Dolls: A Familiar Prop Used In Children’s Plays

How are dolls used to support children’s learning and development?

Dolls have been used in dramatic play centers for decades. Playing with dolls comes under basic dramatic play. Children start playing with dolls at the age of 12 to 18 months. They use them as playing objects and in role playing. True doll-play begins around the age of 2. Toddlers begin to feed them, tuck them into bed and talk to them. Later on, children start to assume the role of Mommy and Daddy, one of the most familiar role-plays. As role-playing becomes easier, they learn to play multiple roles at a time. They certainly use dolls for school, family, and other role playing that rope in friends as they get older. They begin to play with them in a way that mimics their observations in their surroundings, roles like doctor, cookie monster, and cartoon characters, among others.

In primary schools and kindergarten, children employ all kinds of elaborate fantasy doll plays. Dolls are more popular among girls although some boys also take a liking in the toy. Boys mostly prefer aggressive themes such as video games, adventures fantasy play and guns whereas girls prefer enacting familiar roles like household chores and interactions. According to experts, pretend play is almost common to all children.

Dolls’ Benefits

Dolls are a part of “Pretend Play” and bring benefits in almost all areas of development. By feeding and dressing dolls, children nurture their motherly instincts. By interacting with other children in role-plays, they learn social skills and languages including problem-solving, cooperation, sharing, negotiating and helping, among others.

Child Development

Dolls should be matched perfectly according to the child’s development. For infants, stuffed animal toys are the perfect choice. They are soft, cuddly, sturdy and washable. Dolls come in different sizes and their clothes are detachable and designed to withstand frequent laundering. Most of the 9 inch and 18-inch baby doll clothes are easy to wash if you choose the right quality. They are also a bit expensive and classy but this should deter you from getting a professionally made and safe toy for your baby. One should also take care while washing and during playtime.

Dolls allow infants to exercise and build dexterity from the activity that they stimulate. Kids can’t help but get excited to have a little person of their own who is literally always there. Realism is important for infants, as dolls represent a person and not a fantasy figure or a cartoon character for them. Dolls play an important role in experiencing cause and effect. Children of 3 to 5 years, generally prefer playing with dolls that look like real babies, with movable arms and legs and pose in different positions.


Dolls are indispensable in overall child development. Attractiveness also matters in playing with dolls. Buy some cool dolls for your baby and complement this with matching clothes, a dollhouse, and a variety of other great items.