Kids & Parenting

The value of playing with baby dolls

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Girls and boys learn valuable life lessons while playing with dolls.
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Playing with dolls helps a child build his social and emotional skills

Not only is playing with dolls fun for both boys and girls, but it also helps to develop their social and emotional skills. Children can confide in dolls and release some of their emotions by playing with them. In addition, kids can learn how to interact with others by playing with dolls. Help your child build the social and emotional tools she needs by allowing her to spend time with high-quality baby dolls.

Many parents underestimate the value of playing with baby dolls, especially when it comes to boys; however, children learn valuable life lessons while playing with dolls regardless of their gender. Some parents help their children prepare for the addition of a new sibling by giving them a doll to play with. Children can learn how to hold, handle, act and speak around a newborn by playing with the doll. Caring for this doll can help your child learn to care for his new brother or sister, as well.

Taking care of a doll teaches a child about responsibility. Oftentimes, children will mimic the behavior of their parents. If a child sees his parents taking care of his sibling, he may display some of those same behaviors with his doll. There are many dolls available that children can change diapers on, feed and even take their temperature and administer medication. In addition, providing  your child with doll accessories can also help to build responsibility skills. Allow your child to tuck his doll into bed or let him change the doll into different types of clothing. These types of jobs can help a child learn about consistency and dependability.

Dolls can also help children achieve high self esteem. Having a constant companion who never judges them or makes them feel bad about themselves helps many children feel good and boosts their self-esteem. In addition, if a child feels that she is taking good care of her doll, she will likely feel better about herself. Many children enjoy the feeling of being the sole-caretaker of a doll and knowing that she has successfully cared for the doll will help her feel a sense of accomplishment.

Children often confide in their dolls and tell them secrets or thoughts they wouldn't normally share with their parents or siblings. Perhaps they know that the doll won't judge them or punish them for what they feel. Children also tend to feel extremely close to their dolls and will call for them in times of discomfort. Dolls often provide a support system for children and are there for them at all times -- even when waking up from a bad dream if your child sleeps with her doll.

Providing your child with baby dolls and baby doll accessories that are made of the highest quality materials can help you feel comfortable about letting your child spend so much time with them. Some imported dolls have been found to be made with potentially toxic materials and paints that pose a health hazard. Consider giving your little one organic dolls that are soft, comforting, fun and safe to play with.

Dolls also provide an emotional outlet for children. Often, if a child is angry or upset, she may scold her doll. Acting this way to her doll potentially prevents her from taking her emotions out of another child and serves as a safe context in which to air her feelings.

Dolls can help adopted children feel like part of the family. If a family has adopted a child of different ethnicity, providing a doll that looks like her can help her to feel like she belongs. Having someone that looks familiar can help her adjust to her new situations and surroundings better and faster than if she didn't have the doll. Let a child choose their own dolls. Some children gravitate toward a doll that looks similar to themselves, others prefer dolls that are their polar opposite. Don't judge or influence. The rainbow coalition that your child is likely to amass will be interesting and uniquely hers.

Encourage your child to continue playing with dolls as he grows. Provide him with dolls designed for older children that offer your older child stimulation and development appropriate for his age.

Do not underestimate the value of playing with dolls when it comes to your children. Dolls help children develop healthy skills and are often a source of comfort and friendship. 

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