In the world of children, so much of their world is expressed through their play. It's how they make sense of the world and how they socialize with their peers. However, before we can dive into the beautiful types of dolls that Lottie Dolls has for children, we need to first address the importance of playing with dolls and some problems that other toy companies have created.
Benefits Of Playing With Dolls
Studies have shown that playing will dolls helps children cultivate empathy and teach children to be more mindful of others. According to Neuroscience News, a study was conducted consisting of thirty-three children ages four to eight as they were playing with dolls, "They found that doll play activated parts of the brain that allow children to develop empathy and social information processing skills, even when they were playing alone" (Neuroscience News 2020). What this means is that a child's brain is being formed while they play with their dolls. The brain is being wired to be more empathetic, and it means that we as parents and care providers need to be mindful of not only encouraging doll play but also mindful of which dolls our children are playing with.
The Problem With The Types of Dolls On The Market
Currently, there is a problem in the world of dolls. Toy companies are designing dolls that are overly sexualized and are marketed to appeal to our girls. The problem with this is that both girls and boys are impacted by how these dolls are marketed. Girls will see themselves in these dolls, and boys create impressions based on how they think girls should look. It's awful to think that at such a young age, companies are targeting children by sexualizing dolls. Examples of overly sexualized dolls include the LOL dolls, Bratz dolls. Even classic dolls like Barbie have repeatedly come under fire for portraying unrealistic body proportions that impact our children's self-image.
Dolls With Glasses
We've established that playing with dolls is incredibly important for the development of empathy in our children, and we have discussed the problems with the current dolls on the market, so where do we go from here? We need to be more mindful of buying dolls for our children that reflect our children for who they are and who we want them to be. This is where Lottie Dolls has really filled a need for our kids dolls with glasses.
Promoting Positive, Realistic Images
The reason it is so important for children to see dolls with glasses is for the simple reason that some children also wear glasses. Since dolls are so closely linked to a child's self-image, having a doll that can reflect your image as it currently appears is essential. Children who need glasses wear them regularly, and it becomes part of their image; seeing a doll who also needs to wear glasses is empowering. It teaches our children that it's okay for us to have glasses.
For parents and caregivers looking to find a doll with glasses, Lottie Dolls has two great options for you.
The first is the Rockability Doll which emphasizes abilities rather than disability. The second is the School Days Doll highlighting a ready-to-learn attitude towards school. Both of these glasses-friendly dolls promote positive, realistic images for children.
It's more than just glasses
Promoting dolls with glasses is about so much more than glasses. It is about seeing children for who they are and reflecting that image back to them. They need to be able to see themselves in their own dolls, whether that is having glasses, curly hair, dark skin, or freckles--being inclusive matters.
It is also important to make sure you have some dolls that look nothing like your child but in a good way. What do I mean by this? If you have a fair-skinned child with glasses, it's important for her to have a doll she relates to, consider also buying her a doll with dark skin and curly hair. Why? Because it will normalize diversity in both abilities and appearances. "Dolls encourage [children] to create their own little imaginary worlds, as opposed to say, problem-solving or building games. They encourage children to think about other people and how they might interact with each other" (Neuroscience News 2020). What does this mean for our kids? We need to make sure the doll set they have reflects the world they live in to be inclusive of not just the child playing with the doll but also the people in their life so that they can grow up to be kinder and more open to the differences of those around them.
What Other Dolls Promote Inclusivity?
Now more than ever, we need to promote inclusivity, and we can start by teaching our children. There are some fantastic dolls I want to highlight that can help build a more inclusive doll set for your child.
Science Dolls are a great way to engage, specifically girls, into the STEM fields. Girls have a wide variety of interests that we want to promote and encourage.
Sports Dolls highlight athleticism which is often an underappreciated skill set that our girls possess. Focusing on the things that girls can do, like sports, and normalizing their interests is a great way to promote inclusivity for our children.
Boy Dolls are so important when building an inclusive doll set for our children. Boys are so underrepresented in the doll world, and the few that are available are hyper-masculinized. Boys need the same care to promote a positive self-image as much as girls do. All children can benefit from having gender inclusivity reflected in their doll set.
Having dolls that reflect our children's unique abilities and personalities is critical to helping them form a positive self-image. Whether that means having a doll who rocks a pair of glasses or one who loves school, the ability to see yourself in the world around you is affirming. All children deserve to be included in their play world.
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