Get Dolled Up!

Many caregivers underestimate the value of playing with dolls, especially for boys!  However, regardless of gender, playing with dolls teaches children valuable life lessons and provides growth opportunities in all areas of child development.


Here’s one activity we did today from the Leaping Lilies curriculum


 This week’s Theme: Bath Time

Activity DescriptionPlay Time (Sensory): Using a water table or sensory bin, give your dolls a bath.  Provide soap, sponges, etc.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional Development

Specific Skill: Developing self-confidence

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 2 years + 4 months


  • Set up – Since this was an exercise in developing self-confidence, I had the girls take the lead in setting up.  I asked them to think of the things we would need in order to bathe the dolls and instructed them to collect the items.  They tested the water to decide weather it needed to be warmer or cooler, they added the bubble bath and swooshed it around to make bubbles and they placed towels on the floor to catch any spilled water.
    The girls set up most elements of this play area

    The girls set up most elements of this play area by themselves


  • Play – When playing with dolls, children often mimic their experiences and daily routines (this is what makes it a great confidence booster); it provides an opportunity for them to practice and demonstrate that they know what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.  You can see evidence of this in both the physical and linguistic components of their play.
"Time to wash your legs," says O

“Time to wash your legs,” says O

"Close eyes, I rinse the hair," says M

“Close eyes, I rinse the hair,” says M








"I dry you," says M

“I dry you,” says M

"Get warm in a towel," says O

“Get warm in a towel,” says O













Extension – The girls actually extended this activity on their own.  They decided that after the bath was finished the dolls needed to get ready for bed, so they proceeded to carry out elements of their bedtime routine also.

O brushes the doll's hair

O brushes the doll’s hair

M puts the dolls to bed

M puts the dolls to bed











**We recently received these dolls as a lovely hand-me-down gift from a dear friend (Auntie A).  We hadn’t purchased this type of doll for them before and we were surprised to find how much they enjoy them.  They particularly like them because they can be manipulated into so many different positions.  In any case, it doesn’t matter if you have this type of doll (or wish that your children never play with this type of doll), all you need is a plastic-type doll whose hair you don’t mind getting wet!  You can even use action figures if you want!


Interested in Emotional Learning Activities for 15-18 months?  Click here!

Interested in Emotional Learning Activities for 18-24 months?  Click here!

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