A doll is a children’s toy, commonly associated with girls. Resembling humans of a number of ages, often babies, and young girls, dolls have been around for a long time and played a predominant role in society for a number of years.
Dolls were once used to depict religious figures, but are now used for a number of purposes, from fun and enjoyment, to decoration and ornaments, and are now commonly used as a tool for learning and development. Don’t be fooled, dolls are not just for children.
The Benefits of Using Dolls
Children very often have dolls as toys. Those dolls can vary in a number of ways. Some dolls cry, some dolls come with ways of pretending to be fed, washed and changed, some dolls even use the potty. The use of dolls in children is fun for most, but there are additional benefits that apply.
There has been exploration into the use of dolls in children. Studies show that children often imitate behaviors displayed from parent to child on their doll, for example, brushing their hair, and rocking them to sleep. Additionally, they are said to enhance playtime, allowing children to articulate longer stories and role playing.
There have been supporting theories and additional information provided about the benefits using dolls for development, such as sensory stimulation, social skills, problem solving, and the development of motor skills.
In recent years, therapists and care experts have discovered what has been named ‘Doll Therapy.’ Doll therapy was designed to help alter the behaviour of patients with dementia.
This technique has been described as a controversial intervention, but references a study taken by researchers at Newcastle University, where care staff admitted to it having clear benefits, reporting a calming effect, a reduction in patients wondering around, and increased communication and improved speech.
Which Dolls Are Best?
There are many different types of dolls, from all colours and creeds. Physical features vary, such as hair, and eye colour, outfits range in style, and there are variations in size, age, and gender. Many doll makers supply a story that allows each doll to be individuals. For example, more unique doll makers will give their dolls names, ages, back stories, plans, and likes and dislikes.
These stories allow children, such as toddlers, to learn how to treat the individual needs of someone, catering to a dolls personality and wishes.
Some specific features in dolls may help address issues with children. A child learning to potty train may benefit from a doll that uses its own potty, producing a genuine liquid substance into the potty. Waterproof dolls may help children who don’t like hygiene such as bathing. Children can seek comfort and security in bathing from the act of bathing their dolls.
Many older people, including adults, collect dolls simply for using them as ornaments or as hobbyists. In which case, elegantly dressed, old fashioned style dolls tend to be most suitable. Praline dolls are popular collector’s items and are in some cases passed down through generations as gifts, and gestures of love.
There are many reasons to buy and use dolls, and many benefits, all with the potential to allow people of all genders and ages to have fun, and learn new skills.
Eveline Reed is expert on dolls. Having played with them as a child, Kate recognizes the importance of how dolls can help people to learn new skills.