Dolls are some of the oldest toys that children have ever played with. Their earliest use was documented in Greece around 100AD. There’s good reason for these toys to be so long lasting through human history. They are a representation of the child themselves, and allow for a child to gain a greater understanding of themselves as well as those around them.
While traditional gender roles dictate that dolls are a toy mainly for girls, playing with dolls can provide important growth for children, regardless of gender. Here’s how playing with dolls can help you child’s development:
Playing with dolls solidifies social skills that are gained in a child’s early developmental years. When children play house, they learn to communicate with one another kindly and cooperate. By taking care of a doll, they learn how to take care of one another.
By learning important social skills at an early age, children are learning responsibility as well. They learn how to take care of a doll by playing with it. Learning this skill can help children learn to care for their pets, or older siblings more readily understand how to care of their younger siblings.
Empathy & Compassion
Another important social skill that children learn when playing with dolls is how to process emotions such as empathy and compassion. Just like caring for their doll teaches responsibility, it teaches them to empathize with those around them and allows them to grow up into caring people.
Dramatic play, the kind of play that happens when children play with dolls, helps develop a child’s imagination as they encounter creative, imagined scenarios with their dolls and other children.
Playing with dolls as well as their friends, children run into new and unique situations for their games. Communicating between one another can strengthen their vocabulary by filling it with practical language. By communicating in this way with their friends, children gain insight into home routines that may be different from their own. In this way they discover the world around them.