Dolls are timeless toys for young children. For years young girls and boys have created fantasy worlds for them and their dolls. Tea parties, playing house, and generally just taking their dolls everywhere are commonplace for most young children. It seems that young children love taking the mom/dad/big sibling role with their dolls. But what is it about dolls that keep young kids so enticed? And should doll play be encouraged in girls AND boys? Here’s what we found out:
Playing with Dolls Boosts Creativity. Most parents have story upon story of what their kids have dreamed up in their imagination. When children play with dolls, they often take their doll through their own fantasy worlds, and create larger than life scenarios. Even if their pretend play stays within the realms of Earthly possibility, they are still boosting their creativity by creating these real life scenes.
Playing with Dolls Boosts Brain Development. Kids will enhance their fine motor skills by playing with dolls, as well as cognitive ability. As children create new scenarios, they get more creative, and the imaginary boundaries in their brain start to expand. The more they play, the more their cognitive faculties will begin to grow and blossom. Fine motor skills, specifically the ones related to the use of hands and fingers, will also be mastered the more they play with dolls.
Playing with Dolls Helps Children Learn About the Human Body. It’s never too early to start learning about our bodies and the way they function. Dolls help children learn about how their bodies work by playing dolls and manipulating the dolls body. In addition, children can learn how to properly dress a doll, which in turn will lead to them being able to dress themselves without needing the help of their parents. Other self-help skills revolving around the human body include eating, hygiene, and potty training.
Playing with Dolls Increases Children’s Social Skills. When children play with dolls, they almost see their dolls as total equals, akin to the role a sibling would play. They don’t just “play” with the doll; they live and communicate with it. These types of interactions with the dolls will help them to become more effective communicators. And, as in the case with most toys, playing with dolls can be an avenue in which to play with other children. These interactions will greatly expand their communication and sharing skills.
Should Boys Play with Dolls? Many parents have long questioned whether it was ok for their little boys to play with dolls. While no one can force a reluctant parent to allow their male child to play with a doll, studies have shown that all the positive attributes that come with playing with dolls are just as strong in males. Little boys will learn about their bodies, increase their cognitive, social, and self-help skills, and become more creative in the process. While it is ultimately up to the parent to decide, we want to encourage all parents to be open-minded and allow their children to decide if they enjoy playing with dolls or not.
Dolls have been a part of children’s playtime for centuries, and it is easy to see why. There are numerous benefits that come along with doll play. We encourage parents to let their little boys and girls to play with dolls, and learn about themselves in the process!