There are lots of important skills that children (both girls and boys) learn from playing with dolls: nurturing, empathy, caring, hygiene, nutrition, imagination etc etc. These skills are as important for boys as they are for girls, but if boys don’t choose to play with dolls, does that mean, in the spirit of equality, we should discourage girls from doing so too? Absolutely not!!!
Providing children with a healthy play diet includes providing a range of opportunities to suite different play patterns, moods and personalities. What we should not be doing is stigmatising certain types of play according to gender, or even age – why should there be an age at which children stop playing with dolls?
There are all sorts of different dolls on the market, from soft rag dolls, to life-like babies, fashion dolls, to classic dress up dolls. They all have a place in the toy box and should be made accessible for play by both genders. Play is how children learn and wouldn’t we all like our society to be a bit better at caring and sharing?