Dolls are very popular toys for children. The games with the doll evolve at the same time as the child grows up. At first, the child reproduces with his doll the events of everyday life. Later, he lets go of his creativity and invents stories where she has a role to play.
Around 18 months
The child often wants to have his first doll around 18 months. At this age, he imitates what he observes in his environment. For example, the child brushes the hair of his doll, as his parents brush his own every morning. He cuddles, cradles and scolds him, as one would do with a real baby.
Which doll to choose?
The doll must be simple, light and easy to handle.
It must not be too big; his height should be adapted to that of the child, like a baby in the arms of his mother.
Even if a child of this age is attracted to infants, he will probably prefer a doll with a smiling and friendly face. Better to avoid the doll “newborn”, face crumpled.
In general, the child likes his doll to have hair, as well as eyes that open and close.
2 years to 3 years
The doll is part of the imagination of the child and becomes a real gaming partner. The child likes to cuddle, scold, put in bed, wash, walk, feed with invisible food and make her sleep. He pretends to be his mom or dad.
The child makes the gestures and the events of everyday life with his doll. He experiences the world of adults. At this age, the doll also offers him the opportunity to reproduce what he lives, whether good or bad times. He can thus express the feelings he feels (tenderness, jealousy, joy…) and plays down conflict situations by replaying the scenes with his doll. In addition, the child becomes more competent to take care of it, because his actions are more effective. All of this helps the child to grow and gain self-confidence.
Which doll to choose?
No matter how old your child is, her doll does not have to talk, cry, drink or laugh. The simpler it is, the more creative your child is in his game.
- The doll must be light and not too big. The first doll of your child is still quite suitable.
- Avoid dolls that are the size of your child: it distorts the dialogue with the child.
- If the doll’s joints are flexible, your child will be able to sit, dress and undress more easily.
3 years to 6 years
The child invents longer, more complex stories with social roles (eg, “I am the mother and you, the doctor”). Everything makes sense and the elements are interrelated. In his play with the doll, the child often reproduces the prohibitions of his parents: “You will think about the chair if you hit your friend. ”
The doll represents a gaming partner always available and docile. Confident of the most discreet, she listens to all the secrets of the child. The presence of his doll can also reassure him at bedtime .
Playing the doll is an important element of socialization at this age, as children love playing together with their respective dolls. The presence of other children enriches their game and helps develop social skills, such as deciding on the scenario, sharing props or taking into account the opinion of the other.
Which doll to choose?
- The ideal doll is classic and strong.
- Dolls with mechanisms or electronic components are not recommended. If the doll is too complex, it is likely that your child will try to divert her from her apparent function to better reclaim her. It is better than the initiative of the game comes from your child, not the toy.
Do boys play dolls?
If your child is interested in a toy associated with the other sex, that’s normal. Your child discovers the world and diversifies his experiences.
When young, boys can be happy to feed and wash a doll. They have the right to be curious and use toys that were not intended for them, just as girls may like playing with cars. Development experts consider that a variety of experiences should be offered to the child, without pressure for a typical behavior of his sex.
Figurines, such as Transformers, Super Heroes or Dragons, appeal to boys ages 3 and up. Their use is different from that of dolls. The figures are engaged in the action. Cuddled, dressed and walked, the dolls are more passive.
Figurines act more than they speak. They need space to play the roles that the child gives them. Playing with figurines stimulates the imagination of the child because he invents many adventures for them.
What about Barbie?
Previously, girls from 8 to 10 years old had fun with this model doll. Today, it is intended for girls from 3 to 6 years old. The clothing of a Barbie doll, however, requires dexterity that generally does not have children from 3 to 6 years. In addition, as Barbie is an adult, she does not fulfill the traditional role of the “baby doll” or the “little girl” doll.