sign Language

is the language of the Deaf community

  • is a real, full, grammatically complex language
  • is a visual language created by the Deaf community
  • is used by an identifiable social language community, so lives and changes as the society changes

 As with all languages, SL has its own grammar and word order. The main topic is signed before you comment on it. Rather than saying 'This is my game' you would sign 'game - mine'.

Sign language is much more than just hand shapes and combinations. The same signs may be used to represent a number of different things. As well as the sign itself, expression, position and intensity of movement play a vital part. For example, the sign for rain can be modified to show that it is merely drizzling or raining heavily, depending on the intensity of movement and facial expression.