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To develop children cognitively and physically, you must provide them a variety of toys. These toys will often include play food, crafting or arranging supplies, vehicles, dolls, construction toys, and so on. When children play with dolls, they can give different characteristics to them, thereby leading to different child developments. In other words, it is the source of imaginative play.
Of course, one of the most popular rolls for DECADES that people think about is Barbie dolls but are those dolls really good for younger children or are there better toys for them to play with?
Barbies are an excellent toy for a two year old to play with as it will help them grow their imagination and also allow them to figure out hand eye coordination (by putting on and off the clothes/accessories.
Some people feel like Barbies don’t require the child to think enough or have to use their imagination as much as they do with other toys, however, I really feel like that isn’t the case.
I have a two year old daughter that plays with Barbies all of the time and she is constantly changing their clothes, talking for them, putting them in different situations, etc. It’s likely that if you get a Barbie or two for your 2 year old they would do much the same things with them.
Over the years, Barbie dolls have dominated the toy doll market and it’s unlikely that that will change anytime soon. Many people grew up playing with Barbies and so they buy them for their children and grandchildren as well thereby continuing to build the Barbie brand for many years to come.
There are various advantages when younger children play with Barbies like social, mental, psychological, and physical development of the child
However, to make children, especially 2-year olds, play with dolls like Barbies has sparked some controversy over the years. Some people feel like playing with these dolls gives children an unrealistic expectation of what their body and the body of others should look like. Other people feel like it’s just allowing children to have fun.
Whichever way you feel I just wanted to mention it so you were aware of the controversy before buying a Barbie.
If you want to take a look at the most popular Barbies currently available you can find them by clicking here.
Reasons why some people avoid Barbies
There are many different reasons why dolls (and Barbies particularly) have been the subject of some controversy. Although many people have no issues with “normal” dolls, Barbies have always been super skinny with all of the possible fashion accessories.
Even if you feel there is nothing to the body image controversy there is still the fact that Barbies have all sorts of accessories, cars, houses, etc. that some parents feel will drive their children to never be content.
Below I will cover some common reasons why some people avoid buying Barbies for their children no matter their ages.
The idealization of Barbie’s beauty
This idealization of Barbies is the most common reason that people have been avoiding them for years.
The company portrays Barbies as the most beautiful, Caucasian, thin, and tall dolls. This beauty is very unrealistic and many people feel could be detrimental for girls to even play with.
In other words, they feel that Barbies give a signal to kids that they can be anything but only if they have such beauty.
Both developmental psychology and experimental studies have found that girls tend to be dissatisfied with their body’s shape and size after playing with fashion dolls like Barbies. In addition to that, the sexualized imagery in these girls develops from a very age as well.
The study covered girls who were 6-8 years old and was only a study of slightly over 1,000 girls so it certainly isn’t a perfect study in relation to toddlers playing with Barbies but it’s something to consider.
Other Reasons that people feel Barbies aren’t good
- Although Barbies do now have diversity and variety, many people feel there is still a race problem due to the image of them always being a blonde white doll for many years.
- Young children can easily begin to obsess over Barbie dolls. Thus, they might try to start living like them in the future (which is obviously impossible). That could lead to them being unhappy in the future while they try to reach unachievable goals.
- Barbie dolls can spark the desire for fashion and glamour in your children which many parents don’t like.
- Some children will also develop a sense of frustration and boredom when they play with the same Barbies. This might cause them to always want more and more accessories for them and that could translate to adulthood as well.
- Younger children can easily tear or break these dolls. In other words, toddlers can distort or disfigure fashion dolls like Barbies so they might not be ideal for younger children.
When is the right age for children to play with Barbies dolls?
Although many younger children can and do play with Barbies from a younger age, there is an age group that they are better for.
According to most experts, children are old enough to start playing with Barbies when they are at least 5-year old.
At this age, children somewhat come out from the idealization concept and they should destroy the dolls either in most cases.
Other toys that two year olds might enjoy
2-year toddlers will almost always get fascinated by cause and effect toys. They will enjoy it a lot when they see a toy respond to their actions.
These toys will be able to entertain them in numerous ways: hit a ball with a hammer, play music with buttons, pop up characters while music is playing, spell ABCs, and so on.
In this way, there is motor development and educational learning for your children as well.
The following are a few entertaining toys that you should buy for your children apart from fashion dolls.
- Puzzles having 4-5 pieces
- Shape sorters
- Rubber ducks
- Toy boats
- Vehicles like school bus, van, cars, and so on
- Hammering sets
- Simple musical instruments
- Push-pull toys
- Stacking rings
- Nesting cups and boxes
- Simple dolls and animals
- Constructions toys like Lincoln Logs and Duplos
What are the best dolls for Toddlers other than Barbies?
Toddlers will like both rubbery and rag dolls. The dolls that have longer hair can cause problems for some children so those should be avoided.
When toddlers have dolls, they can mimic different activities that you do with them. In other words, they will cuddle, wash, change clothes, build homes, and feed their dolls.
The following are some of the best dolls for 2-year children.
This doll has a soft body to grasp and hold easily. For cuddling, there are plush pajamas. In addition to that, there is a velour outfit around the body of the doll for safety.
Children from birth to 5 years can easily play with this doll having vanilla-scented vinyl.
Corolle Mon Premier Bebe
This adorable doll has greater value for children over 18-month age because it is a baby doll. Its sweet face along with big blue eyes and soft vinyl skin beautify this doll.
Thus, it is best for cuddling.
Melissa and Doug Jenna 12” Doll
Your children will immediately fall into love with this soft-bodied, adorable baby doll. Toddlers over 18 months can easily cuddle, hug, and care for this doll.
Molded plastic hair, clean arms, legs, and face along with a romper and cap make this doll very beautiful.
Lil Cuties Twin Dolls
These water-friendly twin dolls have a stroller and soft vinyl skin. Their clothing is very adorable and cute and they often come with unique accessories.
They are 8.5 inches in length which is enough to fit into your children’s hands for cuddling.
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella
This doll is Manhattan’s multiple award-winning Baby Stella. It is a soft doll with accessories. In addition to that, it has cute, embroidered toes.
Your children will love to cuddle with this doll having an exquisite belly button.
Dolls are great sources of learning for toddlers and they will like all sorts of dolls.
Whether you choose to give them Barbies or the other models mentioned above is really up to you but either way they will likely have loads of fun playing with them.