Children have played with dolls since 3000 BCE, they were carved flat pieces of wood with hair made of wood beads back then. Dolls are a physical representation of children themselves, which is why dolls are such a critical tool for a child’s development.
One of Forever Dolls’ Ambassadors, little 6 year old Alexa who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, demonstrated to her Mum firsthand how important dolls can be for a child’s development.
Learning Personal Care Through Play
When children care for dolls, they’re learning on a smaller model of themselves. When they dress the doll or brush its hair, they’re imitating important personal care habits that will develop into real-life skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
Earlier this week, Carlin, mum to Alexa, reached out to let us know about the progress of her daughter.
“Alexa has started taking a great interest in brushing her hair this month. She has taken over the night-time ritual brushing! I am sure that this relates to her care for Piper and Rainbow, and I admit that it makes me just a little sad. But I’m oh-so-very proud of her to be growing up in such a symbolic way!”
Alexa has developed the skill of hair brushing simply because she loves to play with her dolls. She acquired the skill through play and gained the confidence to apply them in her own nightly routine.
How to Encourage Personal Care Habits
If you’re little one is still developing personal care habits, don’t fret! A “learn through play” approach can make it more fun and take the pressure off. Here are a few ideas you can implement in your home.
- The skill: Brushing hair
Forever Dolls offers hairstyling-specific dolls. Take Piper for example. If your child struggles to sit still while you brush their hair, encourage them to do their doll’s hair while you do theirs. Over time, they may grow to enjoy this hair care activity just like Alexa did and begin to take interest in doing their own.
After your child masters brushing and grows older, they can take their hairstyling to the next level. The hair on our doll’s head is heat safe to 180 degrees, which means you can use heating tongs to curl or straighten your doll’s hair. We recommend parental supervision for all heating tools!
- The skill: Wearing clean clothes
Create a routine with your child to change their clothes in the morning after breakfast. If they’re particularly resistant, show them how they can change their doll’s clothes right along with their own. Bonus if you have a few matching pieces so they can match their Forever Doll!
- The skill: Washing hands
Washing hands is an important skill, especially after the last few years. Help your child practice good hand hygiene. They can even take their doll into the bathroom with them. Although they shouldn’t submerge them entirely, a quick rinse of the doll’s vinyl hands can help emphasize the skill.
Help your child learn through play and form good personal habits! Forever Dolls are designed to be a friend to guide them through daily life.