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Playing with dolls

from 9 months to 1 year 6 months

The baby doll is such a fantastic toy that we hope ALL children (Yes, even BOYS!) will have the opportunity to own and play with during the toddler years. This is because baby dolls are packed with potential for teaching children about themselves and the world around them.

Playing with dolls is basic to dramatic play. The roots of make-believe begin between 12 and 18 months of age. During this time, children start to use objects as symbols and imitate behaviors. Toddlers begin to talk to dolls, feed them, and tuck them into bed. Later children assume roles for themselves, beginning with the most familiar, mommy and daddy. Andrea plays mommy, for example, and says to baby, “Eat your peas.”

Pretend play, of which dolls are a part, benefits all areas of development. By dressing and feeding dolls, children enhance fine-motor skills. By assuming roles and interacting with other children, they practice language and social skills, including sharing, cooperation, helping, and problem solving. They learn the different roles people play and begin to see their own place in the world.

Children have a fundamental need to bring the large, loud world into manageable size. Pretend play gives a child a miniature world of downsized objects and people where she is the giantess and the trucks, cars and airplanes are easily manipulable. She can reshape her own bedtime or feeding experience with the help of some props we adults can offer—dolls, toy beds, or toy kitchen tables. She can come to grips with what are often major crises, such as a battle over feeding or messy toileting, but ‘writing’ the scenarios herself and putting dolls into the now miniaturized situations and experiencing the power of watching them suffer as she pretends to be Momma.

Doll play also allows children to work through strong emotions.

Thus, let your baby take the favorite doll everywhere - for bathing, walking, eating, visiting friends. The doll will even help you to cloth your little one easier - just offer him/her to put a cap or shoes on it!

Make photos of your baby playing with a doll, upload to the App. Write briefly about the process.

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