Play time is serious business, and our kids need a variety of toys to accommodate various learning and playing styles. Did you know that before I started staying home with my kids, I was an elementary school teacher? My degree is in early child education and development so learning is always in the front of my mind when coming up with activities for my kids.
I think dollhouses are one of the best ways for kids to learn and play, and I think every kid should have one. This is the first of a 3-part blog series on why you should have a dollhouse. This blog post is going to focus on why a kid needs a dollhouse, while future posts will focus on why moms need a dollhouse, and why your family needs The Adventure Dollhouse in particular. So let's get going on 5 reasons why every child needs a dollhouse.
Disclaimer: While I do hope this series makes you want to buy The Adventure Dollhouse, that is not my end goal. Of course, I am running a business, and the goal of any business is to make money, but to me, it's more important that your child gets the benefits of having a dollhouse, even if that dollhouse does not come from me. I believe in the importance of dollhouses so much that I just want you to have one, in whatever way that looks for your family.
1. Engage in Play Therapy
Life can be tough when you're a kid. Whenever my kids complain about something, I joke about how hard their lives are when I'm really just trying to tell them how good they've got it. While my kids do have it good, that doesn't mean things are always easy. We forget how tricky it is to grow up and how confusing and hard life can be for a small child. Dollhouses are a way for kids to act out familiar scenes from their lives in a safe environment. Let's say your kid has a problem wetting the bed, and it is a source of shame and embarrassment. A dollhouse can be a way for your child to cope with that problem: he or she can project that problem on to the doll and find a way to make sense of what is going on. Your child can communicate feelings through the doll that he or she might not be able to voice out loud in a way that makes sense. This is a form of play therapy for your child, and it is critical for their emotional development.
2. Nurture Social Skills
We live in an increasingly digital world. Kids no longer run outside after school every day to play with their friends. Lots of their social interaction might even come from playing video games online with their friends who are in their own homes. Even as an introvert myself, I am constantly baffled by these kids who don't hang out with their friends in person. Nurturing social skills from a young age is crucial to our future society. Dollhouses allow kids to play side by side rather than across from each other. For instance, in a board game, kids are "against" each other. A dollhouse presents a unique opportunity to engage in imaginary play together. The children have to work cooperatively to solve problems or to act out a scene in the dollhouse. To go along with my first point, a dollhouse can be a way for 2 friends to resolve their differences through the impartial dolls; they can communicate their feelings without attacking the other person. Get a dollhouse and then invite friends over for dollhouse play dates.
3. Understand the World
Where do I even begin with this point? We live in a weird world, and it's getting weirder every day. I'm 38yo, and I constantly feel confused about what is going on around me. Imagine how a small child must feel. Children hear a ton of contrary viewpoints from a wide variety of adults every day, and they're just trying to figure out what they believe and how they fit into this world. Dollhouses are way for kids to understand their world. It gives them the opportunity to act out events and things going on around them so they have a chance to rehearse for the real world.
4. Foster Creativity and Problem Solving
I have never considered myself to be a creative person, but I do think I'm a pretty good problem solver. That was my specialty when teaching third grade math: equipping children with the tools they need to tackle any problems. Dollhouses have forced me to solve problems and be creative, even when I don't think I am. For instance, I was always wishing I could rearrange my dollhouses. Necessity is the mother of invention so that problem forced me to be creative and think of a way to solve it. Thus, The Adventure Dollhouse was born! I could go on for hours, but I think a dollhouse is the ultimate toy for fostering creativity and problem solving. Case in point, my daughter Lucy. Even though she has a mom who literally makes dollhouses for a living, she has never been a big fan of playing with dolls. However, she absolutely loves to decorate dollhouses. You don't even need to give her dolls: just give her an empty dollhouse and a box full of furniture and decor, and she will happily work on it for hours.
5. Develop Fine Motor Skills
I know this seems like it's not that important, but fine motor skills is probably the area where I saw the biggest deficiencies as an elementary educator. Schools take it for granted that students know how to cut with scissors or how to hold a pencil. Schools are so focused on passing state tests and checking boxes of learning objectives that fine motor skill development often gets overlooked. Sadly, for many kids, kindergarten is no longer a place to learn these valuable life skills. You wouldn't believe how many times, as a third grade teacher, I had to teach a child how to hold a pencil. Dollhouses, by their very nature, nurture fine motor skills. Standard dollhouse size is 1:12, which means 1 foot in the real world is represented as 1 inch in the dollhouse world. Because of these tiny pieces, tiny hands have a chance to improve their fine motor skills.
I hope I've persuaded you of the importance of your child having a dollhouse. It's crucial for learning and play. Next up in the series is convincing you that every mom needs a dollhouse., too Just a hunch, but I bet it won't take much convincing. Until next time, Mini Adventurers!