How Dressing Up Dolls Can Help With Development
Developmental benefits of doll dress-up play
We all know that children learn through play, they are learning constantly in everything they do even playing with dolls clothes. Thereís nothing better than watching them act out little scenarios as they play and reenact things they see us do in our everyday lives, except maybe knowing that they are learning vital life skills in the process.
What seems like a simple action of dress up is actually full of early learning, from social skills such as developing empathy to the fine motor skills needed to do up tiny buttons.
Physical Fine Motor Skills
One of the ways that children learn when they are playing dress up with their dolls is the very simple fact that they need good fine motor skills to be able to do up tiny buttons of poking the arms and legs of their dolls into their clothes.
Developing Social Skills
Playing with dolls can be of huge benefit for both girls and boys, not least for the social and emotional skills that children get to practise and develop as they play.
Putting their doll to sleep, feeding them, changing their nappy or getting them dressed are all ways of children showing empathy for and caring for something. They emulate the way they see us treat them and are practising and experimenting with how they can look after something.
Children also get to be creative and imaginative as they play, exploring language, trying out different scenarios and often expressing emotions that are easier to process and deal with during play. Youíll often find children talking to their dolls like they would a friend, they become a trusted confidant who they can share their secrets with as well as a playmate for taking on adventures.
Practising Life Skills
As well as developing socially and emotionally, children also get to practise life skills when they are playing with dolls.
Playing dress-up with dolls helps children learn how to dress themselves. They get to practise the skills on a doll rather than themselves and without the pressure of having to get ready which can be so hard to avoid when you are trying to get them ready to get out of the door.
Dressing up dolls is also a great way for children to get to develop their sense of style. They get to play with colour combinations and pick out the outfits they love rather than the ones that are practical for the actual day ahead, although you will often find they really love to pick out appropriate outfits as well. Any well-loved doll will need a raincoat for wet days and a smart or sparkly outfit for parties.
Choosing outfits for dolls and getting them dressed is also great for building confidence in young children which is another great benefit.
Next Up: Will Baby Clothes Fit a Doll?