Playing together with your child is very important because it helps learn social skills such as sharing and selflessness.
Also, the way your little one is playing with a doll gives you an insight into your child’s life and development.
Pretend-play with a doll (or the absence of it) can help you spot any difficulties or delays in your child’s development.
For example, a child on autism spectrum will rarely show interest in playing with dolls and toys in general.
Playing with a doll aggressively or violently is also a child’s way to express their feelings that deserves your attention.
Therefore, if your child is unhappy, angry, or afraid, or when he finds it difficult to deal with emotions, pretend-play allows you to assist him with emotional expression.
Finally, playtime with dolls with your child is a wonderful opportunity to bond and have lots of fun together.
Here are some suggestions on how to play with a doll with your child.
If your little one loves playing with dolls, join him in this fun activity and help him dress, feed, and groom her doll.
This is a great opportunity to help your child start developing a healthy body image and self-esteem.
Also, mutual play will help your child practice sharing and turn-taking and teach him about social roles and responsibilities.
A Tea/Brunch Party
Help your little one arrange the table and ‘prepare’ everything for the tea, brunch, or dinner party.
Include a pretend-play kitchen, pretend-food, plastic play dishes, and dolls in your play.
This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your child good table manners and how to behave in group settings.
If your child is scared of going to the doctor, this is a perfect way to help overcome his fears.
Pretend to take the sick baby doll to the doctor and allow your child to play the doctor who nurses and heals the doll.
You can also play a dentist, a nurse, or any other medical themed game.
Arts and Crafts Play
Allowing your child to get messy and creative promotes imagination, problem-solving, and motor skills.
Prepare items of different shapes, textures, and sizes and make a doll with your child.
You can make paper dolls together, (helping your toddler to cut out shapes or supervising your preschooler or a school-age child), mold dolls out of play dough, use old socks, yarn, pipe cleaners, or buttons, beads, and other small items (supervising your child all the time).
These activities help kids learn cooperation and problem-solving, improve fine motor skills, and make them proud of themselves, therefore boosting self-esteem and confidence.