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Beyond Barbie: So Many Ways (and Reasons!) to Play with Dolls

Au-delà de Barbie: tant de façons (et de raisons!) de jouer à la poupée-Comme des Pirates

Let's be real...Dolls are in fashion! With the release of the new Barbie movie, kids are seeing captivating, colorful images and feeling the excitement for all things Barbie – and they may be curious.

Although the film is aimed at teenagers and adults, it offers educators a great opportunity to introduce younger children to doll play and introduce them to the benefits of entering the magical world of dolls.

Doll play activates regions of the brain that control social skills, like empathy and compassion. It also helps with the development of key milestones, such as fine motor skills, speech and language.

Each doll offers a different way to play (and dream)! And there are so many to choose from!

Dolls to care for and imitate:
compassion, fine motor skills and daily living skills

Feed them dolls that provide comfort, teach them compassion and help them develop fine motor skills.

Having a cuddly best friend by your side makes children feel safe and secure. By caring for their own little ones, they learn kindness toward others.

Actions such as squeezing, holding, dressing and feeding strengthen fine motor skills and introduce transferable skills to everyday life.

Dolls for Imaginary Play:
Empathy, speech and language skills

Use the imagination! With dolls and playsets that encourage open-ended play, children have the opportunity to create their own world, while developing their social and speech skills.

During collaborative play, children learn to work together, listen and respect those around them. They discover the importance and mutual benefits of sharing toys and ideas, which strengthens communication and problem-solving skills.

When children bring their dreams to life by playing with dolls, they feel like anything is possible!

Dolls to identify:
validation, confidence, individuality

When children see themselves represented (whether in the media or through the image of a doll), they are able to connect and feel validated, which gives them the confidence to be them -themselves.

Lookalike dolls help children better understand the outside world. Using dolls (a representation of themselves) to act out real-life scenarios helps children connect and make sense of the world around them.

Dolls to express yourself:
expression, tolerance, communication

The freedom to express individuality through doll role play provides children with a safe space to be themselves, share their experiences and tell stories.

Whether playing alone or with friends, putting yourself in the shoes of another person allows you to introduce new ideas and new points of view. Role play is a great way for children to get to know each other better and learn something new!

Cooperative play also teaches children the importance of considering the thoughts and feelings of others, the effects of actions and words, and how to build and maintain strong, healthy relationships.

Dolls with flair:
show off your style!

Don't forget the doll accessories ! Mix things up with extras and add-ons that offer exciting new ways to play.

Experimenting with personal style through fashion allows children to show off their unique colors and inspires them too. Creativity is expressed when children play without limits!

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