Playing with Dolls: A Guide to Boy-friendly Dolls

When you learn that you are having a new baby boy you'll get many presents for friends and family. One thing you don't tend to get is a doll. Children love playing with dolls and engaging creative play based on the family situations they see each day. Here is how to choose the perfect dolls for your boys.

Look for soft dolls rather than hard plastic

Many of the popular brands of girl's toys are made of hard plastic and mimic adolescent girls. Instead search for soft and cuddly toys showing people of a variety of ages. These are great for young children as they can be chewed without any worries about pieces becoming choke hazards, and become comfort items, as the children get older.

Look for dolls with a range of ages and appearances

Children often use play to represent and work through situations in their own life. Look for dolls that can represent the figures in the child's life including parents, siblings and any other special figures they see regularly. Some independent doll makers can even make a family of dolls based on a picture of your family.

Get the accessories to support the play

While you may here that boys are obsessed with cars a more accurate assessment is that toddlers are obsessed with anything with wheel. Most boys love a chance to play with a dolls stroller at girlfriend's houses and can equally be encouraged to play with dolls with the right accessories. If you are having a new baby, a doll with a crib and nappy to change can be a good way for your son to mimic some of the behaviours you use to care for the baby.

Involve the men

One of the barriers to playing with dolls can be a lack of support from the men in your son's life. By encouraging the men in your family to join in the play at times you provide a positive example that creative dolls play is not limited to girls. Equally make sure that the women in the family are supportive, as hearing a sister or grandparent comment that boys shouldn't play dolls can cause a lasting reluctance to playing with dolls.

Doll play has a range of advantages beyond challenging gender stereotypes. It encourages nurturing and lends itself to collaborative play, which can help boy's emotional development. Contact a soft toys distributor like Elka to explore which ranges might suit you.