The importance of doll related role play in the development of small children

Don’t get me wrong, i’m all for new, innovative ideas when it comes to child’s play, but day in - day out, in our household, we go back to role play in every game.  I grew up playing with dolls, and I expect you did too… long before the digital babysitter!  I remember spending hours on end pushing my doll around the living room, garden and back again (sorry mum). No iPads, Tv, just unapologetic, child’s play - Who else remembers? Well our new collection is a nod and a wink to that.
Natural Vintage Wicker Pram

Whether it be a doll or your child’s favourite cuddly toy - boys or girl, there’s no denying the endless benefits role play can have on your child’s early stages of development. Widely recognised by child practitioners and parent bloggers alike, here’s just a few of the many benefits we’ve come across.
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  1. Language

No matter if it’s doll and toddler or role play amongst friends, the opportunity to expand vocabulary and verbal skills is second to none. As recognised by pediatric speech-language pathologist Katie Yeh in blogpost ‘WHY KIDS SHOULD PLAY WITH BABY DOLLS (YES, EVEN BOYS!)’ by Christie Kiley (Mama OT), Doll’s play can be great for something as simple as the exploring names of body parts, items of clothing, or even encouraging verbs: ‘drink’, ‘sleep’, ‘hungry’, ‘sleepy’ – You really can’t go wrong.

  1. Social skills

Not only do dolls allow for a child to escape to their own world where they can finally be in charge, it can also teach mums and dads a great deal about how a child perceives their interactions with them. They are acting as ‘mummy’ as they know, no instruction, no help, just their abundant, inquisitive little brains! And, it is their opportunity to put in prsactice what they've been taught by their carergivers.
Doll's House Colouring Book - Drawn by Emily Sutton

This leads me nicely onto my next point, as recognised by Child Ventures in ‘The Benefits of Playing With Doll’s role play amongst friends can allow them to explore language and scenarios beyond what they currently know, expanding their ever-growing knowledge of the world around them but in the most natural way possible.

  1. Everyday/life skills

Perhaps the most obvious, but very effective is the ability for children to learn some of the most common everyday skills through the use of doll role play. As an article ( by Jordyn Fisher states nicely - What better way to learn than to practise on a mini version of you – Right?
A great opportunity for children to learn skills such as: dressing/undressing, feeding, bathing and potty training. All you parents out there with beautiful boys, this is particularly key given that boys tend to grasp fine motor skills a little later than girls, making it even more important they get to practise at every opportunity.

  1. Responsibility

The biggie. We all know what it’s like buying what seems like endless amounts of toys, books and games, only to be either broken, lost or discarded for the next best thing. Role play with dolls can really teach children a lot about taking care of their belongings. Whether it be a toy, a pet or even a new sibling, mastering the art of value and care for what’s around them is essential for a child’s development, and also essential for prepping them for key milestones in their life.

  1. Empathy

Just like responsibility, the scope for learning key elements of emotional intelligence through role play is huge. This is great for parents expecting a second, third, fourth baby. With help from a favourite doll or teddy, children can practise the art of compassion, and the ability to nurture close relationships with others.  Prepping them whole heartedly for the upcoming big bro or sis duties!
Moulin Roty Les Parisiennes: Eloise

  1. And saved the best until last – Imagination

Because let’s face it you can’t beat the wonderful world of a child’s imagination. Now, if we’re living by Einstein’s ethos:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”   -
Role play is exactly that. Unlimited. It allows your child to take the lead into their own thoughts and fantasies, no interfering, no rules just their uncapped creativity and whirlwind of untouched knowledge. Believe me, you’ll be surprised what you can learn from the free and wonderful mind of your lovely little one!
Wooden Doll's Bed - Star acorn & pip

On that note, happy role playing guys. We’d love to hear about some of your role play related stories… Don’t forget to give us a follow:
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March 19, 2018 — admin