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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What is there to do with dolls?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (39017points) August 9th, 2009

So in general my children play with all sorts of toys regardless of gender and so they play with dolls…except I find dolls aren’t really fun to play with (maybe I’m biased)...I remember I had dolls when I was little but I don’t remember what I did with them…aside from dressing them and playing tea parties (maybe I’m making assumptions), what else is there to do with them? I mean I can do pretend play but puppets and puppet theatre set-ups are better for that…any ideas?

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37 Answers

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Explode them with firecrackers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@teh_kvlt_liberal lol, yes, a great idea to do with a toddler and an infant around

Quagmire's avatar

If you have inflatable ones you can send them to ME! :)

Akiora's avatar

I mean….dolls are great in that they’re really just a catalyst for imagination. Wow….that sounds so very cliche. What I mean is that it’s not what you actually do with the dolls that’s entertaining, but rather working with whatever world you make up in your mind to go with them. Then again…the age of the children is a big factor here.

Sanyore's avatar

Write a bleak absurdist puppet theatre piece. that’d be fun. Kids love that stuff.

AstroChuck's avatar

Behead them. They are all evil.

Frankie's avatar

The ones with hair, like Barbies, are great for playing hair salon. Until mom sees and gets upset that you gave the $20 Barbie a butchered pixie cut.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

@AstroChuck Exactly! Anyone who watches the twilight zone would know this

casheroo's avatar

I think all they’re good for is role playing, which is crucial for children to experience so that’s why my son has dolls as well.
I can’t think of anything unique to do with them, other than dressing them up and playing school, or whatever with them.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t know about traditional dolls but Barbie type dolls were a lot of fun to turn into riders for a collection of model horses (Breyer products).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence yeah, those are out…I will not purchase Barbie dolls…

Mozart's avatar

It’s more to do with their imagination, the better it is the more fun they’ll have with them. In reality they’re just as useless as any other piece of plastic.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: I knew you weren’t a Barbie buyer but I had forgotten about how wonderful the model horses were to collect and research.

DominicX's avatar

I had a baby doll named Christopher when I was little (I named him myself) and I used to pretend that he was my baby and I would “take care of him”. I think it’s cool; I’m glad my parents didn’t restrict my toys based on gender or anything, because I know there are plenty that would.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX we named the first doll they had ‘sushi’

Jeruba's avatar

I got a Ginny doll for Christmas when I was 8—this was the 1950s, and “everybody” had one. There was nothing to do with them but hold them by their legs, carry them everywhere, and show them off to your friends. I insisted on taking mine to church on Christmas morning. My Ginny didn’t hold my interest for too long, but getting her was a major thrill because I had wanted one so badly. (My mother must have bought her. I was secretly disappointed that she was a brunette and didn’t look like me.)

My doll phase didn’t last too long, maybe just a couple of years, but I remember having one doll that I identified with (Susie, with long yellow pigtails and blue eyes) and one that I thought was more grown up and set her age as 14. (I named her Windy Wllows. Aren’t you charmed?) It bothered me that they were not to scale: Susie was about twice as big as Windy. But I enjoyed moving them both through my own imaginary scenarios, having Susie do things I liked to do or knew I could do and letting big-sister Windy act out much more adult, sophisticated situations, all very innocent to my 9-year-old’s imagination. The narratives took place in my head and did not require many props. Everything is very vivid internally when you’re that age.

chyna's avatar

I got a Chatty Cathy doll for Christmas one year when I was about six. She lasted all of about 30 minutes because my brother tore her head off to see what made her talk. I cried and snuffled all day.

SuperMouse's avatar

My sister and I used to set up elaborate homes for our dolls. We would find all kinds of stuff to use a furniture etc. We pretended they were getting married and used lantana for bouquets. The thing is though, it all started and ended with the set-up, we never actually used our elaborate homes.

tinyfaery's avatar

I never really liked dolls, but when I had them I enjoyed doing things with the hair. I’d cut it, use markers. I even had perm Barbie once. Other than that, dolls are boring. I had a great imagination when I was a child; no dolls required.

rocko's avatar

Line them up, pour lighter fluid and ignite.

SuperMouse's avatar

@rocko my brothers used to love to take the heads off our Barbie dolls, place firecrackers in said heads, and ignite. I lost more Barbies that way!

Supacase's avatar

I played with dolls from early childhood through the end of elementary school. First I played like I had a baby sister and cared for her. Later we played school, store, going on a date, having a party, going to the pool, getting married, hair salon, horse shows… you name it. One of my favorite parts was renaming my Barbies for every event. Dolls are great for imagination and role playing.

rocko's avatar

My brothers used to burn my Barbies…(a tear runs down my face)

sakura's avatar

Baby dolls like Baby Annebell are good to dress and push in a pram, my little girl loved to dothis at 2–3 and pushing her pram meant she would walk further!

When I was little my mum said I had a phantom pregnancy – I was pregnant with twins and all I wanted for Christmas was a double buggy pram, which they didn’t make in those days so my dad made one by fastening 2 single buggys together! Christmas day came and I got my doublle pram, came down stairs with 2 dolls up my jumper which then ‘popped’ out to fill my double buggy, hours of endless fun had by me with my new babies xx

deni's avatar

theyre creepy i avoid them.

augustlan's avatar

Since I had 3 children so close together, it seemed I was always breastfeeding an infant while the older one (or two) played nearby. They took to “feeding” their baby dolls the same way! Somehow though, they seemed to think the milk came from the tummy area. :)

In general, playing ‘house’ is mostly what kids seem to do with dolls. Get them a little highchair & a stroller, maybe a pretend kitchen and let them go to town.

ubersiren's avatar

I had dolls as a kid and here’s what I remember.

Playing school, brushing their hair, changing their clothes, playing mommy, having tea parties with them, making Barbie and Ken make out, playing out little scenes with them, making up stories about them, checking out their anatomy or lack thereof, etc.

My most favorite doll was Kirsten, from the American Girls collection. They have books that go along with them and all sorts of fun accessories. It can get pricey, which I think is the idea. But my sister and I both had one and loved them. My parents actually built us wooden cases instead of buying them from the catalog, and there are patterns so you can sew your own outfits.

There was also this one time that my best friend and I threw rocks at a Cabbage Patch and different body parts were different points. How sick is that?

Blondesjon's avatar

I’m with @AstroChuck. You are all aware that they come to life when nobody is around, right? Especially the collectible, realistic looking dolls. Ugh!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I had two baby dolls (regular doll and Baby Alive what “pooped”) and a pram, 4 Barbie-type dolls with Corvette and one doll that was big enough to walk with me. But I played with my cousin’s Tonka dump truck and Tonka car carrier and his Stretch Armstrong as often as I played tea, “Movies” and “Date” with my Barbie, Christie and Kens (one blond, one brunet). Sometimes Christie drove the dump truck and Barbie drove the car carrier.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It really doesn’t matter if you think dolls are fun to play with. Don’t ruin your children’s play by interjecting adult perspective into it.

Darwin's avatar

Baby dolls generally serve as role-play, so the little child (male or female) emulates the care given by a parent to a baby. As some kids get a little older, dolls become an important prop in playing house, or playing hospital or even playing school. And they can simply become stand-ins for people, driving trucks or doing high dives off the roof, and so on.

Fashion-type dolls have other purposes. Some serve to show off how someone has collected something, either examples of the dolls or clothing and accessories for same. Some are just so you can be one with your peers. Some serve as a type of puppet for acting out fantasies or stories, and some can engender a life-long love of dolls.

When I was in elementary school our dolls served as a form of home-made therapy in that we would build elaborate lay-outs of rooms and our dolls would interact in various ways as the people around us did. I later found out our moms used to eavesdrop on us to find out what was bothering us.

As I got a bit older but still in elementary school I no longer played with dolls that way, but I began to design high fashion clothing and I would then make small versions of the clothes for my dolls.

My daughter used to have her dolls play “church” in that she would spend hours lining them up in seated rows on the carpet and then would preach at them. She also had them play school, and she liked to “teach them to swim” in the bath tub and at the pool.

My son, OTOH, started being nurturing, but then quickly learned that the best fun was to strip the dolls naked and pull their arms and legs off. I still find an occasional dismembered limb in the yard.

As far as your kids are concerned I would simply let them play with the dolls any way they want. If they begin to ignore them totally, then begin to pack them away in preparation for giving them away. However, depending on your kids, they might just hang on to them longer and come up with pleasing activities you might never have considered. Whether you find dolls fun or not doesn’t matter. You now have the real thing in the form of your children, and your children, although sharing part of your genome, are very different people than you and will choose their own paths out of the many, many paths you expose them to.

ShanEnri's avatar

Dolls are great friends! Not just imaginary because you can see them so it makes play time a little better. I remember my daughter loved playing with dolls and barbies! In one situation a doll was her sister.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think it’s best to just see that the kids have a few dolls around, and some clothes, which they can consider making, and lots and lots of free time. Children can usually come up with their own ideas what they want to do.

I didn’t like playing with them, but I designed and made clothes and furniture for them, and helped my sister arrange them in the houses my Dad helped us make.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i guess it depends on the kids. i liked dolls because i loved running them through different ‘storylines’ and changing their lives up and whatnot. at least with barbies. i thought barbies were so so so fun. my favourite was always one of barbie’s friends. i liked becky; the girl in the wheelchair, and kyra; she was ‘the asian friend’, i guess.
anywho. with babydolls? i used to carry mine around with me all the time. i had one named emily. she had blue eyes and brown hair, and i had this cute dress and hat set for her, and white shoes. i brought her to go grocery stopping with me, i played with her hair. i basically ‘played mommy’ with her. which is interesting, because even when i was a little kid, i couldn’t stand babies. i guess they’re good for life roleplaying, and a prop for your imagination. i don’t think that playing with dolls means that you have an underdeveloped imagination; it’s just a prop. like actors. they’re not untalented just because they aren’t the only ones on stage.

shf84's avatar

I had a Spock and McCoy doll I used to play with a lot. Recently I dressed Barbie up as a deep sleep operative from Logan’s Run complete with blaster and tracking device, Barbies sister is now a security guard from Space 1999 so dolls can be kind of fun.

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