Most babies have soft toys from birth or very soon after. They provide warmth, comfort and eventually security. They develop emotional well-being and enhances their sense of touch. The ability to form attachments is promoted and this is important for relationships in later life. Dolls and doll-like figures come a little later and help with imagination, sharing, role play and communication. Musical soft toys or vocal dolls improves listening and speaking skills.
Character toys lead to discussion and increased knowledge of the character’s way of life. Toys in this category can promote caring attitudes as they find out how a penguin lives or what a puppy dog would need to grow. Dressing and undressing dolls help with fine motor skills and fashion possibilities. Puppets give free rein to a child’s imagination and allows some issues to acted out behind a puppet.