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How Does Playing with Dolls Affect Children’s Personality

How Does Playing with Dolls Affect Children’s Personality

How Does Playing with Dolls Affect Children’s Personality

Dolls have been part of human lives for thousands of years. They were one of the first toys ever invented by humanity and are still popular nowadays. A child’s play for some and a passion for others, dolls are the most common toys there are.

Not only baby dolls, but action figures as well are a big part of growing up. Parents tend to see it as a pleasure activity, something to have fun with. But the scientist sees it differently.

There is a lot of research on the effects of toys, especially dolls, on the emotional and physical development of children. It is unanimous that toys influence education and help develop social abilities and other important skills for life.

Developing emotions

When kids play with dolls, they have the opportunity to recreate the world surrounding them. The dolls help them understand what other people do, especially adults, and what their part in it is.

They can act the daily situations that they go through, like changing baby diapers or baking a cake. They can play house, doctor or farm. That is all an effort for trying to understand what happens around them.

Experts say that this pretend play help children develop their problem solving skills. As they see adults solving problems during the day, when they play those problems come up as well. They learn to solve them by role playing.

Dolls are also very effective for making children show their emotions. Sometimes it is hard even for adults to express what they are feeling. For children, that process is even harder.

Playing with dolls can make them subconsciously express their internal feelings in a way they understand, making them deal with those feelings. It also allows those around them to know and understand their emotions and offer the help they need.


Toys and more specifically dolls, are an effective way for parents to educate their children. Through playing with them, the adult can make the children understand rules and the reasons for what they see happening around them.

Parents can use dolls to explain how we eat, why we change the babies’ diapers or how to put a baby to sleep. It can also build empathy and teach the child to treat well other children.

Motor abilities

Dolls can refine children’s gross and fine motor skills. When they are playing, they do a lot of physical activity. They can build their gross motor skills that allows them to do bigger movements and have greater balance. They can do that by walking the doll around on a trolley, for instance, or running with an action figure, making it jump around and land on specific places.

They can develop their fine motor skills in many ways too. By changing dolls clothes, for example, they train to be delicate and precise with their fingers. Besides all that, it is a good way of exercising and getting stronger, preventing them from being sedentary and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Social skills

Doll playing gives the children a deeper understanding of the society they live in. Playing involves a lot of interaction, both with adults and other children. When dealing with others, the child learns to be respectful and comprehensive.

For being able to play with others, children have to learn to cooperate and coexist in a peaceful manner. They also learn there are other ways of thinking and other people with needs, which can be a shock at first.

Doll playing stimulates imagination and language skills. By including other children in playing it also can teach them how and why to share, although that never is an easy lesson.

Brain development

When playing, kids are always learning new things and developing their brains. The brain works like a muscle in the body. The more you use it, the better, “stronger” it gets.

Doll playing stimulates a lot of different parts of the brain and helps develop many important abilities. Children that play with dolls and other toys learn to concentrate better and have an increase in memory.

Dolls, in special, work a lot on language skills and creative thinking. Playing also develops mathematical skills and rational problem solving.

The importance of toys

There is already a lot of research on the effects of playing in children’s brains. Nevertheless, more and more research are being conducted for evaluating deeply those many effects.

Every expert agrees that playing, not only with dolls, but with all kinds of toys, is essential for the development of a person. Playing is how we learn to be adults and live in society.

It is the first contact we have with the real world, even if idealized and it helps us to understand both our surroundings and our interior. Experts claim that children that play less or do not have access to toys have trouble dealing with their emotions and with basic social activities, like making friends.

Dolls are especially good with developing social skills. They also offer emotional comfort to children, acting as shields and escape routes for bad things children experience.

Playing with toys is more than just having fun. It is an essential part of growing up and developing as a fully functional human being.