25 Reasons Every Kid Should Have a Doll

child sleeping with dollThere are dolls all over my house. They hide under beds and in them; they spill out of closets, lie on the couch and on chairs, and mostly live tucked under my children's arms.


I have 5 year-old twins -- a boy and a girl -- and they both love dolls. Their reasons for playing with dolls are sweet, but there's also research that shows the benefits of children's having dolls. These are just a few reasons I (and they!) believe every kid should own these pretend playthings.

1. Pretend play, such as when kids play with dolls, helps kids develop problem-solving skills, say some experts.

2. Dolls can be educational and help explain things to a small child by example, such as how we eat, how babies need diaper changing, or how to soothe a baby to sleep.

3. How cute is it to see a child hugging a doll!

4. Kids can develop their gross motor skills when playing with dolls as they rearrange doll furniture, put the baby in a cradle, or push her in a mini-stroller.

5. Fine motor skills get a boost as well, through dressing dolls, or putting on their shoes and hats.

6. My son said that his doll makes him feel safe when he sleeps.

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7. He also added that dolls make him feel cozy -- it gives him a warm feeling to take care of a doll.

8. My daughter said that she loves dolls because she likes to pretend to be mommy. This warms my heart.

9. My daughter and son are both learning how to be kind and gentle with others, especially those smaller than them.

10. Dolls help us raise little caregivers. My daughter said that dolls are great because "when you're a grown-up then you know what to do."

11. "They're cute" is another reason my kids love dolls. Dolls do bring sweet smiles to their faces and to mine, especially when I see my daughter bundle her "baby" up and zip her into a jacket she has on -- she's babywearing, just like I did with her when she was little.

12. Dolls help develop language skills. When I hear my little ones talking to their dolls, I am often amazed at how they mimic me and put together sentences to communicate to their toy.

13. The world feels more pint-sized and manageable when kids play with dolls -- doll play can help kids feel they are able to relate more and give them confidence.

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14. When kids are stressed or are going through a difficult situation, dolls can help them play out their feelings and work through them.

15. Ever see two kids playing together with dolls? It's adorable. Great social development.

16. Some experts recommend playing with a doll as an excellent way to help a child prepare for a sibling.

17. Kids love having a "job" or "duties," and I've found that when I go to the grocery store with my child, if he or she has a doll with them, they feel they have a purpose and are more likely going to have a little more patience when I'm taking my time reading the ingredients on food labels.

18. Imaginary play is fun and beneficial -- for boys and girls.

19. Dolls also greatly benefit children with special needs to develop social and emotional skills.

20. Dolls help teach empathy -- I've witnessed my kids playing "baby hospital," and I love seeing how they care for those cuddly toys.

21. Therapists often use dolls in sessions with children to help them express their emotions.

22. Dolls encourage dramatic play, which builds a child's literacy skills.

23. A doll can help bring out a shy child's personality. As he or she plays with, talks, and interacts with his or her doll, he or she may become more at ease playing and talking with others.

24. Pretend play with a doll can help a child learn the roles of his or her own parents, and how working together really helps everyone.

25. It's a keepsake. I remember my favorite doll when I was a kid, and I hope to save my kids' favorites so they have a cherished toy to maybe share with their own children someday.


What's your favorite reason for kids to play with dolls?

Image via © ruizluquepaz/iStock

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