What To Look For When Purchasing Doll Families And Story Kits
If you're about to purchase a doll set or story kit for your child, take a look at more than just the age rating. Whether your child just really likes dolls, or whether you're working on early childhood development with your child, the types of dolls and how the kits are set up can make all the difference. Not only can the toys affect how your child feels, but they can also affect how you have to deal with the sets. Before you hit the buy button, look at these issues and see how each set might affect your child and your life.
Children often take what they see in their toys and use that as an unconscious template for what the world is like, which means that something as simple as a doll and story set can make them feel happier or sadder about their place in the world. While you don't always have to get a doll that is exactly like your child, it can help if there are any situations your child is facing that are not considered to be majority situations.
In 2009, the "New York Times" noted that most dolls made were still white, which meant that Black, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian children didn't really have a lot of dolls representing them. The inclusion of more races in dollmaking was met with happiness (and in 2014, when one doll company decided to discontinue two non-white dolls, customers were distinctly unhappy). Having dolls of the same race as your child can make your child feel like he or she is definitely a part of society and has not been overlooked.
Health issues can be addressed as well. Children in wheelchairs, for example, might feel better if at least one of the dolls in the kit has a matching toy wheelchair. This isn't theoretical at all; for example, in the past few years, children have gotten a leading doll company to start making dolls with not only wheelchairs but hearing aids and insulin pumps as well. The mother of the girl who asked for the insulin pump noted that her daughter wanted other kids with diabetes "to know they're not alone."
But even if your child doesn't have a health problem or isn't a member of a minority group, it's beneficial to look for a kit that does have a diverse cast. It can help your child start gaining a more diverse world view, all through play.
Of course, all those accessories are wonderful until you step on them on the stairs. Do try to find kits that offer some way of organizing the dolls and accessories so that your child can easily play with the dolls while still keeping everything nice and neat. You could always buy extra storage bins yourself, but it's nicer to find a kit that includes storage made of something other than the big cardboard box it came in.
As your child grows, he or she could outgrow the dolls. To keep these toys in your child's play rotation a little longer, try to find kits that have storylines that can evolve. Maybe the initial kit has dolls that are supposed to be about the same age as your child, but there are additional story kits you can buy that show the child going to school and doing other things that your child starts to do as years pass. Otherwise, the kit will end up in the donation pile rather quickly.
Companies know that parents don't want to buy a toy that will be of interest for only a short time, and they've increased their offerings to make the toys more age-appropriate over a range of ages. You should be able to find doll and story kits that will last a while.
For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Dew Drop Dolls & Stories, LLC.