Some of the oldest toys children have ever played with are dolls. These toys have endured through human history for a good reason. 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.
It’s no wonder that child therapists frequently use dolls when working with young children. Watch your child play in these ways, and you’ll be able to see how she feels and how she thinks. Even putting psychology aside, dolls and figures allow your child to create whatever imaginary world he wants at that moment.
Though traditionally, dolls are regarded as a toy mainly for girls, playing with dolls can benefit children of all genders. Playing with a doll can help your child develop in the following ways:
During a child’s early development, playing with dolls helps strengthen social skills. Playing house teaches children how to communicate with each other kindly and to cooperate. They learn how to take care of one another by taking care of a doll.
In addition to learning important social skills at an early age, children are also learning responsibility. Playing with a doll teaches them how to take care of it. Having this skill can help children learn to take care of their pets, or help older siblings more readily understand how to take care of their younger siblings.
Empathy & Compassion
When children play with dolls, they also learn how to process emotions such as empathy and compassion. In the same way that caring for their doll teaches responsibility, it teaches them empathy and allows them to develop into caring individuals.
Playing with dolls helps children develop their imaginations as they encounter creative, imagined scenarios with their dolls and other children as they play.
Playing with dolls as well as their friends, children run into new and unique situations for their games. Using practical language when communicating with one another can enhance their vocabulary. Children gain insight into home routines that are different from their own by communicating with their friends. In this way they discover the world around them.