The Advantages of Playing With Dolls

The real life baby dolls┬áis a toy that can really help open up and expand a child’s pretend play. Children learn a lot of language through their play and play provides them opportunities to use and practice their speech and language abilities. Let’s look at just some of the language notions that a baby doll can help teach and support: Body Parts: Dolls are FANTASTIC for teaching various body parts: eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands, fingers, stomach, feet, toes, knees, elbows, etc.. Yes, you can teach these with no baby doll but providing another opportunity to practice labeling this vocabulary can help to generalize the vocabulary to other men and women. It helps to teach kids that”nose” not only refers to the thing in their face but to all faces. Basic Concepts: Use baby with other baby toys (mattress, blankets) to teach some basic concepts like: prepositions (infant in the bed, baby under the blanket), colors, and size concepts (using different sized dolls). Verbs/Feelings: Use the baby with some other baby toys (bottle, bed, clothing ) to educate verbs/feelings/etc. Like: eat, drink, sleep, sit, stand, hungry, exhausted, hungry, and much more. Answering”wh” questions: You can ask your kid an array of questions to work on his comprehension of those words while he plays. “Where is baby?” “Where is baby’s nose/fingers/belly button?” “What does the baby want to eat?” “Why is the baby crying?” Social/pragmatic abilities: Baby dolls can be a great tool to use to help educate appropriate social/pragmatic skills. Children can take turns playing with different dolls, and they are able to practice using language to ask questions about the dolls and what they’re doing.
Dolls are a few of the toys that children have played . Their use was recorded around 100 AD in Greece. There’s good reason for these toys to be this long lasting through history. They allow for a child to gain a greater comprehension of themselves as well as those around them, and are a representation of the child . While traditional gender roles dictate that dolls are a toy mainly for girls, playing with dolls can provide growth that is significant for children, regardless of gender. Playing with dolls solidifies social abilities which are obtained in a child’s early developmental years. When kids play house, they learn to communicate with one another and collaborate. By taking care of a doll, they learn how to take care of one another.Responsibility. Children are learning responsibility by learning social skills that are important at an early age. They learn by playing with it, how to look after a doll. Learning learn to take care of their pets, or older siblings understand how to care of their younger siblings. Empathy & Compassion.Another significant 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 allows them to grow up into caring people and teaches them to empathize with those around them. Imagination.Dramatic play, the sort of play that occurs when kids play with dolls, helps develop a child’s imagination as they encounter creative, imagined scenarios with their dolls and other kids. Language. Playing with their friends as well as dolls, kids run for their games into situations that are new and unique. By filling it with language that is sensible, communicating between one another can strengthen their language. By communicating in this manner with their friends, children gain insight into house routines that may differ from their own.

Children use play to comprehend their world. Doll play helps kids: clinic nurturing and caring (socio-emotional)re-enact interactions with their own caregivers, family members, and friends (cognitive reframing) prepare for a sibling (rehearsal). Irrespective of a child’s gender, these skills are all valuable life lessons. In carrying, holding, feeding, and rocking a baby doll, children are practicing being loving to others. They may be modeling how they remember being taken care of as a baby, or how they see adults in their world caring for children. Just as children copy parents talking on the phone, working in the kitchen, vacuuming, etc., doll play is no different. It is children’s way to understand and begin to create the world their own by practicing these everyday events. Play is also. Doing this allows them to increase their comprehension of the events. They are also able to take on the opposite role, which enables them to view things from another’s perspective (SUCH an important skill to acquire!) . Many times children will enjoy taking on the adult role in order for them to feel a sense of control and power. This makes complete sense because children have very little control over their world (for some essential and good reasons). Giving a child the chance to have control and some power in play allows them to give it a try in a way that is secure.
Removing clothes: Although some clothing items are easier to remove than others (like those baby socks that never stay on their small feet!) , before doing for themselves, kids benefit from trying out it on a doll. Taking clothes off is usually mastered before putting it on and includes removing items such as hat, socks (pulling from the top instead of pulling on the toes), shoes, top, using a pincer grip to sew, pulling down pants, and unbuttoning large buttons. Putting on clothes: Obtaining clothing on can be tough and is typically MUCH easier when first practiced on a doll. Some common clothing items kids can practice on dolls and themselves comprise placing a hat on their head, zipping with some assistance, putting shoes on, pulling up pants, putting on a shirt, and buttoning large buttons. Using both hands This skill is expected to emerge around a year and a half and tends to coincide with the development of skills such as holding or zipping/unzipping . Feeding: As children play skills grow, so do their skills! Playing with a baby doll gives them the opportunity to practice appropriately holding and using feeding items such as spoons, bottles, cups, forks, bowls, etc..
Playing with baby dolls is also a excellent way for young children to get ready for the arrival of a sibling. Parents can model ways to care and appropriately touch for a baby which could give the sib-to-be a taste of what they can expect. When the baby arrives, the new big-sib can care for their own baby doll directly alongside mother and dad. This may be particularly helpful since it’s quite normal (for obvious reasons) for the older sibling to not get as much attention when the baby arrives. Being able to have their own activity — but still feel on the parent(s) and family — can help a child ease into having an extra member in the family. Some kids will prefer to play out these same situations with other stuffed toys or miniatures because they feel better attached to them or they need the play to be removed (less real to the actual situation) than playing with baby dolls. I’m mentioning this because I don’t want parents/caregivers to believe that because a child does not play with baby dolls that they practice and can not learn these skills. But I do believe that baby dolls offer children something unique that toys just can’t do.
Bathing: Children can practice giving their doll a bath (with pretend water if the doll is not permitted to get wet)! This is great for practicing sequencing skills (first fill up the bathtub, then put on shampoo, then rinse hair, etc.). I have also used dolls in therapy to help kids move past their fear of bathing with them help me give the doll a pretend bath using all the needed supplies (so that they get used to the sensory experience from the water, shampoo, etc. and may have more control over the experience). We discuss the supplies needed and the steps taken during bath time, and then they can narrate the measures and relaxation the doll during”bath time” while playing out a simple or elaborate pretend narrative. (A plastic Potato Head also works great with this experience.) Parents have been so pleased when their child finally agrees to get in the bath after practicing with the doll for weeks on end!Grooming & Hygiene: Dolls provide the perfect opportunity for practicing grooming and hygiene skills like brushing hair, brushing teeth, and washing hands. Potty training: While I don’t have a lot of experience on this front (yet!) , a kid with an active imagination can really benefit from using a doll to help with potty training. While skills such as indicating discomfort over soiled pants and sitting on a potty seat with assistance are skills a child must develop in him or herself, they can be performed on the doll either from the caregiver or the child him/herself. For example:”Uh oh! Baby has a wet diaper!
The baby doll is such a fantastic toy that we expect ALL kids .will have the chance. This is because baby dolls are packed with potential for educating children about themselves and the world around them. Let us take a look! Baby dolls offer kids lots of opportunities for developing self-help skills, fine motor, and their cognitive. Kids often find it much easier to practice these skills on someone (or something) else before they could apply them to themselves. And since boys develop some of their fine motor and self-dressing skills than women, it’s important for them to be exposed to more opportunities for training. For instance: Dramatizing with a doll: Around two to three years old, children typically begin to behave as if their doll can see and interact together. They may link several actions with the doll in sequence such as feeding the doll, bathing the doll, and then placing the doll . This form of pretend play is a hugely important part of their cognitive development.

 

Asked on October 23, 2020 in Consulting.
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