July 14, 2023 3 min read

Beyond Barbie:
The Benefits of Doll Play

Let’s be real... Dolls are in!

As Canada’s Authority on Play, we believe in the benefits of doll play—for every kid!

With the release of the new live action Barbie movie, kids are seeing
captivatingly colourful imagery and sensing the excitement for all things Barbie—and they may be curious!

Though the film is geared toward teens and adults, it opens up a great opportunity for caregivers to introduce younger kids to doll play, and to learn about the benefits of stepping into the magical world of dolls!

Doll play activates brain regions that control social skills, like empathy and compassion. It also aids in the development of key milestones, such as fine motor skills and speech and language.

Every doll offers a different way to play (and dream)! And there are so many to choose from!

Nurturing Dolls:
Compassion, Fine Motor & Life Skills

Nurture their nurturing with dolls that provide comfort, teach compassion, and help develop fine motor skills.

Having a huggable best friend by their side makes kids feel safe and secure. By caring for their own little one, they learn about kindness towards others.

Actions like hugging, holding, dressing, and feeding strengthen fine motor skills and introduce skills transferrable to everyday life.

Imagination Dolls:
Empathy, Speech & Language Skills

Engage imaginations! Through dolls and playsets that encourage open-ended play, kids get the chance to create their own special worlds—all while working on speech and social skills.

During collaborative play, kids learn how to work together, listen, and be respectful of those around them. They discover the importance and mutual benefit of sharing both toys and ideas—strengthening communication and problem-solving skills.

When kids bring their dreams to life through doll play, it inspires the feeling that anything is possible!

Lookalike Dolls:
Validation, Confidence, Individuality

When kids see themselves represented (be it in media or through a doll’s image), theyre able to form a connection and feel validation, gaining the confidence to be themselves.

Lookalike dolls help strengthen kids’ understanding of the outside world. Using dolls (a representation of themselves) to act out real-life scenarios helps little ones connect to and make sense of the world around them.

Expression Dolls:
Self-Expression, Tolerance, Communication

The freedom to express individuality through doll roleplay gives kids a safe space to be themselves, share experiences, and tell stories.

Whether playing solo or with friends, stepping into someone else
s shoes introduces new ideas and points of view. Roleplay is a great way for kids to discover more about themselves and learn something new!

Collaborative play also teaches kids the importance of being considerate of others’ thoughts and feelings, the effects of actions and words, and how to build and maintain strong and healthy relationships.

Flair Play: Show Off Your Style!

Don’t forget the accessories! Mix things up with extras and add-ons that offer new and exciting ways to play!

Experimenting with personal style through fashion lets kids show off their unique colours—and inspires them, too!

Creativity shines when kids play without limits!

Discover even more dolls, dollhouses, and accessories—including our Barbie The Movie collectiononline and at Mastermind Toys stores!

Written by Melania Fedyna, Senior Copywriter & Voice of Play

Melania Fedyna
Melania Fedyna



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