Dolls are for everyone – both boys and girls. The impact dolls have on emotional development occurs early in childhood. Making dolls available to young children is a sound strategy to help them acquire and expand the essential skills of caring, nurturing, and taking responsibility. Children innately love caring for someone smaller than themselves.
Initially, dolls can be a form of security much like a soft plush toy. They are then used for role play and fantasy play were children get to act as mom or dad, or a doctor or nurse, for example. The conversations they have with their dolls are priceless and can mirror real life situations allowing them to work through some difficult emotions all by themselves.
Dolls come in all shapes and sizes, from baby dolls though to teenage dolls. There is something different for each age and stage of your child’s development. There are also doll substitutes in animal form or even superhero characters. Of course, there are lots of accessories to add to your child’s magical world of dolls too. Here are some of my current favourites.
Dolls recommended by Nikki Bush with your family in mind
BAYER DOCTOR DOLL SET
This 38cm dolly makes the cutest sensor- activated crying, giggling, sucking, coughing, burping and gurgling sounds imaginable. When she gets a fever her cheeks will glow for 15 seconds. Give her an injection on her bum and her red cheeks will go away. Put the stethoscope to her chest and listen to her heart beat. If you give her the bottle you will hear her suck. She comes in a soft pink romper with a matching cap.
AGE: 2 yrs +
COST: R 435
NANDI HERITAGE DOLL IN SHWESHWE CLOTHING
Nandi is a beautiful African doll with curly hair that can be played with and styled as often as you like. This 46cm doll is dressed in authentic Shweshwe fabric with African bead work and sparkly tekkies. She loves animals and hopes to be a vet one day. She champions diversity and her sales support community upliftment of South African women in rural areas.
AGE: 4yrs +
PRICE: R 850
MELISSA & DOUG MULTI-LEVEL DOLLS HOUSE
A fully furnished, three-storey wooden dolls house that is easy to assemble and comes with 19 pieces of hand-painted wooden furniture —great value for money. It has five spacious rooms, two movable staircases, working drawers and doors. Your child can do fantasy play and make-believe to their heart’s content.
We love these adorable, petite 15cm dolls that look and dress like little girls and not pouty teenagers with attitude. Small enough to travel with and carry around. Choose from a wide range of extremely high quality clothing and accessories around school, equestrian, retro themes and more. Lori celebrates diversity and multiculturalism.
AGE: 4yrs +
PRICE: From R 209 for the Lori dolls
BABY BORN INTERACTIVE SOFT TOUCH DOLL
Baby Born is a 43cm doll that comes with 9 life-like functions such as wetting, pooping, crying real tears etc, and she can even be bathed. Great for mother and child role play and grows with your child as a baby to be cared for, or as a playmate. Comes in boy, girl and ethnic varieties together clothing and accessories.
AGE: 2yrs +
PRICE: R 899
All the Woodland creatures work together to take care of each other and their environment, teaching responsibility and nurturing. Every family comes with a story and a specific family business eg. The Chipmunk Family owns the Scoops & Sprinkles Ice Cream shop and the Bears own the Healing Paws Health Centre. Your child can enjoy the world of Honeysuckle Hollow using their imagination and creativity. Loads of families and accessories to add to your collection.
AGE: 4yrs +
PRICE: From R239 for Woodland Families
ELF FOR CHRISTMAS – BOY/GIRL ELF WITH MAGICAL REWARD KIT
To keep the magic and mystery of Christmas alive, Santa is sending this UK award-winning Santa Scout Elf for Christmas for you to ‘adopt’ for December. Choose a boy/girl version to watch over your kids. Elf for Christmas together with the Magical Reward Kit that comes with it will encourage your child’s good behaviour so they stay on Santa’s “Nice List”. This very cute Christmas doll and reward kit will help every parent get their family tingling with excitement and anticipation for the arrival of Santa.
AGE: 3 yrs +
PRICE: R 449
OUR GENERATION DOLLS
Our Generation is a 42cm lifestyle doll celebrating girlhood. Every girl should be able to find a doll within the range that she connects to, with over 30 diverse dolls to choose from. There are lots of speciality products to choose connected to vocations and careers such as hair play, doctor, teacher etc. She is currently coming out for summer with all the beach accessories.
AGE: 4 yrs+
PRICE: From R 515 for the dolls.
Sylvanian Families is the ultimate heirloom range of collectible doll sets in the form of adorable pet animals such as bunny rabbits, hamsters, striped cats and more. They encourage fantasy and imaginary play, and children get to experience the important theme of nurturing because Sylvanian Families represent kindness, being loving and looking after each other. The range includes incredibly detailed playsets, houses, boutiques, miniature accessories and more.
AGE: 4 yrs+
PRICE: From R229 for Sylvanian families
BARBIE® MADE TO MOVE™
Barbie attends to her own well-being with yoga and mindfulness. She has 22 joints enabling her to be flexible and to achieve an incredible range of motion—she really can bend! This Barbie can ride a bicycle, do gymnastics and yoga and sit cross-legged. She comes with yoga clothes and wears casually chic outfits.
AGE: 4 yrs +
PRICE: R 359 for Barbie dolls
Here is a ‘Making FUN out of NOTHING’ Stick Puppet activity to do with your kids!
Now here’s creativity on the run. Next time your children have ice-creams or ice-lollies, keep the sticks (or ask you GP for a couple of tongue depressors at the next visit, pharmacies stock them too). With a few khoki pens you can create some really fun stick puppets in just a minute or two. No gluing, no sewing, no cutting.
Have fun with so many different dolls to choose from. There’s something for every child.