We’re living through a historic event that’s virtually unprecedented. Across the world, schools are closed, businesses are locked and our very social species is practicing social distancing.
While any one of these is a change, all of them together means adults and kids alike are stressed to the max. And feeling powerless may be one of the biggest reasons, experts say.
Fight, Flight...or Neither? Why Kids are So Stressed
Here’s how it works: human beings, like many mammals, are designed to operate on a fight-or-flight reaction to perceived danger.
With the advent of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, families across the globe are carefully following instructions to stay safe. But while sheltering in place may seem like the flight end of that equation, we still tend to feel very, very exposed.
Kids are no more immune to these feelings than adults. In fact, lacking a real voice in such decisions, many children are currently adrift, with their anxiety levels rising.
Play Puts Kids in the Driver’s Seat
Here’s the good news: in addition to doing their part with recommended hygiene, kids can get a sense of their own power back through play. That’s right: toys that encourage self-directed play allow kids to call the shots and get a sense of controlagain.
Dolls in particular can helpfoster this feeling of self-empowerment. Because they look like children and are relatable, dolls open creativity in children and allow kids to dream up their own solutions. In other words, they help kids get their power back.
Here are some of the best dolls that help kids get a handle on their world –– even in a time of crisis. And be sure to check out our new True Hero Lottie at the end of this article. Inspired by a REAL child, True Hero Lottie is the perfect way for kids to know they really can make a difference!
Medical Profession Dolls: Health is on everyone’s mind right now, and yes, that includes children. Doctor dolls, nurse dolls for boys and girls, hospital gift sets and pediatrician dolls encourage children to play out their own solutions and to be the ones keeping things calm and orderly.
Emergency Response Professional Dolls: Dolls that come with medic kits (such as EMT and paramedic toys), firefighter outfits and police uniforms put girls and boys literally in the driver’s seat. All of these connote action and ability, touching on a child’s natural urge to help others as well as to lead.
Superhero Dolls: Superhero girl dolls and boy dolls can be used by either gender and can quite literally do anything. Talk about a sense of power! Best of all, any doll can be turned into a superhero. All that’s required is a child’s imagination and a doll she can relate to.
Adventure Dolls: Sometimes heroes don’t wear capes or badges. Kids can take their dolls on adventures to discover cures, attend to sick villages or learn about new cultures.
Meet True Hero Lottie, Inspired By a Real Friendship
In the midst of our current global concerns, going to the hospital is perhaps a child’s largest fear. Not to worry –– here comes True Hero Lottie to the rescue! She’s based on a real friendship that shows just how powerful kids can be.
Aiobheann (pronounced Ee-van) Manganis just 13 years old and a true inspiration. At age 8 Aiobheann was already coding on computers and was already creating her own informative websites for kids. But when her friend Grace was diagnosed with SMA Type 2 (muscular dystrophy), Aiobheann wanted to help Grace through her fears. Enter True Hero Lottie.
True Hero Lottie is a realistically proportioned child doll who helps make being in the hospital less intimidating for kids. Dolls like True Hero Lottie let kids explore what may happen and teach them that they have a hand in their own wellbeing.
We partnered with Aiobheann to craft this truly unique doll. That’s empowerment any child can use in a world that doesn’t always go as planned.