When we think of toys for children, we may wonder which toys are a good value. We may look at the various types of toys and then maybe do some research to see which toys will most likely get the most use. \n\n\n\nYou may also research which toys will be the most educational, beneficial and maybe even teach life skills to children. You may even research which toys can be stored, or cleaned easily. \n\n\n\nHowever when you think of the money you will be spending on the toys. Is it worth the money to buy these toys?\n\n\n\nResearch has shown that buying a doll for a child is well worth the money. Playing with dolls can have far reaching psychological benefits for younger children especially. \n\n\n\nPlaying with dolls or other toys can mirror the life lessons being taught and can enforce the positive messages that are being conveyed to children.\n\n\n\nPlaying with dolls seems to be a brain-boosting activity for children. \n\n\n\nDeveloping empathy, developing imagination, and developing motor skills are just a few of the benefits of playing with dolls. Social skills, dressing, and feeding skills can also be taught by playing with dolls. \n\n\n\nGrooming sequences can be taught as well, and then later applied as children develop the fine motor skills. \n\n\n\nDolls are such a versatile toy.\n\n\n\nEven when the family resources are scarce, there are dolls that could be purchased for an amount that should fit into virtually every family\u2019s budget. There may also be extended family members or friends who have children who have outgrown their dolls that might be willing to pass those on.\n\n\n\nRegardless of the kind of doll children own, the way they play with the doll is more important. Focusing on empathy and processing emotions is more important than focusing on clothing and appearance.\n\n\n\nStand-in toys, such as dried corn-cobs or a molded piece of clay wrapped in burlap have been used in times gone by, when there were no dolls to be had. Children are resilient and very imaginative, and creative play can occur with limited resources, but having a toy that is closer to realistic representation is usually better if possible.\n\n\n\nDolls can stand in as friends, family, authority figures and community helpers during imaginative play. The scripts and story lines that can be woven while playing with dolls can take their imagination to another dimension, and be remembered for years to come. \n\n\n\nAs your children get older, they can even rehearse how they would act in various situations, so when the time comes they will feel equipped to handle those social interactions. Playing with dolls develops problem solving skills, emotional regulation and promotes lasting values.\n\n\n\nDepending on a child\u2019s personality, the dolls may be stand-ins for friends at a tea party. Or, the dolls could be stand-ins for fire fighters or emergency workers. \n\n\n\nA simple doll with just a few props is enough to spark imaginative play for hours. It\u2019s a staple toy that doesn\u2019t lose its appeal.\n\n\n\nNeuro-imaging by scientists has been done recently, and the data shows how the brain is activated even when a child is playing alone with dolls.\n\n\n\nDolls are sometimes used for therapy after trauma as they can represent comfort, safety and security. Playing with dolls in role play can help children process strong emotions.\n\n\n\nPlaying with dolls can help a child when they are learning a language too. Communication between the dolls and\/or children can strengthen their communications skills. \n\n\n\nThey might even practice \u201creading\u201d to their dolls. They can communicate on a practical and manageable level without feeling pressured.\n\n\n\nSince children are essentially egocentric, owning a doll can also teach responsibility, how to respect people and things. \n\n\n\nThey can learn how to carefully play with it, how to put it away, and how to keep it clean. This can translate to taking care of pets, or younger siblings later on. \n\n\n\nChildren learn by doing.\n\n\n\nTo see the most popular dolls currently available just click here.\n\n\n\nIs There A Disadvantage To Mechanical Dolls?\n\n\n\nCheaper dolls will require your child to almost entirely use their imaginations when playing with them. However, in recent years more expensive dolls have come in the market that move, talk, eat, poop, and much much more. \n\n\n\nAre there disadvantages to using these mechanical dolls or the simpler ones? \n\n\n\nThere could be a disadvantage to dolls that walk and talk. In this case the imaginative play is being done for the child by a battery operated object, and there will probably be less interactive role playing. \n\n\n\nBattery operated toys tend to restrict the imagination.\n\n\n\nWhen faced with a toy that lights up, makes noise, or sings, a child moves into more of a passive position. They are more likely to watch the toy rather than play interactively with it.\n\n\n\nThe other disadvantage to mechanical dolls is the need to replace batteries on a frequent basis. Also, mechanical dolls have moving parts that may eventually break.\n\n\n\nWhat Are The Best Dolls For Children?\n\n\n\nWhen looking to buy dolls for children, there are a few things to look for.\n\n\n\n- Dolls that have realistic shapes and sizes, to encourage healthy body image.\n\n\n\n- Dolls that represent various cultural backgrounds, and ethnicities.\n\n\n\n- Dolls that are battery free.\n\n\n\n- Dolls that are made of natural fibers (free from BPA, and toxic dyes)\n\n\n\n- Dolls that represent various roles of people in their community (family, community workers, etc)\n\n\n\nOnce you find a doll that has all (or many) of these features then it doesn\u2019t really matter which brand that you choose. My three year old has enjoyed many hours of playing with dolls from the Dollar Tree so the dolls you get your children don\u2019t have to be expensive or even a name brand. \n\n\n\nWill Dolls Retain Their Value?\n\n\n\nWhen spending a lot of money on dolls for your children you might begin to wonder if some of them will be valuable in the future as well. \n\n\n\nWill they hold any of that value or are you basically losing all of it as soon as your kids start playing with the doll? \n\n\n\nMost dolls won\u2019t retain their value and will become virtually worthless (monetarily wise) as soon as they are taken home from the store and opened. Some collectible dolls will hold their value but only when they aren\u2019t opened and are kept in perfect condition. \n\n\n\nIt\u2019s hard to predict which dolls will retain their value, which dolls will go up in value, and which dolls will decrease in value. Fads come and go. \n\n\n\nEven limited edition and collectable dolls can sometimes go down in value.\n\n\n\nIf you find a doll that you know your child will love, then the true value and worth is in how much they will play with it for years to come.\n\n\n\nMany families have dolls they have passed on for generations. They may not have a monetary value or worth attached to them, but the stories told about them, and the scripts fashioned while playing with them are priceless.\n\n\n\nDolls may not make you rich by becoming valuable in the future, but they will definitely enrich your family\u2019s life and increase life skills. \n\n\n\nThey will help to make your children more well rounded individuals with better emotional coping skills and empathy for other people. And you may find that you have a closer relationship with your children because of the interactions during free play time.