Dr. Toy on Toys that Nurture
Every child needs to be loved and to learn to love. The way children are treated determines how well they will learn to trust and love themselves and others. We notice an alarmingly high rate of child abuse. Every parent must take full responsibility for the way in which they treat their child. What better way for a child to know about love than to give them loving playful experiences? We can help the child learn to love by selecting toys that help them to express warmth, curiosity, and affection. Great choices are stuffed animals, puppets, and soft dolls.
Having cuddly friends to hold benefit children in many ways. They can easily express their emotions to a soft, friendly teddy bear. They can obtain comfort and support when they feel sad. They can talk about many things with their understanding, soft friends. Soft toys can become very important in times of stress. Children can express their anger with a soft friend and not get punished. All children need to have a soft toy to play with for as long as the toy brings comfort and is enjoyed. Soft toys are even helpful for grown-ups who often enjoy them. Giving a teddy bear a special hug can certainly reduce pent-up emotions.
There are many great teddy bears, puppets, and other stuffed animals available. A good variety of choices exist in types, sizes, costumes, and poses. For a small child, be sure to obtain a product that is washable, with nothing on it that can possibly come loose. Examine a potential toy for any part that might endanger the child, like a loose button or long tie. Look for hypoallergenic, colorfast, and washable fabrics.
Dolls should be appropriate for the child's age. For the very young child, consider dolls that are made of easy-to-clean or washable materials. A doll should be dressed so the child will have no problem undressing and redressing it. The doll may have a variety of features now available. Most important is how the child feels about the doll. What a doll brings to a child is constant companionship, and a great sounding board for whatever the child wants to share. You may hear the ongoing dialogue the child carries on with the doll while waiting for "tea to be served." As you get out the cookies and juice, think about the calming effect these special soft friends bring to the child and the fun of a “tea party.”
Dr. Toy suggests looking at the great dolls available through many different companies, including Goldberger Dolls and Zapf Creations (3-8 yrs). The dolls are reasonably priced starting at $20. You will also find a good selection of baby dolls with posable bodies and many details. These companies offer a lot of value for the money.
My first Baby Annabell Play doll by Zapf Creation and the African American Little Mommy by Fisher Price are excellent ethnic dolls.
Dolls can be found in all price ranges and offer a lot of fun and nurturing. Remember: children need to nurture soft toys and dolls year round. Keep them clean, in good shape, and ready for your child’s active play.