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The Importance of Dolls in Children’s Play

Dolls have been a favourite toy among children for generations and for good reason. Not only are there numerous types of dolls available on the market, but they offer a variety of benefits to children’s play, particularly in the area of role play. In this article, we will explore the power of dolls in children’s play, including the different types of dolls available and their respective benefits.


Girl finding clothes to dress up doll toy

Role Play with Dolls

Role play is an important aspect of children’s play, as it allows them to act out different scenarios and experiences that they may encounter in their lives. Dolls are perfect for role play, as they offer children the opportunity to imagine themselves as caregivers, parents, or even doctors or teachers. By engaging in role-play with dolls, children can develop empathy, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities.

Quite often one of the biggest attractions for youngsters is the accessories that come with the dolls, which allow them to dress the doll, write in their secret diary, play with their hair, etc; which are often the things they enjoy in ‘real life’. A Girl For All Time offers girls the opportunities to develop empathy with children throughout history through the historically accurate design of clothes and accessories.

DesignaFriend Dolls offer lots of different outfits for their dolls, allowing children to update the look and style of their doll, often choosing dolls that look like themselves and dressing them in clothes they would like to wear. This helps children relate more to the dolls, making them really effective playthings for helping children make sense of their world and experiences.


Types of Dolls

There are many different types of dolls available on the market, each offering unique benefits to children’s play. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of dolls:


Boy playing with soft doll toy


Baby Dolls

Baby dolls are particularly popular among young children, as they provide an opportunity for children to practice nurturing and caring for others. Dolls like Baby Born and Baby Annabel offer lifelike interactivity, such as drinking, wetting their diaper, and crying real tears, which adds to the realism of the play experience. Additionally, many baby dolls come with a range of clothing and accessories, allowing children to engage in imaginative play scenarios.


Rag Dolls

Rag dolls offer children a comforting toy that they can both play with and cuddle. These dolls often become a child’s favourite toy due to the familiar smell they hold, making them a perfect companion for comfort and play.


Small World Dolls

Small world dolls, such as Polly Pocket, are ideal for slightly older children who enjoy entering the world of dolls and playing with their houses, cars, and towns. These dolls encourage imaginative play and creativity, as children can create their own stories and scenarios for the dolls.


Fashion Dolls

Fashion dolls like Barbie, Bratz, and Monster High have long been popular among children, particularly girls. These dolls offer aspirational lifestyles and fashion, and often have a range of different careers, appealing to young children. Monster High and Bratz, in particular, offer a fantasy world that nurtures young children’s imagination.


Trends in Dolls

In recent years, many companies have begun offering a more diverse range of dolls, including dolls based on more realistic children’s bodies and gender-neutral dolls. For example, Lottie dolls are based on a nine-year-old child’s body and are age-appropriate in that they do not wear makeup or jewelry. This approach is important in ensuring that all children feel included in the option to play with dolls and that they have real role models within their play.



Dolls are timeless and important toys in children’s play, offering numerous benefits such as imaginative play, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. With a wide range of dolls available on the market, there is something for every child, and trends toward more diverse and inclusive dolls ensure that all children feel represented in their play.