Doll Play- The how’s, why’s and ways it can help you!
You will often notice your kids begin initiating role play from 18 months of age.
Beginning role plays are simplistic and usually mimic everyday activities (caring for others, cooking, cleaning, driving a car).
Watching your child’s role play is a window into their minds, interests and often challenges.
How so; “Sarah loves to play dolls but lately I’ve noticed she is re-enacting her dolls fighting.”
This MAY represent Sarah gaining a greater awareness of her peers, her independence and her place in a group of people. If Sarah attends preschool or somewhere where their are other kids she may be experiencing ‘arguments” of sorts amongst peers. This is common as a child develops their own awareness, interests and desires.
Typical arguments of preschool age often revolve around who to play with, what to play and who has what role in the group.
Sarah role playing with her dolls allows her to continue to process what is occurring in a safe environment (home) with safe playmates (her dolls). She is able to work on her understanding of her feelings alongside the beginning of understanding others feelings. She is also able to problem solve ways to address a similar situation in the future.
This is healthy and fabulous learning. You can encourage and gently enquire into this play too.
Ask if you can join in. Ask your child to assign you to a role. You can incorporate questioning as the role you’ve been assigned and be led by your child. It is here that you may learn what is occurring for your child, how they managed the situation and how they inevitably feel. During this play you can teach via your character by simple suggestions. What if Lara does this? etc.
This is just 1 example of how dolls can be used to enhance learning and increase problem solving and relationship building skills.
You can find dolls and accessories along with other role play products in our Role Play category online.